Wimbledon's Top Defence Helps Secure Win

Twickenham 13 v Wimbledon 23

London League 1 South

Match report for November 1

If it hadn’t been for Wimbledon’s excellent defence Twickenham would have inflicted on them only their second defeat of the season.

Despite conceding around 75% possession and territory - due largely to the home team’s tenacious and mobile pack -  and despite the unusual misfiring of Neil Hallett’s trusty boot, Wimbledon managed to reach half time 10-8 ahead, courtesy of two well taken tries by wing Max Adkins. The first came after a storming run from flanker Chris Lewis yielded a penalty on Twickenham’s 22, from which some superb passing, especially the last, by Hallett, put Adkins clear. His second resulted from fumbles in Twickenham’s back line, caused by Dons’ rush defence, when the stolen ball went quickly from no.10 Bryan Croke out to him on the half way line and he sprinted in.

But with the home pack now dominant it was just a matter of time before they produced a score…a well-controlled pushover try in the corner. Centre Dominic Brown was unable add the two points to the three he had scored five minutes into the game.

Wimbledon started the second half with more motivation after coaches Easter and Payne had presumably read the riot act, and early pressure brought a penalty in front of the posts, so at least Hallett didn’t go home empty-handed. Though still winning minimal ball Dons then created several scoring chances although, unlike last week, couldn’t convert them. Twickenham, however could, and still bossing the set scrum and play in general, eventually scored through wing Cowell Ross to level the scores at 13 apiece with ten minutes remaining.

That seemed to energise Wimbledon and, now winning some good ball for the first time, set up camp in the opposition 22. They soon won a penalty quickly taken by scrum half Charlie Morgan and shipped to wing Josh Charles who rarely misses from that range and Dons were ahead 18-13 with just minutes left. Into injury time Dons won another close range penalty and, ignoring the pleas from the touchline to take the three points, Morgan spotted a gap, took a quick tap and dived through it to seal the match and score the all-important 4-try bonus point. The win sees Wimbledon leapfrog Sidcup to head the league by that single point.

There’s a break in the league next week, then Dons resume on 15th at home against Gosport & Fareham.

November 5, 2014