RUGBY: Wisbech Wildcats left to rue slip in concentration after Shelford defeat
PUBLISHED: 14:50 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 January 2020
Wisbech Wildcats were left to rue a lapse in concentration and poor discipline when they were beaten 33-34 by Shelford 4th's at Harecroft Road in Division Two West of the Eastern Counties League on Saturday.
The match began in similar vein to the previous encounter between the two sides, with both teams equal in possession and territory, but against the run of play, Shelford broke the deadlock on 14 minutes with an unconverted try to take a five point lead.
Wisbech then began to pressurise the visitors and their efforts were rewarded when James Cox dotted down for a converted try to put the hosts in front.
Tries from Raimondas Vinksna, Josh Anderson and Nathaniel Humphreys, who played his first match following injury, extended Wisbech's advantage before the visitors capitalised on an extra man.
Shelford notched two tries before half-time as Andy Claydon was penalised for a high tackle 10 minutes from half-time, albeit a smaller punishment after his red card for a similar offence earlier in the season.
This numerical advantage enabled Shelford to score two tries of their own before the interval, leaving the score 28-17 in favour of the hosts.
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Despite Vinksna increasing Wisbech's lead, the hosts pressed the self-destruct button when Nathan Goodale was sent off for fighting, reducing Wildcats to 14 for the last 20 minutes.
This proved to be the changing point in this contest, as Shelford responded aggressively with an unconverted try to close the gap to 33-22.
With their tails up, the visitors pressed their extra man advantage for another converted try to reduce the Wisbech lead to 33-29.
A further opportunity went astray for Wisbech after poor decision-making when attacking with a two-man overlap, before Shelford struck with another try to earn a slim one-point lead.
Shelford withstood late pressure from the men in red, leaving Wisbech wondering how they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Raimondas Vinksna was named the Wisbech Round Table man of the match after his impressive performance.
On Saturday, Wisbech Wildcats visit Shelford V while Wisbech 1st XV travel to high-flyers Cantabrigian in the London 3 Eastern Counties League.