Hove 69 v Wimbledon RFC 1XV 8
Another trip to the coast, (the fifth and final one for this season), another heavy defeat, and another team fielded with enforced changes, this week eight changes from the previous week.
But despite the score line there were positives: Returning this week were Jonny Rawlinson, Graeme Symons and after a long absence through injury, Paul Shearer. Moreover, other absentees for the Hove game are likely to be back next week when it is hoped the team can be stronger again.
Our endeavours were not assisted by the Hove pitch: This time the pitch was even worse than the one provided by Dover the week before and it made for problems in the scrums and in the tackle area.
Wimbledon opened the scoring on Saturday (February 19) after eleven minutes with Hove offside in their threequarters. An attempted drop goal by Driscoll missed but the referee playing advantage awarded the penalty.
Driscoll made no mistake but Hove took the play back and took a lead two minutes later after their outside centre sold dummies to Wimbledon's defenders to run through and score under the posts.
The remainder of the half was all Hove through to a halftime score of 47 – 3. Clearly the halftime talk did some good as the second half of score of 22 – 5 showed that spirit remained in the Wimbledon team after the recent maulings of the past few weeks.
But the facts remains that no club at any level can sustain an injury or unavailable list of nearly 30 players and still field a competitive team in their league.
In the second half injury forced off scrum half Elliott Rowe and James Hayes moved back from the wing to fill the position.
Right at the end, Red King, playing as a replacement on the right wing squeezed past the defence for a worthy score. Driscoll’s conversion attempt was only just wide but at least it was Wimbledon who had the last word on this match.
On Saturday (February 26) as a change Wimbledon 1st XV are away, once again, this time to Cobham with a 2.30pm kick-off
February 25, 2011