Guernsey 24 v 28 Wimbledon
National League 3 London & South East
A hastily-put-together Wimbledon 2nd XV got the club’s trip to Guernsey off to a spectacular start with a 62-17 win over the hosts’ two’s, number 8 James Hunt scoring no fewer than five of his team’s 10 tries.
The Wimbledon 1st XV had a rather harder time of it in their National League 3 match against Guernsey, but after a hard-fought, end-to-end battle, emerged deserved 28-24 victors.
Despite conceding early penalties when ominously being driven off their own ball in the set scrum, it was Wimbledon who scored first, when centre Noah Jarvis sprinted in to touch down in the corner after crunching tackles midfield by Steve May and Aaron Hopkins had secured turnover ball.
But on 15 minutes and again on 25 penalties conceded at the scrum allowed Guernsey to drive over from the ensuing lineouts. The second was surprisingly given as a penalty try, converted by Thomas to make it 14-5. More surprising was the yellow card shown to captain Shawn Renwick for an unknown offence. Before half time though, strong forward play at the breakdown produced a penalty which no.10 Bryan Croke converted to reduce the deficit.
Five minutes into the second half he reduced it by another three pointsr, but soon after, Guernsey’s Sayer stretched it again to 19-11 with a good try out wide. But Dons hit back moments later with Hopkins scoring after a fine run by wing Adam Ike. Croke’s conversion cut the home team’s lead to a single point. His third soon after, following a lovely run by fullback Harvey Young, put Dons back in front.
Their lead soon increased to 26-19 after prop Roy Godfrey snapped up an interception, drew the fullback and gave a perfectly timed pass to wing Sam Codling who raced round to touch down under the posts, ensuring a successful Croke conversion.
Wimbledon gave away a further try nearing fulltime when caught napping by a surprise penalty award to Guernsey who broke quickly and put their winger, Walters over in the corner. But with the conversion missed the final blew and the Wimbledon celebrations began.
This was an excellent win, achieved by a great team effort in defence, at the breakdown, in the lineout and, as self-belief grew visibly, through the scrummaging too.