Wimbledon 59 v Sutton & Epsom 6
National League 3 South
Sutton & Epsom did not apparently expect to win this match, but nor would they have expected to be on the wrong end of a 59-6 hammering by a rampant Dons team.
During the first 20 minutes though, most of the play took place between the 22’s and all either side had to show was a penalty conversion each, the first by Sutton’s Steve Mumford and the Dons’ by Bryan Croke. But throughout that period it was already clear which was the better side; the Wimbledon front row had the edge in the set scrum where tight-head Josh Bayford was joined for the first time by Tom Boot at loose-head, and Bradley Ugodulunwa at hooker (whose throwing in was immaculate), the lineouts were dominated by Dylan Flashman and Gary Crowe, and the whole team formed an impenetrable defensive wall and an imperious attacking force.
The second 20 minutes yielded three fine tries by Wimbledon, each converted by Croke. The first was created by good rucking, a lovely break by scrum-half Rhys Morgan and the finishing speed of wing Josh Charles. Then a classy run from centre Jack Reville was taken on by fellow centre Aaron Lowe to score the second. Number three came a minute from half time when the pack, down to seven men after a yellow card for flanker Steve May (which had given Mumford a second three pointer), produced a great drive from 15m out and no.8 Roy Godfrey touched down.
He scored again eight minutes into the second half after another break by Morgan and a series of rucks in Sutton’s 22. Croke’s conversion took the score to 31-6. With the Dons’ pack denying Sutton any quick ball and their back’s line speed snuffing out any move by the opposition, the visitors did not look like scoring and it was only a matter of time before the floodgates opened. Five minutes in fact, before the pack again drove over and it was skipper Flashman’s turn to touch down. Strong runs from replacement wing Dan cheers and fullback Matt Gilbert set Reville on his way to score the next try, quickly followed by a second for Flashman following up a powerful run by Godfrey.
Reville and Lowe combined again for the latter to score the eighth try, with Croke’s immaculate goal kicking adding the final two points.
Sutton & Epsom may not have provided the strongest opposition, but it’s unlikely that any team in the league could have coped with this Wimbledon performance.
This win and the try bonus point – their 11th from 14 matches – takes Wimbledon to within just one point of leaders Tonbridge Juddians and seven clear of third-placed Westcombe Park. After the Christmas break they travel to fourth-placed Hertford, a further three points behind, for what should be an enthralling match.