LONDON LEAGUE 3NE Wisbech 22 Sudbury 10
Sudbury suffered their third defeat on the bounce in a dour,attritional and error-strewn encounter in the Fens on Saturday.
This was the sort of fixture Sudbury really needed to win as Wisbech are not among the more difficult challenges they face this season.
But Sudbury’s soaring early season form has deserted them and on Saturday they missed the chance to recover it.
Sudbury had early chances to get a result that might have put their season back on track as they pinned Wisbech deep in their own half in the opening 15 minutes.
But an early wrong decision and a desperately disappointing day with the boot for captain Tom Summers saw them fail to underline their initial superiority.
Wisbech were let off the hook and made the most of their escape.
With just 17 players available as injuries hurt the squad, Sudbury were forced to play people out of position, with the result that they struggled in both the scrum and lineout against a bigger and heavier pack.
After those opening 15 minutes, possession and territory swung very much in Wisbech’s favour, Sudbury’s propensity for giving the ball away making life easier than it should have been for their hosts.
Wisbech conceded four penalties in the opening 15 minutes as Sudbury started strongly.
The first was wasted when Sudbury kicked for touch instead of going for goal and Summers was off target with the next three, his customary metronomic consistency deserting him all day.
Poor tackling allowed Wisbech to take the lead after 25 minutes, Shane Vickers going over in the corner after a crossfield kick.
Sudbury hit back in the 32nd minute, moving the ball swiftly across the pitch from a penalty before Jon Coone shrugged off a couple of tackles to touch down.
But, two minutes later, Wisbech were back in front, their forwards driving for the line and Vickers going over on the blindside.
Steve Priest extended the lead five minutes into the second half after Wisbech had worked the ball across the field following a penalty.
Priest got his second in the 71st minute, again following a penalty, the first home try not scored out wide, Sam Anderson converting.
Sudbury cut the arrears in the 75th minute, their rolling maul setting up Paul Mather to go over in the corner.
And in the final minute they surged forward from their own half, but hopes of a losing bonus point vanished as the final pass was fumbled into touch.
* For a preview to Saturday’s visit of Canvey Island to Whittome Field, see our print edition.