Friday, February 21, 2014
Wisbech will be praying fierce rivals Beccles can help boost their hopes of avoiding the drop at the weekend.
The Harecroft Road outfit slipped into the bottom three in London North-East Division Three following a hugely damaging 34-7 loss to Old Brentwoods, who leapfrogged them in the table, on Saturday.
Wisbech are without a game this weekend and have played two more matches than Brentwoods. So they will be hoping Beccles – a team they have shared some bruising encounters with of late – can win in order to prevent the Essex club from opening up some breathing space in the fight for safety.
Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “If only we had started the game against Brentwoods with the passion and spirit that was shown when we were down to 13 players. If we had we may have got something out of the match.
“If we are to avoid the drop we need to win all remaining five games including Sudbury away and hope that the teams above us slip up. It going to a nail-biting finish to the season.”
Coach Leonard Veenendaal was said to have been despondent after the game at the weekend which saw the visitors take advantage following Solomon Prestidge’s red card in the second half.
The hosts were 12-7 behind at the break but eventually allowed Brentwoods to score three more tries and secure a valuable bonus point, which moved them one point above Wisbech in the table.
Eighth-placed Beccles sit just one place above the side they visit tomorrow but should be confident going into the match having won the reverse fixture 40-19.
In lower-level Greene King Eastern Counties Division One, neither title-chasing table-toppers West Norfolk or promoted Swaffham, fifth in the standings, have a league fixture.
West kept themselves ahead of Newmarket – who are in Junior Vase action this weekend – by winning 25-12 at Woodbridge last time out.
In windy conditions, Ross Biggs scored his side’s first try but Joe Butt’s conversion struck the upright. And the hosts made the high-fliers pay by storming into a 12-5 lead while Ryan Walker was off the pitch having been sin binned.
A Butt penalty reduced the deficit before Ollie Ridout’s try, and Butt’s conversion, gave West a priceless 15-12 lead at the break.
Ridout crashed over again to extend his troops’ advantage, Butt adding the extras, however they fell just short of bagging a crucial bonus point.