Wisbech Rugby Club relegated by a point as battle for survival ends in heartbreak

PUBLISHED: 11:06 13 April 2011

Wisbech's brave display against their high-flying rivals was not enough to keep them up.

Wisbech's brave display against their high-flying rivals was not enough to keep them up.

Archant

WISBECH’S epic battle for survival ended in heartbreak on Saturday as the rugby club were relegated by just a point.

A brutal Lowestoft & Yarmouth side cruised to a 46-17 victory over Wisbech to seal promotion in front of their own fans.

Wisbech were left with an agonising wait to hear news from Upminster, where relegation rivals Campion were in action.

But in the final twist of an incredible season, Campion claimed a thrilling 21-21 draw to beat the drop by a point and end Wisbech’s two-year stay in London North-East Division Three.

Just one more try would have been enough to defy the 13-point deduction - imposed for fielding an ineligible player in November’s win over Newmarket - and keep the Harecroft Road outfit up.

Captain Tom Long said: “A draw was the one outcome that nobody spoke about because it’s such a rarity. It sums up the season really. It was the last thing I expected - an absolute nightmare.

“All the players are gutted because we put everything into staying up. We gave ourselves a fighting chance and kept it in our hands till the very end - that speaks volumes for the side. I’m very proud of them.

“It has been a rollercoaster of a season on a personal and a team level. I have never known a season like it.

“Towards the end our performances were fantastic. The game against Norwich was the best game of rugby I have played at this club. It was one of our finest hours.

“We haven’t seen the last of Wisbech Rugby Club in that league. The aim is to win promotion and get straight back to where we belong.”

Tries from Will Pettit, Shane Vickers and Sam Anderson could not prevent the defeat, which means Wisbech will contest the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties Division One next year and bid for Twickenham glory in the Junior Vase.

Coach Ben McCall said the club had already moved to secure a couple of new players, with Andy McCubbin and Chris Newns returning to Canada.

He said: “The hardest bit about Saturday was the 10 minutes we spent sitting in the changing room waiting for the Campion result to come through.

“But the lads were great. All of them came away with the same view - lets go for an unbeaten season next year.

“Coming in new to the club and hearing that attitude from the players made me over the moon. I know I’m not going to have to drag them up to play rugby next year.

“I do not intend to be spending more than a year in that league.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Wisbech Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Wisbech Standard