Hard Fought Win for Dons After Long Trip to the Midlands

Rugby result: Papa John's Community Cup - Bridgnorth 21 - Wimbledon 28

Picture: Wimbledon RFC/Facebook

April 5, 2023

Wimbledon travelled on their longest away fixture for several years to Bridgnorth in Shropshire on the banks of the River Severn, a ground that has been flooded twice this season but nevertheless was in perfect condition even following recent weather.

They knew that this would be a very tough fixture given that the home team had finished second in the Midlands League in the regular season. The match was played in the new Papa John’s Community Cup, they found a side with a strong pack who had spells of domination during the match but also like the visitors made handling errors at crucial times with a slippery ball. The result of this was a larger than usual number of scrums where the home team enjoyed some supremacy. But at the same time Wimbledon’s taller pack enjoyed supremacy in the line-outs and the expert kicking of Wimbledon’s outside half Ed Morgan was able to keep Bridgnorth pinned in their own half for long periods at the expense of yielding the throw-in.

The first score of the match came after six minutes when right wing Ollie Kitto added to his season’s tally of tries following Wimbledon pressure, the ball was moved across the pitch for Kitto to outflank the defence and give Morgan a tricky conversion to attempt, he made no mistake with his first of four conversions, at the other end Bridgnorth’s fullback Will Beddell was also on target with his three conversions.

Wimbledon lost prop Bradley Ogodunuluwa and replacement Abu Abdul joined the match, after 18 minutes a Bridgnorth penalty was kicked to the corner and flanker Calum Bradbury was able to force his way over from the lineout for the first try and Beddell’s conversion. Both sides had attempts at tries held-up over the line and also a yellow card being awarded to Wimbledon scrum half Alex Kerr, despite this Bridgnorth were unable to benefit and the halftime score of 7 – 7 was a fair reflection on a hard fought match.

Within a minute of kick-off for the second half Kerr burst through a gap from a lineout and scored, this time under the posts, Morgan converted and Wimbledon took the lead, but immediately from the restart Bridgnorth forced a scrum in the Wimbledon 22 and later another at 5m, and from the resulting drive the powerful Bridgnorth loosehead and captain Jonah Boyce forced his way over and Beddell converted. At no time could either side gain dominance for more than a few minutes, the Bridgnorth forwards again attempted to pick-and-go near the line but were held-up with dogged defence.

At the other end of the pitch after 73 minutes a big scrum from Wimbledon on the home team’s 22 forced a penalty and the kick to the corner, after the lineout and maul, from a pile of bodies flanker Will Trimmer emerged with the ball and sustained a head knock in the process, Morgan’s conversion regained the lead but the home team were still competing hard and their replacement forward Russ Gauden, forced his way over and the conversion tied the scores, 21 – 21.

The final score sealed a victory, not for the first time flanker Max Freeman charged down a clearance kick and the deflection crossed the goal line, a very alert centre Jack Reville pounced on it and with the conversion from Morgan it sealed the victory 28 – 21. There was no time for Bridgnorth to attack and the final whistle went.

Next Saturday Wimbledon will be at home in the same competition to Syston, again from Midlands Regional League, kick off at 3.00pm.

Marc Bertrand

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact info@neighbournet.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.