Golden weekend for Wisbech as hat-trick heroes inspire league and cup glory

VETERAN goalkeeper James Sheppard toasted the best weekend of Wisbech Hockey Club’s season after they reached the HA Trophy semi-finals for the third time.

Sam Blunt’s second-half hat-trick stunned promotion-chasing Ramgarhia on Saturday as Wisbech sealed a 5-3 victory in the league.

But things got even better on Sunday as a second treble - this time from Gavin Johnstone - put Wisbech on the brink of another national final.

Johnstone’s goals gave his side a 3-1 win over Ashford in the quarter-finals of the HA Trophy - and Sheppard said the first team were desperate for cup glory.

“We haven’t had a weekend like that in a long while,” he said. “It was fantastic.

“If we’d lost on Sunday we would have been heartbroken. We would almost have sacrificed Saturday in order to get through - but as it happens we won both.

“It gives a boost to the whole club and everyone is talking about it.”

Most Read

The 41-year-old ‘keeper, who looks set to make his 350th consecutive league appearance for Wisbech tomorrow, said excitement was high for a semi-final trip to Gateshead on March 25.

“The team spirit is amazing and everyone is happy,” he said. “We absolutely love playing at the moment.

“There are a few young lads who were disappointed when we lost in the quarter-final a few years ago - so they have now reached a stage they hadn’t before.”

Gary Freear and Brad Apted put Wisbech ahead in Saturday’s bad-tempered Premier B fixture. Ramgarhia fought back to lead 3-2 at half time but Blunt’s second-half treble sparked wild celebrations.

Things looked bleak on Sunday as Ashford took the lead inside a minute - but Apted’s sparkling midfield display and Johnstone’s hat-trick put them in the semi-finals for the third time in their history.

Sheppard added: “Despite the rain we got a good crowd on Sunday. All of our teams get great support - it’s just an absolutely amazing club.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter