EASTERN COUNTIES ONE: Wisbech looking to keep slim title hopes alive at fortress Harecroft Road

Wisbech Rugby Club will be hoping fortress Harecroft Road helps them bounce back from Saturday's defeat which derailed their title challenge.

A shock 35-21 reverse at Ipswich YMCA - Wisbech's second Greene King Eastern Counties Division One loss of the season - has given Cantabrigian a four-point lead at the top of the table.

Coach Ben McCall admits his side, who have a 100 per cent home record in the league this campaign, need to thump visiting Southwold tomorrow to keep their slim title hopes alive.

'We need to win our next three games, with the bonus point, to give us any chance when we host Cantabs in our final game of the season,' said McCall.

'Winning the league has been taken out of our hands now and we're relying on somebody beating Cantabs, who have played one game less than us. We wanted to win the league so it's disappointing but getting promotion is still key.


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'Our away preparation has been poor and we haven't travelled well all season. We've beaten teams by like 50 points at home and only just scraped a victory against them away.

'I think it helps that the lads can have the morning at home - turn up for rugby and play - and still be home in time for tea when we play at Wisbech.

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'We've been excellent at Harecroft Road and we need to go and run Southwold ragged. We need to run in at least four tries to get the bonus point and that's definitely our aim.'

Wisbech - who will face an Essex side in a play-off for promotion if they finish second - welcome back Jon Turner tomorrow. Will Pettit (ankle) and Phil Martell (neck/back) could also return after shaking off injuries.

Fierce rivals West Norfolk welcome Ipswich YMCA and manager Nigel Richardson has told his players to keep winning to hold onto their fourth-placed spot.

West's manager said: 'A top-two spot now seems unachievable so considering we've got an inexperienced side we'd be happy to finish fourth.

'We don't want to drop too many points between now and the end of the season but it'll be a tough game against Ipswich - much depends on what sort of side they bring with them.'

Captain Michael Skinner, No 8 Charlie Fysh and No 10 Sam Moses should return for West after missing last weekend's 19-10 defeat at Mersea Island.

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