Man of the match May caps fine Wimbledon performance
Although Steve May took the prize, the entire Wimbledon team could have won the man of the match award after a scintilating 61-19 win over Gosport & Farnham in London Division One South.
Gosport, who won promotion to the division with Wimbledon last season, were rarely in the one-sided affair at Beverley Meads on Saturday.
Despite the absence of a number of regulars, the forwards did all that was required of them – and more – demonstrating Dons’ strength in depth this season.
They produced a stream of good ball from the set scrum and the line-outs, via the hands of messirs Julian Callanan and Gary Crowe, and dominated Gosport. Scrum half Charlie Morgan and his backs had a field day.
Although the Wimbledon defence was rock solid for most of the match, they did concede three tries, one by Gosport’s wing Gareth Jones after he evaded all tacklers during a superb 70m run, and the other two while they were reduced to 13 men for 10 minutes - an instinctive high tackle produced a yellow for fullback Dan Brown, and a daft intervention by wing Leon Driscoll brought his dismissal.
It was Driscoll who scored Dons’ first try after just five minutes, fed by Callanan after a lovely delayed pass by Neil Hallett.
Driscoll was involved in the second try soon after, along with wing Tommy Moore, when Morgan dived into the corner.
Then, from a 5m scrum, Morgan gave a quick pass to Danl Brown who ran in number three.
On the half-hour, it was centre Neil Brown’s turn to score after swooping on a Gosport fumble.
Two minutes later, Hallett jinked through the narrowest of gaps to score try number five, and his conversion made it a most impressive five out of five.
Then, from nowhere, Jones put the visitors on the scoreboard, Duncombe converted and the half ended 35-7.
It only took four minutes for try for number six, scored by Neil Brown following another classy break by Hallett, who added the conversion.
Then came the yellow cards and a pushover try by the men from the south coast.
But Dons came straight back when Hallett, then Morgan, gave centre Kua Palakua enough space to sprint over the line for the seventh try.
After Hallett missed the conversion, it was Gosport’s turn to bounce back with their third, from a 5m scrum, Duncombe’s two points proving to be his team’s last.
Back to full strength, Dons then produced probably the try of the match, touched down by Davies after at least a dozen phases of excellent play, and taking the score past the half century.
The ninth and final try went to the man of the match May, and Hallett’s eighth conversion rounded off a highly successful day for him and all his team-mates.
It will put Wimbledon in good heart before they face a tough test next week, away to unbeaten league leaders, Chichester.