Wimbledon 15 v Worthing 31
Worthing deserved their win, although the 16 point margin exaggerated the difference between the two sides, and with just three points difference at half time it had looked anyone’s game.
Wimbledon’s performance was a 100% improvement on last week’s, with their set scrum again having the upper hand and Worthing’s scrum half Walsh had to work hard behind his often retreating pack to give his backs so much ball. Don’s lineout was much improved too, although a bad loss 5m out denied them what could have been a crucial score late in the match.
It had started perfectly for Wimbledon with a strong forward drive from a lineout almost straight from Worthing’s kick-off finished off by a good try for flanker Dave Thornton, converted by James Doe. Worthing’s first try, 15 minutes later, was virtually a carbon copy of Wimbledon’s…a drive over from a lineout, touched down by hooker Gearing-Grief.
But Dons struck back soon after with another fine drive producing a second try for Thornton. Worthing’s McLean then narrowed the gap to 12-8 with a converted penalty and almost immediately, somewhat against the run of play, his flanker Dawe squeezed over from a ruck for Worthing’s second try, converted by McLean.
Then Dons went off the boil a bit in the second half, with three missed tackles letting in Worthing wing Hampson in for a soft try just three minutes in. Then frequent failure to complete tackles, so allowing Worthing’s players to keep going forward – especially their centre Richards – gave unnecessary momentum to the visitors. Until the final minutes though, Dons were never out of the game, launching several good attacks themselves but, as last week, the final pass too often went astray. A penalty conversion by McLean after an interruption for lightning took his team 15-26 ahead and they dominated possession for the ten minutes remaining, eventually breaking Don’s defence for wing Maslen to score his team’s fourth try.
Although disappointed by the result, Wimbledon will take a lot of good things from this game and it will clearly not be long before everything clicks into place for a full 80 minutes and they win their first match in this league. Next Saturday would be a good time for it to happen, away to Redruth in deepest Cornwall.