Harwich & Dovercourt lose out by a single point
Eastern Counties 2 - Harwich & Dovercourt 17 Wisbech 18
SECOND-PLACED Wisbech who had earlier in the season demolished a depleted Harwich squad on their own ground were saved from defeat in this high-octane game by the width of an upright.
Right from the off it looked that Wisbech were in for a shock
With half-back pairing Simon Keen and Kyle Hutchins in superb form for Harwich, the visitors were on the back foot from the start.
It took only four minutes for Harwich to score their first try after a great running move from captain Sean Mills and winger Nick Favelino ended in a lineout.
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From the set-piece the Harwich pack drove the visitors back, with Wisbech on the back foot Jason Hatcher peeled off the maul and powered his way over the line. With Sam Male converting Harwich were 7-0 up.
Harwich didn’t let their foot off the gas and won a penalty from the restart.
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The resulting lineout saw Hatcher once again drive over to score for his ninth try of the season. Male converted to put Harwich 14-0 up and looking for a win.
However, Wisbech were not to be outdone in this fast-paced, superbly-refereed contest.
Quickly reorganising the visitors came back at Harwich, dominating the scrum. After 20 minutes they got their reward when Harwich were pushed back in the scrum for Wisbech to score.
After this Wisbech started to dominate upfront and in the 23rd minute got their second try which was converted, making the score 14-12. Harwich knew they had a game on their hands but didn’t let their heads drop. Man-of-the-match, second row, Robert Edgar was making tackles all over the field.
Within a minute of Wisbech scoring Harwich were awarded a penalty which Male slammed against the upright.
The ball fell harmlessly for Wisbech to clear but just before half time Male slotted another penalty over to make the score 17-12.
In the second half Wisbech enjoyed the wind behind them. Time and again they tried to break the Harwich line but fierce tackling by players such as Simon Palmer kept them out.
After ten minutes Wisbech slotted over a penalty to bring the score back to 17-15. Harwich made their own forays into the Wisbech half but could not break them down.
Much of the last quarter of the game saw Harwich beating off Wisbech attacks but to their credit Harwich never wilted.
It wasn’t until the 70th minute that Wisbech finally scored form a penalty which put them ahead 18-17.
With the likes of Palmer and Francis still looking lively Harwich looked more than capable of stealing a late win and battled to the final whistle, but this wasn’t to be their day