Late surge by ring-rusty Counts not enough to stave off defeat
By Rob Murphy
Old Walcountians started the 2014-15 season on a slightly disappointing note as they fell to Old Wimbledonians.
Despite several weeks of intense training, Walcountians lacked match practice and they put in a rather disjointed performance in the first half. There were individually good performances; flankers Jack South and Tom Housden gave Wimbledonians’ half-backs a torrid afternoon, while prop Luke Raynor and No 8 Joe Henderson were a threat with the ball in hand, while fly-half Tom Harrison looked Walcountians’ best attacking threat behind the scrum. But failure to support in sufficient numbers allowed Wimbledonians to steal possession, while Walcountians’ backs dropped too many passes and squandered attacking opportunities as a result.
It took the visitors 37 minutes to open the scoring, but a tap penalty saw the Wimbledonians hooker spin out of a tackle and dive over the line in front of a static Walcountians defence. Encouraged by this breakthrough, Wimbledonians kept up the attacking momentum and saw their inside-centre go over for a try just before the break.
Things began to look grim for Walcountians as the visitors went 17-0 up in the opening minute of the second half when the Wimbledonians left-winger counter-attacked from halfway out after Walcountians lost possession. But Walcountians began to put successful moves together as the match progressed and fine work by the forwards put Wimbledonians on the back foot for much of the second half.
Walcountians finally got a reward for their hard work when, firstly, Joe Henderson, then lock Will Thornton forced their way through the Wimbledonians defence to score tries in the 15th and 23rd minutes. Tom Harrison’s conversion of Thornton’s try brought Walcountians to within five points of the visitors, but they were unable to close the gap in the final minutes.
Next Saturday, Walcountians have another friendly when they take on Old Paulines. Kick-off at Clock House is at 3pm.
Old Walcountians:- Harrison, Shaw, Ryan, Wright, Eglon, Chmielinski, Moorhead (S), Evans, Fleming, Raynor, Bell, Thornton, South, Housden, Henderson.
Subs (used):- Beales, Tutton, Bayles, Moorhead (C), Drinkwater, Simmonds, Anderson, Grehan, Carson, Cowlin, Pemberton, Houghton, Brown, Cook.