GALLERY: Under-par first half costs Wisbech as they slip up at Swaffham while Wildcats come off second best to UEA

Wisbech Wildcats ruby v UEA. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech Wildcats ruby v UEA. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Wisbech were made to pay for an under-par first half performance as they lost 34-20 to Swaffham on Saturday.

The defeat sees them slip behind Swaffham into 10th in Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1, with only Woodbridge and Thurston below them.

Only 16 players made the short trip to Swaffham, leaving Wisbech at a disadvantage from the start.

Wisbech took the game to the hosts and kicked a penalty but Swaffham responded with three tries to go in 21-3 down at half time.

A stern talking-to from head coach Leonard Veenendaal rallied the troops and Wisbech produced a much improved second half performance.

The forwards started to counter the Swaffham pack and some solid work was rewarded with an unconverted try.

Wisbech continued to push forward and as result became exposed at the back. This gave the home side chance to score their fourth try.

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Wisbech showed great spirit but despite scoring two further tries and winning the half 17-13, they had left themselves too big a deficit to overturn.

Winger Matt Esser was man of the match, while veteran Mat Desbourough played his first game for two seasons.

Ben Chapman damaged his shoulder and is out for six weeks.

Cliff Humphreys said: “A very disappointing result. We really thought that we would get something out of this match, especially after the excellent performance the previous week.

“Once again we struggled to raise an 18 man squad for an away fixture. You can’t help players not being available, due to other commitments but this season Swaffham is the nearest fixture for us, a 30 minute car drive.”

Wisbech host Mersea Island in the Junior Vase on Saturday, 2pm kick off.

Wisbehc Wildcats lost 41-7 to UEA at Harecroft Road in Eastern Counties Greene King Division Three North on Saturday.