Wisbech go in search of Cambs Cup semi-final glory against lower-level Newmarket



Relegation-threatened Wisbech turn their attentions to cup glory tomorrow when they welcome lower-level Newmarket to Harecroft Road.

The London North-East Division Three strugglers entertain the Greene King Eastern Counties Division One title hopefuls and go into the match as favourites. Wisbech play one level above their opponents and will be looking to record back-to-back victories to land a place in the final of the Cambridgeshire Cup.

But they'll also be crossing their fingers that Old Brentwoods, three points behind the Fenlanders in the table having played a game less, slip up at Old Cooperians so they don't send Wisbech back into the drop zone.

Manager Cliff Humphreys said: 'We scored four tries in the game (27-21 win over Harlow on Saturday) which gave us a valuable bonus point. We are on 44 points and sandwiched between Brentwoods, who are on 41 and in the drop zone but have two games in hand, and Wanstead who are also on 44 but who also have a game in hand over us.

'The lacklustre home games against Brentwood and Wanstead, which we lost, and the draw away to Canvey Island have cost us dear this season. We have a very difficult away game against Sudbury in two weeks times before the final league match which is at home against Beccles on April 12 which could turn out to be the relegation decider.'

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Tries from James Napier, Joe Barfoot, James Patrick and Steve Priest, plus points from the boot of Jack Malkin, secured a vital victory for Wisbech on Saturday. Coach Leonard Veenendaal praised the efforts of all 18 players but singled out the efforts of Patrick as man of the match because he was unlucky not to have scored a hat-trick.

Newmarket arrive on the back of a shock 33-0 loss at Southwold which allowed Wisbech's fierce rivals West Norfolk to edge closer to the Eastern Counties One title.

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While the second-placed outfit were slipping to a surprise defeat, West powered to an emphatic 48-20 victory at Harwich & Dovercourt to move six points clear at the top of the table with just two matches left. The North Wootton table-toppers are without a game this weekend but know they can clinch the championship, and promotion to NE3, with a home victory over Mersea Island on April 5.

Same-league Swaffham, who lost 29-19 at home to Crusaders at the weekend, are also without a competitive fixture tomorrow.

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