Wisbech 29-3 Newmarket: old guard breathes new life into Wisbech squad as title race looks set to go to the wire
- Credit: Archant
Wisbech responded to their disappointing defeat to Thetford and kept up their outside chance of Eastern Counties Division One glory with an emphatic 29-3 victory over Newmarket.
Head coach Leonard Veenendaal put a rallying cry out to his players to not let complacency creep into their play prior to the game, and the Wisbech players heeded the coaches words to bag four first-half tries to ease to an impressive bonus-point success.
Wisbech welcomed veterans Peter Lankfer, Jon Turner and James Patrick into their starting line-up, and their experience proved invaluable as the hosts raced out the blocks, taking the lead after five minutes through Sam Anderson.
Two more tries were added as Wisbech asserted their dominance, before Newmarket got their only points on the board through a penalty.
Newmarket’s celebrations were short-lived, however, and Wisbech ended the half firmly on top thanks to Patrick’s late try.
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Wisbech took their feet off the pedals in the second half, and some handling errors and injuries – including one to talismanic captain Solomon Prestidge - made for a scrappy second period.
The hosts finally added to their tally through veteran Turner, who burst through the Newmarket defence to secure an all-important win, much to the delight of head coach Veenedaal.
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He said: “I was very pleased with our structure today, give the number of changes. James Griffin, in particular, was relentless.”
Wisbech’s 13th win of the season sets them up nicely for a crucial end-of-season run-in, which begins on April 2 with their penultimate game of the season at Norwich Crusaders.
The Crusaders have a decent home record in the Eastern Counties Division One, and Veenendaal will know his men have their work cut out if they are to snatch another victory before their final-day decider with Wymondham.
Wisbech host Wymondham on the final day of the season, knowing that a win could see them leap-frog their rivals - and possibly Ely Tigers at the top – if results go their way.