Wisbech left with nothing to show for hard-working effort away at table-topping Holt

Wisbech's Will Lankfer, David Wadsley and Luke Green

Wisbech's Will Lankfer, David Wadsley and Luke Green - Credit: Archant

Wisbech were left empty-handed after a 22-12 defeat at London Three Eastern Counties leaders Holt in their final match of 2018.

The hosts opened the scoring when a pass along the back line was intercepted by Geoff Flather, who offloaded to Ben Reedman for a converted try.

And they applied sustained pressure, before captain Ashley Woods crashed over from close range and scrum-half Bruce van Poortvliet went in at the corner after a blindside break.

Trailing 17-0, but with the wind at their backs in the second half, the Men in Red fought their way back into the game as their pack gained territory.

Man-of-the-match David Wadsley worked tirelessly in attack and defence, as 18-year-olds Luke Green and William Lankfer shone in the front row, and clinical phase play and driving mauls pushed Holt back.

It was no more than Wisbech deserved when scrum-half Harry Newman darted through a gap to score Wisbech’s first try within five minutes and their defence then denied Holt the chance to play their preferred open game.

But the home side put the result beyond doubt midway through the second half when their left wing picked up a Wisbech kick in his own 22 and ran past several defenders before Henry Flower completed the 80-metre counter with a try in the corner.

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Down 22-5, Wisbech’s spirits were not dampened as they put Holt under pressure and Raimondas Vinksna scored a wonderful try after an excellent attacking move, with Newman’s conversion making it 22-12.

But despite battling hard in the remaining minutes they could not break down the resolute Holt defence and director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal said: “Credit to Holt, they had their chances and they took them.

“It was an incredibly physical game, two Holt tries against the run of play made the difference, the score did not reflect how competitive and close this game was considering we did manage to win the second half.

“We had a number of chances which we did not take and put away and that is disappointing. We got that lesson in that ruthless edge. We made our own problems and that’s not good enough but we have some positives to take.

“Credit to our head coach Nico Steenkamp for the hard work and preparation put in during the week and to all 18 players for an incredible display of commitment, pride and passion for the shirt.”

Wisbech return to action on January 5 when they host Thurston at Hareccroft road.

Wisbech: Tamoliunas, Patrick, Vickers, Napier, Vinksna, Malkin, Newman, Grote, Prestidge, Wadsley, H Lankfer, Goodale, Steenkamp, W Lankfer, Green. Replacements: Wilson, Luffman, Lake.