WRITTLE Wanderers are into the Essex Canterbury Jack League 1A play-offs after edging out Harwich & Dovercourt 26-22.

After a comprehensive victory against Witham, the Wanderers travelled to Harwich knowing a win would see the Wanderers qualify along with Stanford for the next part of the league play-offs.

Without a number of first-team players, Writtle started the game brilliantly and put Harwich under early pressure which saw them concede an early penalty, which Rob Ketley kicked.

Harwich levelled before the Wanderers scored the first try of the afternoon. Kieran Redfern and Sid Wright combined well for Rob Ketley to go over in the corner.

But two unanswered tries from the hosts put Harwich in the lead at the halfway point.

A fast start to the second half was needed and two quickfire penalties restored Writtle’s lead.

As the heat cranked up in the final 20 minutes, Writtle were awarded a penalty but chose to drive for the line and Redfern went over for the score.

Harwich came back strongly, their pack having the upper hand at the scrum, although Writtle covered the attacks well.

From one such attack 10 metres from Writtle’s line, Harwich lost the ball out the side of the ruck and Redfern pounced - with his lung-busting run the length of the pitch enough for Writtle’s third try.

Harwich got a third try of their own towards the end but it was too late to influence the final score as Writtle took the points.

And it was a result that delighted captain Andy May, with Writtle losing just once having lost two of their first four matches this season.

May said: “This day has been a long time coming for the club and it’s a great achievement. The boys’ spirit was brilliant and the lads coming into the squad this week shows the strength and depth we have.”

>Wanderers host Gillingham Anchorians in the last 16 of the Junior Vase on Saturday, the match beginning at 2pm.