Wimbledon RFC 1XV 23 v Aylesford 34
For the third week running Wimbledon found themselves up against a team with a hefty pack and a goalkicker who took almost every opportunity that came his way.
Aylesford's no.10 Dan Harvey missed only one kick all afternoon in the windy conditions on Saturday November 26.
His efforts were helped by Wimbledon's ability to give away penalties at crucial moments either in defence or attack and leading inevitably to a sin-binning for one of the home team near the end.
Wimbledon started steadily and after 5 minutes when a break from centre Louis Richards passed through scrum half Charlie Morgan's hands to first Nathan Kemp and then Brett Box, only desperate defence conceded the penalty and allowed Leon Driscoll his first attempt.
Nine minutes later quick ball from a maul gave Morgan, then Richards, to Kemp and a try, Driscoll again converted and Wimbledon were 10 – 0 ahead.
The first chance came to Aylesford when Driscoll failed to release in the tackle and Harvey put the ball into the corner.
Some indecision behind their line led to Wimbledon conceding a 5m scrum and then a penalty for Harvey, the visitors followed this up with a cross kick from their scrum half Craig Donovan and a try in the corner, no problem for Harvey into the wind. On 38 minutes, Aylesford’s loose head came round a maul to score and unusually the conversion was missed.
After the break, Aylesford extended their lead with their third try from their inside centre, but Wimbledon replied with a break for 40m from Chris Lewis, this time quick ball from Morgan and Kemp put the flanker away, even then he had to evade tackles before grounding the ball.
A good conversion followed and Wimbledon were back in it at 22 – 17. Then after 16 minutes an offside in front of the posts gifted another score to Driscoll and his score was immediately undone by Wimbledon holding on in the tackle, followed by two further penalties to stretch their lead, Driscoll missed one of his attempts off a post at the time. The match finished with strong Wimbledon scrummaging from a seven man pack.
Wimbledon must as a team address the penalty count and resultant yellow cards that seem to afflict them each week. A close win over Tottonians and two home defeats have resulted. Clearly the forwards are a powerful and well organised unit and the backs speedy in attack but as so many sides find, the tackle area is now one that referees pay particular attention to, Wimbledon seem to do themselves few if any favours in this area each week.
December 14, 2011