Second-half showing gives Wimbledon pride in defeat

Wimbledon came up against the immovable and unbeaten force of East Grinstead in London Division One South and, despite putting up a valiant show, could not prevent a 24-5 defeat.

Peter Scott scored the Dons’ only try of the day, but by the time he crossed the whitewash, the Dons were already 24-0 behind.

East Grinstead are now 10 points clear at the top, having won all 18 of their games so far this season.

Despite the result, the Dons, still fourth in the table, will take positives from the game after a good second half performance had East Grinstead on the back foot for long periods.

From the moment the Dons found themselves 24-0 behind, they produced the rugby that has made them such a force so often this season.

Flanker Steve May typified the effort, appearing everywhere both in support of attacks and in defence.

Chris Lewis and Danny Craven were not far behind, and the entire team was transformed.

Lock Gary Crowe won all Wimbledon’s line-outs to give some precious possession, while scrum half Charlie Morgan slowed much of East Grinstead’s scrum ball.

Number 10 Neil Hallett and centres Kua Palakua and Tommy Moore (on for the injured Neil Brown) joined the back row to prevent East Grinstead breaking through and the home team suddenly found themselves in a real battle.

On the half hour, prop Pete Wallace combined with Moore and Lewis to get into East Grinstead’s 22 and after minutes of ferocious rucking, the ball eventually found its way out to wing Scott, who fought his way over for a deserved try.

Next week Wimbledon host struggling Trojans.

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