London NE3: Wymondham 17, Wisbech 20
Wymondham left the field after a bruising encounter in wet and muddy conditions with only a single losing bonus point to show for a battling performance that should have seen them bag a much-needed win.
The game kicked off in a heavy downpour and the pattern was established early. Wisbech, with a much heavier pack, aimed to establish dominance up front while the home side were trying, perhaps rashly on occasions, to feed their back line.
Tom Wilson, the stand out player from both sides, was doing his best to fashion something for his side with judicious use of the boot sending raking kicks deep into opposition territory. The Red and Blacks were probably enjoying the better of possession and territory in the first quarter but had failed to convert chances into points until, given rare clean ball from a set scrum in midfield, Charlie Duffin, the scrum half, fed his backs and Wilson, in the centre, spotting a half-chance, shrugged off two tackles and dived over for the opening score before coolly slotting the conversion to make the score 7-0 to Wymondham.
Sam Anderson kicked a penalty for the visitors and Wisbech – whose tries came from Nat Humphreys, Ben Chapman and Shane Vickers – crashed over for the first time to take a 8-7 lead. But with half-time approaching, Wilson crossed the whitewash for the second time and converted to make it 14-8. Shortly after the restart, Wilson kicked a penalty to give his side a nine-point advantage. But home lock and debutant Aaron Haywood was soon sin binned for 10 minutes after pulling down a maul.
And Wisbech, with a one-man advantage, started to apply some pressure. That increased when Alex Wigney was sent to join his team-mate in the sin bin having been harshly penalised for not rolling away despite being pinned to the ground by a rather larger opposition player. With the benefit of two extra men, the visitors' pack rolled over the home line to make it 17-13. And even with Wymondham back to 14 players, a converted try helped the Cambridgeshire outfit snatch victory with Wilson narrowly missing three penalties in the away half towards the end as the hosts were left to rue what might have been.