London & SE Premier League. 21.9.19
Wimbledon 50 – 19 Sevenoaks
Wimbledon made it three try-bonus wins out of three with an emphatic 50-19 victory over Sevenoaks to go ahead of Rochford Hundred on points difference at the top of the league. Everyone in the team played their part, the forwards and the backs scoring four tries apiece, with no. 10 Steve Boatman converting five of them, most from close to touch. Apart from a few wrong options when a try looked certain it was a fine team performance.
Dons dominated the first 25 minutes, with control at the set scrum and the lineout, where hooker Dave Wayman’s throwing in, principally to flanker Kane Alboni, worked well. And a steal by Alboni lead to Dons’ first try through a strong driving maul and a touch down by prop Abu Abdul. The backs looked like scoring each time they got the ball and they soon did; a neat kick ahead by scrum-half Blane Wilson (one many throughout the game) was gathered by wing Alex Kane who outpaced the defence to score in the corner, and the conversion made it 14-0.
Then, in preventing a Sevenoaks try by knocking the ball dead the referee gave Abdul a yellow card and deemed it worthy of a penalty try.
But Wimbledon came straight back with another try by Kane, this time after a flowing backs move and a lovely final pass from flanker Kain Rix.. Five minutes later the score became 26-7 after a great run by wing Ollie Kitto from his own 22 put centre Paul Hendry in at the corner. It’s a long time since Wimbledon had such pace on both wings.
On the rare occasions Sevenoaks got possession Dons’ line speed was such that the visitors got nowhere, until that is, an interception put Sevenoaks clear and despite a desperate tackle by Kitto their wing Sam Porter was able to collect the loose ball and cross for a try, well converted by fly-half Tom Gray.
But Dons’ weren’t finished for the half and another powerful drive by the pack from a 5m lineout gave the ever-present lock Alex Campbell a try, Boatman’s conversion bringing up the half time score of 33-14.
They opened the second half just as brightly with Kane almost immediately getting his hat-trick after a penetrating 50m break by Hendry saw the ball pass through a dozen pairs of hands before ending in the winger’s.
When Dons’ pack splintered the opposition’s at the next scrum everyone expected a penalty, but instead, Sevenoaks grabbed the loose ball, spun it wide and wing Ben Martin ran in to bring the score to 38-19. But that was their last, despite a strong ten minute period when Dons’ defence again had to prove its worth.
Wimbledon wanted more though and should have had one from another excellent Hendry break, but instead had to wait until the last quarter when the pack drove over once more from a 5m lineout following a superb Boatman kick, amd Campbell emerged with his second try.
There was one more, just before full time, when the pack on its third attempt drove over again and this time it was prop Jordan Saunders who got the ball down, and Boatman’s conversion brought up the half century.
Next week Wimbledon travel to Tring, hoping to avenge their narrow defeat in the final game of last season.