Sutton & Epsom 39 v Wimbledon 17
London League 1 South
Match report for November 23
When the home team's pack bulldozed Wimbledon off their own ball in the first scrum of the game it was clear that Dons were going to struggle up front. But few would have thought that by early in the second half they wouldn’t be in the game at all. Two penalty tries from driving mauls were evidence of the dominance of the Sutton forwards, and through the possession they won their backs had a field day – aided, it must be said, by probably more missed tackles by Wimbledon than in the entire season to date.
Although Sutton opened the scoring with a good individual try by centre Studley-Clarke after five minutes, Wimbledon held a 10-5 lead half way through the first period, courtesy of a neat try from captain Neil Hallett, plus his conversion and a well-struck penalty. But the first penalty try moments later, converted by Mumford, gave the lead straight back. Sutton increased it to 19-10 just before half time with another nice backs try from Ridgley, again converted.
The second converted penalty try stretched the lead further ten minutes after the re-start and although a try for Wimbledon by fullback James McCann, after a break by Neil Brown, and the conversion from Hallett reduced the deficit, it was only a temporary reprieve. Despite some heroic tackling by flanker Steve May, and half-backs Rhys Morgan and Bryan Croke trying to make the best of the little possession they got, it was one-way traffic from there on, with Sutton tries by Ghumra and Nicholls and a conversion plus a penalty for Mumford.
Apparently this was Sutton & Epsom’s best performance of the season by a long way, and it was certainly Wimbledon’s poorest. They now have two weeks to mull it over before the next league game at home to Brighton on 6th December.