GALLERY: Wisbech players do themselves proud but Twickenham hopes dashed in game marred by serious injury to Malkin

James Napier bulldozes over an Ironsides tackler. Picture: Steve Williams.

James Napier bulldozes over an Ironsides tackler. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Wisbech produced a sterling performance full of heart and passion against Battersea & Ironsides ... but their Twickenham dream was ended on Saturday.

Wisbech lost Nathan Goodale on the morning of the game due to illness and during the warm up Solomon Prestidge, who had been injured the previous week, had to withdraw after aggravating his leg injury.

Cheered on by a crowd of 150, the reshuffled team made an excellent start to the Junior Vase Cup clash, dominating the game and possession.

Mark Laws missed a couple of penalties but De La Rey Veenendaal then got them on the scoreboard with a stunning try - he gathered the ball on the home 10 metre line and darted his way to the line. Laws’ conversion made it 7-0.

But, on 20 minutes, Wisbech were rocked by a horror injury to fly half Jack Malkin.

Malkin, while completing a tackle, dislocated his hip. After a lengthy delay, he was taken by ambulance to hospital and will miss the rest of the season.

Against the run of play, Ironsides replied with an interception try to level the score and shortly afterwards kicked a penalty to go into half-time leading 10-7.

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Wisbech threatened early in the second half but it was Ironsides who managed to get the next score with a well worked converted try from their left winger to stretch their lead to 17-7.

The Ironsides added another penalty but Wisbech’s defence held firm and was not breached again.

Head coach Leonard Veenendaal said: “It was a hard fought battle and good game. Man for man every Wisbech player did their club and town proud.

“Each and every one put their bodies on the line, played with such heart and passion.

“Jack’s injury really disrupted us and took the sting out of our attack. We had to move De La Rey inside to 10 who was a big threat outside and scored that brilliant try.

“In spite of their disappointment the boys were absolutely gracious in defeat, I am immensely proud of the boys and wish Ironsides all the best for the final and the rest of their season.

“I also want to thank the supporters and my support team on the day of Cliff and Nathaniel Humphreys, Robbie Brooks and Luke Green.”

Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “I would like to take the opportunity to the thank the Ironsides physiotherapists, the travelling doctor and Clairice Pepper from March RUFC and local paramedic for helping out with Jack Malkin until the ambulance arrived.

“Jack is a great player and character hopefully he will make a full recovery and will be back playing soon.”

Wisbech are at home to Swaffham on Saturday in the league, kick off 2.30.

“Now that we are out of the Vase when now need to refocus on our league position,” said Veenendaal.

“We are still aiming for a top half finish. We need to transform our cup form into the league and bring that form and intensity into our remaining six games.”