Sat 14
1st XV
Old Wimbledonians
Rampant Counts end season in style

Rampant Counts end season in style

By Rob Murphy
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Old Walcountians ended the 2017-18 season on a high note with a 10-try demolition of Old Wimbledonians.

Old Walcountians began like a whirlwind running up a 15-point lead in the opening 10 minutes. Prop Jonny Evans scored the Counts’ opening try after just two minutes, and this was followed by a penalty from fly-half Seb Chmielinski in the sixth minute. Four minutes later, Walcountians added a second try when skipper Will Thornton started a counter-attack from the halfway mark and flanker Joe Henderson broke clear, only to be checked just short of the Dons’ line. From the ruck, hooker Rob Fleming picked up and drove over for a try converted by Seb Chmielinski.

During the first half, the Counts failed to capitalise on their advantage of possession and squandered a lot of possession by failure to pass the ball when colleagues were in a clear position. Another recurring failing was conceding penalties at rucks. On the plus side, the defensive tackling was excellent and Wimbledonians never looked like threatening Walcountians’ tryline.

It was not until the tenth minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half that Walcountians extended their lead and, once again, it was Jonny Evans who was on hand to finish a break down the right flank by touching down for his second try of the day.

Walcountians continued to misfire in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but all this changed after they hit Wimbledonians with two tries in as many minutes. The first came when flanker Joe Henderson popped up on the right wing to take a return pass from winger Marvin Fletcher-Rogers and touch down. Two minutes later, Walcountians struck again when a Wimbledonians clearance kick was charged down and winger Ed Bellringer snapped up the loose ball and sped away from the Dons’ defence to score a converted try.

Walcountians finally got their game plan together and were a transformed team, with the forwards winning ball at will and driving play forward and the backs functioning like a well-oiled machine which the visitors could not handle. 19 minutes into the second half, Will Thornton broke clear from a midfield position and left Dons defenders in his wake with a burst of pace that was more appropriate to a wing threequarter than a second row. The Dons had barely recovered when Walcountians ran in a further try within a minute as Seb Chmielinski backed up a break down the left flank and took the final pass to go over.

Walcountians were by now relentless and continued to subject the visitors to the rack, adding three more tries in the closing minutes. 25 minutes into the second half, Ed Bellringer scored his second try after breaking two attempted tackles. Three minutes later, the Counts clocked up their ninth try when No8 Joe McMullen punched a huge hole in the Wimbledonians defence and set up a ruck, from which the ball went through the hands of the backline to find winger Marvin Fletcher-Rogers who made no mistake in holding off what was left of the Dons’ cover to score his twelfth try of the season.

Four minutes form the end, scrum-half Tom McMullen got on the scoresheet after wrong-footing Wimbledonians’ defenders with a clever dummy and driving through an attempted tackle.

Walcountians finished the season in fifth place in Surrey League 1 and the knowledge that, had they not conceded points in the final minutes of matches earlier in the season, could have put them in line for possible promotion. They are still a relatively young side and the influx of new players from the successful Under-18 and Under-21 sides next season should stand them in good stead for the next season.

Old Walcountians:- Kennedy, Fletcher-Rogers, Bateman, Wrightson (H), Bellringer, Chmielinski, McMullen (T), Evans, Fleming, Claustres, Thornton, Bell, Wrightson (J), Henderson, McMullen (J).

Subs:- Anderson, Gill, Harris.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 14, Apr 2018




Surrey 1

League position

Old Walcountians
Old Wimbledonians