Walcountians started the season without the services of their inspirational skipper, Will Thornton, who is out until the New Year because of a shoulder injury. A further blow was the decision of their main playmaker, Matt Witcomb, to retire from the game due to a similar injury. Hooker Rob Fleming has taken over as interim captain.
The Counts showed impressive commitment and competed vigorously from the start, with prop Jonny Evans and debutant No 8 Ollie Dodwell constantly looking dangerous on the break. But the home side was much slicker and more organised in both attack and defence and took an early lead through a try from their right-winger. They extended their lead with a penalty from fly-half Murphy in the 15th minute and, although new boy Dodwell reduced the arrears with a penalty of his own nine minutes later, a second penalty from the boot of Murphy gave Wimbledonians a ten-point lead at half-time.
Walcountians made an aggressive start to the second half and narrowed the lead after five minutes when Ollie Dodwell smashed his way through two tackles for a try after running onto ball released from a ruck on the Wimbledonians line. But despite winning a good share of possession and some inventive running by fly-half Seb Chmielinski, the Walcountians backline, weakened by the departure of centre Harry Wrightson with a hamstring injury, was unable to break down a solid Wimbledonians defence. A further penalty from the boot of Murphy in the 18th minute extended their lead to six points and, as Walcountians tired in the closing stages of the match, ran in two converted tries to seal victory.
Next Saturday, Walcountians take on Law Society in their first home match. Kick-off at Clock House is at 3pm.
Old Walcountans:- Vadivelu, Fletcher-Rogers, Bateman, Wrightson, Bellringer, Chmielinski, McMullen, Evans, Fleming, Claustres, Thomas, Bell, Dunne, Henderson, Dodwell.
Subs:- Anderson, Housden, Kennedy.