London North-East Division Three Wisbech will use fixtureless weekend to their advantage

Wisbech rugby vs Old Cooperians. Picture: Steve Williams. Wisbech rugby vs Old Cooperians. Picture: Steve Williams.

Friday, January 31, 2014
7:45 AM

Wisbech will use their weekend off to get match practice into some of the club’s fringe players.

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The Harecroft Road outfit boosted their chances of staying in London North-East Division Three by stunning title-chasing Old Cooperians on Saturday. However, the Cambridgeshire outfit are unable to build on their 13-7 victory because they do not have a fixture this weekend.

So chiefs Leonard Veenendaal and Cliff Humphreys will drop a few of their troops into the seconds for their home clash against Crusaders II in Woodfordes Norfolk Division Two.

Coach Veenendaal said: “To a man Wisbech played their hearts out against Cooperians.

“However it was great to see Jon Turner back in the centre because he gives our back a lot of physical presence. Steve Priest as fly half played well as did the forwards but Greg Brownlow took the man of the match award from his sheer grit and determination. Ali Comben was given the captaincy for the match and lead the team well.

“The first team have a week off on Saturday but the seconds are at home and we will be looking to give game time to one or two squad players who have not been available recently as the week after the first team need to be at full strength as we travel to league leaders Campion.”

Wisbech, cheered on by a large home crowd, took the game straight to the promotion-seeking visitors on Saturday.

Cooperians’ defence held until 20 minutes when after the ball was charged down by Shane Vickers, Brownlow touched down. But that lead didn’t last too long as the league’s second-placed side took a 7-5 lead into the break.

The hosts defended excellently in the second period – which raised tension levels during a fiery encounter – and from a penalty Andy Claydon kicked Wisbech in front. As the game wore on, Kerrie McMullen scored a try to seal the victory.

Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “Promotion chasing Old Cooperians travelled to Wisbech on Saturday thinking that after Wisbech’s recent run of poor results that the points were in the bag.

“They left disappointed though and with their tail firmly between their legs. Under the stewardship of coach Leonard Veneendaa, Wisbech in recent weeks have built up an inner strength and the band of brothers spirit of old has returned.”

Wisbech remain just one place, but four points, above the relegation zone with seven games left.

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