Wisbech dig deep to beat West Norfolk in derby for fourth home win in a row
- Credit: Archant
Wisbech made it four home wins in a row in London Three Eastern Counties with a 21-15 derby success over West Norfolk at Harecroft Road.
Wet and windy conditions made for a scrappy start, but Harry Newman slotted a ninth-minute penalty to open the scoring.
Wisbech continued to build phases and Newman doubled the lead with another successful kick, before the visitors hit back with an unconverted try from a powerful driving maul.
The hosts were back on the attack soon after and young Luke Green bundled his way over from a ruck, with support from Nick Steenkamp, for a try converted by Newman to make it 13-5.
And more dominant forward play from Wisbech set up a third penalty for Newman on the stroke of half time as the gap widened to double figures.
Shane Vickers intercepted a West Norfolk pass just outside his own 22 early in the second half, only to be stopped metres from the line.
But Wisbech forced a turnover and moved the ball right to Henrikas Stankus with an excellent pass and he had too much for the cover defence to dot down in the corner.
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Newman missed the conversion and West Norfolk scored a second try of their own against the run of play, from a Wisbech lineout, as their scrum-half intercepted a loose pass and sprinted 60 metres for an unconverted score.
Wisbech lost captain Solomon Prestige to the sin bin for a technical foul and the visitors cut the gap to 21-15 with their third unconverted try of the day.
Andy Claydon was then shown a yellow card to leave Wisbech down to 13 men, but they dug deep in the closing minutes, after Stankus also saw yellow, and valiant defence led by James Napier saw them hold on for a memorable win.
Green was named the Wisbech Round Table man of the match and director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal said: “It was without a doubt our toughest game this season, but we were under no illusions of the threat West Norfolk would bring.
“The four-week break certainly counted against us, but I’m so happy for the boys. They went out there and put our game on the park. We were under some heavy pressure. We held them out and then obviously we took our chances when they came up.”
Wisbech travel to Norfolk side Crusaders for their next fixture this weekend.