A wombling Merry Christmas for the Counts
By Rob Murphy
Old Walcountians moved up to third place in Surrey League 1 after defeating strugglers Old Wimbledonians last Saturday.
Although the Counts were missing several first-choice players with Ross Norton, Marvin Fletcher-Rogers, Charlie Hardman, Dharshan Vadivelu and Seb Chmielinski all missing, they started the match confidently, with the pack taking control. After just five minutes, they were in front with a try from No8 Joe McMullen, which full-back Jacob Oldfield converted.
Walcountians’ forward efforts were relentless, as bulldozing runs by prop Jonny Evans, lock Will Thornton and No8 Joe McMullen drove play downfield, while flanker Luke Adams continued his impressive run of form by securing several turnovers. Fly-half Toby Bentley, who linked well with scrum-half Ben Charnock, was a constant threat with his elusive breaks, as was centre Harry Wrightson.
The Counts missed out on a scoring opportunity in the 22nd minute when winger Ed Bellringer failed to hold a pass from full-back Jacob Oldfield when clear but, four minutes later, they made amends when Luke Adams picked up the ball from a ruck close to the Wimbledonians line and drove over for a converted try.
A piece of individual flair by Harry Wrightson who swerved out of the reach of three attempted tackles brought Walcountians their third try in the 32nd minute and the fourth, three minutes later, was created by Toby Bentley’s cutting break and excellent support by Will Thornton to set up a ruck, from which the ball was thrown out to the threequarters who found flanker Joe Henderson in support to touch down.
The second half proved much tighter as Wimbledonians launched a determined rally and got a much greater share of possession. The Counts were however strong enough to keep them from crossing the tryline, but they were restricted to just one more try, in the fifth minute, when prop Remy Claustres secured a turnover and released Jacob Oldfield to outpace the Dons’ defence and touch down for a try he converted.
Next Saturday, Walcountians will face the toughest test of the season when they take on runaway leaders Reeds Weybridge. Kick-off at Clock House, Carshalton Road, Woodmansterne is at 2:15pm.
Old Walcountians:- Oldfield, Bellringer, Wrightson (H), McMullen (T), Stylianou, Bentley, Charnock, Evans, Fleming, Claustres, Thornton, Thomas, Henderson, Adams, McMullen (J).
Subs:- Abou-Zeid, Bateman, Wrightson (J).