Wimbledon complete a league double over neighbours Sutton & Epsom
Wimbledon completed a league win double over old rivals Sutton & Epsom, despite having to forego the home draw because of their waterlogged pitch.
The 22-10 win lifted the Dons to fifth in London Division One South.
But it was hard work for the eventual winners in the first half - playing up Sutton’s slope into a stiff breeze it was exactly 22 minutes before Sutton lost possession and Dons crossed into their 22 for the first time.
They might have done it earlier had not the referee’s liberal use of the yellow card reduced them to 14 men for 20 minutes and 13 for a further five.
Sutton did not miss out on the ref's card, being reduced to 14 for a yellow.
The penalty at the first yellow gave Sutton a 5m lineout from which prop James Caddy piled over for a try.
Fight, fight, fight: Tempers boil over in the derby clash betwixt Sutton & Epsom and Wimbledon
Twenty minutes, half a dozen penalties and two yellows later, Sutton centre Shawn Renwick rounded off a good move with a try in the corner, although it looked to many as though Dons’ Jonny Rawlinson had tackled him into touch.
Then an inspired final few minutes of the half brought 13-strong Wimbledon right back in to the game.
Some powerful pick and drives by Rich Stewart, Joey Nanai and Jack Fishwick among others, ended with a searing run from wing Pete Scott giving Rawlinson the space to score a fine team try in the corner.
The second half belonged to Wimbledon, as their pack took charge of the set piece and the backs relished the new-found possession.
Centre Neil Hallett slotted three points after five minutes of forward pressure, followed moments later by the move of the match.
Good lineout ball from Rob Tait, spread wide by scrum half Max Adkins – who had an excellent 1st XV debut – and number10 Bryan Croke, quickly reached Scott on the wing.
He outpaced two men, chipped over a third and raced on to gather the ball and dive over in the corner. Hallet’s superb touchline conversion put Wimbledon 15-10 ahead.
Try: Chris Lewis races away to go over for Wimbledon
Despite creating, but then letting slip, several other scoring opportunities, Dons had not quite finished, and with 10 minutes remaining, Hallett made a lovely break on half way, drew the defence and put the supporting Chris Lewis clear to sprint 30m and touch down under the posts - Hallett’s conversion was a formality.
This weekend, Wimbledon go to second-placed Gravesend, while Sutton & Epsom face a mid-table battle at home to Havant.
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