Coach calls for play-off focus as Wisbech plot revenge on champions Cantabs
COACH Ben McCall has told his Wisbech players that they MUST get promoted in order to get revenge on bitter rivals Cantabrigian next season.
Cantabs secured the Greene King Eastern Counties Division One title at Harecroft Road on Saturday with a 19-15 win.
It was Wisbech’s first home defeat of the season, and it means they will have to beat a side from the Essex leagues to seal promotion through the play-offs.
McCall said: “When you come away knowing you were the better side, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. To keep that rivalry with Cantabs going next season, we have to win the play-off.
“I wouldn’t like to even think about the consequences if we lost. It would be a disaster.
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“We cannot switch off and think we are done. This season is not over until we’ve been promoted.”
Shane Vickers’ penalty gave Wisbech the lead in front of more than 100 fans on Saturday but defensive mistakes allowed Cantabs to build a 19-3 lead.
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Andy Claydon and Luke Feaviour crashed over in the closing stages - with Vickers kicking one of the conversions - but Wisbech couldn’t complete the comeback.
McCall said “silly mistakes” had cost his side but praised the spirit of his players.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more from them,” he said. “Will Pettit dislocated his finger and had to put it back into place three or four times during the game.
“He refused to come off and that’s the spirit we get from most of the players. Unless they can’t walk most of them will try their best to stay on the field.”
Wisbech will have home advantage for the play-off as they have recorded more league wins than their Essex counterparts. The fixture, originally scheduled for April 28, may now be moved forward to April 21.
Captain Tom Long said Wisbech would try to organise a friendly before the play-off.
He said: “These games can always be banana skins but we’re 100 per cent confident of doing the job.”