Chobham 28 v Wimbledon 23
London League 1 South
Match report for February 21
This match between league leaders Wimbledon and second-placed Chobham certainly lived up to its billing as a potential nail-biter. Coming from 3-14 down at half time Wimbledon earned their way to a two point lead with five minutes remaining, only for Chobham to claim a 28-23 victory through a last minute pushover try, well converted by their no.10 Seers. It was only the home team’s second visit deep in to Dons’ territory throughout the half and Wimbledon will rue the soft try they conceded on the first visit.
Chobham deserved their first half lead, although Wimbledon should have prevented the only try of the half when a dropped Wimbledon pass was kicked ahead the length of the pitch from Dons’ 22 and Chobham lock Sammut was there to touch down, adding five points to the three kicked by Seers after Wimbledon had conceded a silly penalty fifteen minutes in. Ten minutes after the try he added three more. Much later Wimbledon at last won some good ball and captain Neil Hallett converted a penalty from wide out, only for Seers to cancel it out with his third on the stroke of half time.
Having come second best in the set scrum and lineouts in the first half, Wimbledon started the second looking a new team. With Rob Tait excelling in the lineout and the scrum now solid, most of the game was now played in Chobham’s half and the pressure on the home team yielded three penalties within fifteen minutes, all beautifully converted by Hallett. But then came the soft try; a palm down from a lineout 10m from Dons’ line bounced into the arms of Chobham’s no.8 Smith and he was in for the score. Seers’ conversion took his side back to 21-12 ahead.
But Hallett soon struck again to make it 21-15 and moving in to the last quarter a great break by stand-off Bryan Croke and a perfectly timed pass saw wing Pete Scott speed in for the best try of the match. Hallett’s excellent conversion put Wimbledon 23-21 ahead with just five minutes to go, but in the dying seconds – to the delight of the big home crowd – came that killer score for Chobham.
Although the home team took their chances better, Wimbledon could and should have won this game. But with the losing bonus point they still have a four point lead over Chobham and both their toughest games to come are at home, as they are next week against Twickenham, when a good win will set them back on course for the league title.