Ton-up Dons Aided by Early Red Card to Opposition Fly Half

Rugby Result: Region 1 South Central Wimbledon 102 – 22 Banbury

Picture: Wimbledon RFC/Facebook

November 29, 2022

It seems unlikely that any club from this or comparable leagues has ever notched up more than 100 points in a league match or will do again, But then this was Wimbledon’s current 1st XV who did it by scoring no fewer than 16 really well executed tries. They might not have managed quite so many had Banbury’s No. 10 Triggs not been red-carded for an innocent but dangerous tackle on Dons’ fullback Duddell after 20 minutes. At that point, they had already scored 3 tries, two converted by fly-half Ed Morgan. The first was by Duddell out wide after a neat break by scrum half Owen Davies, the second by No.8 Mark Scott after a powerful drive by the forwards from a 5m lineout and the third by wing Brad Pinkham rounding off a lovely piece of back play set in motion by a charging run from prop Bradley Ugodulunwa.

In that time, Banbury had taken advantage of a string of penalties awarded to them by a simple 3 points from scrum half Phillips and a well-taken try by centre Richards following a 5m lineout. They might have scored again soon after but for 2 tackles within seconds of each other by flanker Connor Pearce making his first start for the team. Banbury did score again just before half time when their pack squeezed over from another 5m lineout for a converted try.

Against that Wimbledon had scored a further four tries before the interval, two converted by Morgan. Prop Tom Boot had got the first of them immediately after the sending off and centre Henry Peuble ran in the second from 50m after great support play created space for him. Davies got the third after prop Malek Toulzak shed tackles to make 25m and Pearce the fourth after finding himself in acres of space having backed up a fine backs’ movement.

The second half opened with a trademark try by hooker Harry Scoble, breaking off a driving maul from a 5m lineout and taking the score to 48-15. With flanker Max Freeman safely gathering every re-start and setting in motion the next Wimbledon attack, Scott’s second try very soon followed, after he’d sprinted in from halfway…and it then became a procession. Morgan left the defence for dead to score the next. Davies then got his second, and two minutes later the ever-threatening wing Ollie Kitto got his first. Captain Paul Hendry then soon joined the list of scorers.

Banbury’s pack briefly spoiled the party by driving over from a 5m penalty, the conversion bringing up their final tally. Pack leader Jack Cooke then deservedly got the next for Wimbledon before Morgan jinked through for his second, leaving replacement wing Alex Kerr to throw an outrageous dummy to bring up the closing score.

A comment was less than complimentary about Banbury’s tackling, but then they were facing the best back line in the league, not to mention one of, if not the best pack in the league – certainly in loose play.

Apologies to those players not mentioned in this report, it’s simply in the interest of brevity. Each one of this squad deserves more than just a mention for their part in an excellent team performance and they certainly include Jake Cleet and Zane Dallinger, both of whom made substantial contributions.

Unsurprisingly, by the end there were broad smiles on the faces of head coach Collin Osborne and his coaching team. Hopefully they’ll be smiling as broadly after next week’s away match at Brighton.

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