Promotion hopes fade as Wyggs triumph despite gutsy Harborough performance
Market Harborough travelled to League Leaders Oadby Wyggs for a match that was key to the promotion hopes of both teams.
Market Harborough travelled to League Leaders Oadby Wyggs for a match that was key to the promotion hopes of both teams. The game started at a furious pace which no doubt contributed to the handling errors from both teams and it was from a knock on from Harborough after 5 minutes that Wyggs capitalised. They secured the loose ball and attacked first down the wing before coming in side to score a try that with the conversion put them 7-0 in the lead. Harborough regained their composure quickly and when Josh Purnell took a quick tap penalty they attacked down the left wing with the ball finding Ed Parker who touched down in the corner. Sadly the conversion was missed and worse still Parker had to leave the field once again with a Hamstring injury with the score 7-5. Shortly after with Harborough in the ascendancy they thought they had taken the lead as from quick line out ball to the backs saw Finlay Clarke cut through the middle to touch down under the posts. Unfortunately it was not to be as play was brought back for a penalty to Harborough as although the home team were adjudged to be offside the referee adjudged that Harborough had also infringed. This seemed to inspire Wyggs who drove upfield and increased their lead to 10-5 through a penalty. They then besieged the Harborough line but Harborough’s defence was solid and repelled attack after attack and there were no further scores before half time in what was proving to be an even contest.
The second half continued in the same vein with both sides looking capable of winning but it was Wyggs who were able to control their ball better as their big forwards provided a platform for their backs which Harborough could not match. The next score came however from a turnover in midfield as Wyggs secured possession and attacked down the left wing and just when it looked as though Harborough had defended their line successfully a sublime cross-kick found Wyggs with men over in midfield and they crossed the line for a second try that with the conversion gave them a 17-5 lead. Harborough continued to fight and as the clock ticked away Laurence Joel broke free, the attempted tackle was around his neck and although he broke free his momentum was slowed and he was forced into touch. Harborough expected to be given the penalty for the high tackle but it was not to be and when Wyggs secured their line out they raced up field and with the final play of the game they secured their 3rd try to run out winners 23-5 and although the win was deserved the score did not reflect the closeness of the game. So for this season Harborough’s push for promotion is almost certainly over as although mathematically possible it would need some unrealistic results to go their way. The thoughts after the game from a very disappointed side was best summed up by comments from a senior player “it has been a pleasure to play in this team this season and although disappointed this is work in progress and greater success will come.”