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Long delighted as Wisbech Rugby Club win promotion play-off in his final game as skipper

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 April 2012

Wisbech Rugby Club celebrate promotion to London North-East Division Three. Picture: Brian Purdy

Wisbech Rugby Club celebrate promotion to London North-East Division Three. Picture: Brian Purdy

Archant

Departing Wisbech Rugby Club captain Tom Long admits securing promotion in his final game as skipper was the perfect way to end his three-year reign.

Long wore the armband for the final time at the weekend as Wisbech beat Maldon 38-12 in a promotion play-off to secure a place in London North-East Division Three next season.

The victory ensured Ben McCall’s Harecroft Road outfit returned to the league at the first time of asking after narrowly missing out on automatic promotion thanks to the stunning form of invincible Eastern Counties Division One champions Cantabrigian.

Long said: “It was right up there with some of the best games I have played in. It was one of those where everything seemed to click and go according to plan. We were 100pc in control of the match.

“We wanted to prove a point and make the statement that we deserve to be in the league above. I think we did that. At no point in the afternoon did it feel like we were in danger of losing the game. We were playing all the rugby.

“There’s no doubt about it, the feeling we had in the changing room was one of the best we have had for a long time. Everyone was just jubilant after the game. It was mission accomplished - and it was accomplished very well and quite comfortably.”

Wisbech’s epic battle to secure their London NE Division 3 status during the 2010/11 season came down to a final-day decider.

After fighting to overhaul a 13-point deduction, for fielding an ineligible player during a win over Newmarket, they finally crashed out of the league following a 46-17 defeat at Lowestoft & Yarmouth in their last game of the season.

Long, who will be replaced by David Wadsley as captain, said: “He (Wadsley) knows the club inside out, has a lot of respect amongst the players and he will be a very strong leader.

“Scoring was a really nice way to cap off what has obviously been a difficult season for me with my thumb injury.

“It was a fitting end to a very good three years as captain. I have been proud and honoured to be captain of such a talented group of players.

“If we kick on, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be aiming for the top of the table again next season.”

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