Wimbledon are too strong the men from Dover

A helping hand: Wimbledon forwards Pete Wallace, Jules Callanan and Joey Nanau prepare for a line out against Dover

A helping hand: Wimbledon forwards Pete Wallace, Jules Callanan and Joey Nanau prepare for a line out against Dover

First published in Sport

By Terry Bagworth

Wimbledon turned the record book on its head on Saturday by winning at Dover for the first time ever.

The 45-14 triumph lifted Wimbledon to third London Division One South, although they remain six points behind the leading pair of East Grinstead and Chichester.

The scoring started almost from the kick-off when the ball passed through the hands of Charlie Morgan to Pete Wallace and Neil Hallett for Dan Brown to score in the left corner. 

Hallett could not make the conversion this time but was to have a profitable afternoon later. 

The next try came after 12 minutes when Dave Charles run almost unchallenged from full-back before passing to Leon Driscoll, who moved the ball onto Myles Stringer to go over. 

This time Hallett’s conversion was better – it touched the left post before rebounding between them to give Wimbledon a 12-0 lead.

A kick from the centre of the pitch was kicked dead by Dover and from the resulting Wimbledon scrum, the hosts crumbled under the pressure to conceded a penalty which proved no problem for Hallett. 

This was followed a few minutes later by a forwards try for Rob Tait and another Hallett conversion.

An injury to Nathan Kemp after 30 minutes bought Dave Roberts on to the pitch and he had an impressive game for the remainder of the match. 

The half-time score of 22-0 was a fair reflection on the play. 

After 12 minutes of the second half, Dover lost possession 40m out and the ball passed through Hallett and Kua Palakua to Charles for another try, converted again by Hallett. 

Dover managed to exert some pressure but came away without scoring after losing possession near the line. 

Wimbledon’s clearance put pressure on the Dover line before replacement flanker Steve May went over out wide out on the left and a conversion from Hallett followed, Wimbledon were now 36-0 ahead.

Wimbledon were penalised for a hand in a ruck and the penalty led eventually to a converted try for Dover, scored by prop Aaron Cooper.

Dover got a second try on 76 minutes scored by centre Pat Sykes and converted by full-back Richard Eldridge. 

It proved of little benefit for Dover, as Wimbledon claimed three penalty tries to claim the comfortable, record-breaking win.

This weekend, Wimbledon host table-toppers East Grinstead (3pm kick-off).

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