Wisbech Rugby Club determined to fight off relegation after 13-point penalty confirmed

WISBECH Rugby Club has responded bravely to the deduction of 13 points for fielding an ineligible player, sending the defiant message that their season is far from over.

The club has been plunged into a relegation scrap after the London & SE Division Competitions Committee upheld a decision to dock them the points for fielding former player Ben Hoyles in their 20-8 win over high-flying Newmarket in November.

But despite being condemned to the bottom of the table - nine points adrift of their nearest rivals Campion - the Wisbech side are determined to launch a remarkable comeback.

Chairman Jeremy Pallant said: “We do now find ourselves in a relegation battle and it’s a battle that we are aiming to win. It’s disappointing that it’s happened but we are where we are.

“The squad is very focused on remaining in the division and they will give their all in the cup.”

Wisbech were deducted five points for playing an ineligible player and a further eight points for having a false name on the team sheet - with Hoyles filling in for absent fly-half Will Pettit.

Before the deduction, the side had been enjoying a good season - sitting comfortably in mid-table of the league and getting through to the third round of the Senior Vase.

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The club had appealed for leniency but the original 13-point penalty was upheld. They now have the option of taking their appeal to a higher level, but a statement from the club said it is “unlikely that this course of action will be taken”.

Mr Pallant said: “The aim is to retain our place in the league and we have players returning from injury which will boost the squad. We hope to play good attacking rugby long into the new year.

“This is not the end of our season.”

Wisbech begin their push for survival on Saturday, when they travel to eighth-placed Bancrofts.