Wisbech confident their first and seconds can avoid the drop

Wisbech seconds, in red,  V Crusaders II. Picture: Steve Williams. Wisbech seconds, in red, V Crusaders II. Picture: Steve Williams.

Friday, February 7, 2014
6:25 AM

Wisbech’s second string – just like the club’s first team – are confident they can avoid relegation this season.

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With the senior side enjoying a fixtureless London North-East Division Three weekend, Joe Barfoot’s hat-trick helped the seconds claim a thumping 66-17 win over high-flying Norwich Crusaders II on Saturday. Crusaders won the corresponding fixture 17-14 last month and went into the game unbeaten in eight Woodfordes Norfolk Division Two games.

Even though the Harecroft Road club remain second bottom of the league, and one points from safety, the nature of the victory should give them confidence as they try to avoid the drop.

Captain Oliver Mackett, whose troops host Broadland Tigers II tomorrow, said: “We had a few players coming back from injury, including Mark Laws who is working his way back from a broken ankle.

“Things are really looking up. Our season has been a rollercoaster. We did not start it well but we are improving and we are desperate to start climbing the table and avoid relegation.

“Broadland are just above us in the league so this is an important game to win.”

Wisbech produced a dominant first-half performance against the city club. They raced to a 40-0 lead by half-time with braces from Mark Laws and Barfoot.

Jack Smith added a try with a mazy run through the Crusaders’ defence and James Patrick ran the length of the pitch to score.

After half-time, Crusaders sprung into action, breaching the Wisbech defence three times. But the hosts responded with four tries of their own from winger Joe England, Sam Anderson, Smith and Barfoot.

The kicking duties were shared between Laws, Steven Priest and Anderson, who added 16 points between them. Young openside flanker Harry Lott was man of the match.

Broadland remain two places and six points above Wisbech in the league. When the two sides met earlier this season, Broadland won 17-0.

In London NE3, the Harecroft Road outfit’s first team, who still sit four points above the drop zone, visit Campion.

Their own bid to stave off trouble was boosted a fortnight ago when they shocked title-chasing Old Cooperians 13-7. However, things won’t be any easier for Leonard Veenendaal and Cliff Humphreys’ side tomorrow.

Campion sit top of the table and won the reverse fixture 22-8 earlier in the campaign. They are unbeaten in 10 league matches.

But they have drawn two of their last three matches.

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