Wimbledon ran out 26-19 winners over Dorking in the London & SE Premier League on Saturday.
It was always going to be a tight game against a Dorking side whose recent run of seven wins has lifted them into fourth place, one below the Dons.
The pattern was set by the first two scrums – one each to both teams – when the Dorking pack was driven back at speed several metres. Dons’ dominance at the set piece continued throughout the half, but it was a 30 minutes before their wealth of possession was reflected on the scoreboard when the referee had no option but to award a penalty try after several drives were halted – not always legally – by Dorking just short of the line.
With Steve Boatman continually putting the ball deep into Dorking’s 22, Dons had a couple more attempts to drive over but could find no way through.
Although still winning the battle up front it was Wimbledon who conceded the first try of the second half, when Dorking exploited a hastily re-organised Dons back line following an injury to wing Kieran Morris.
But Wimbledon’s pack came straight back with a great drive from a lineout 20m out and a touchdown by hooker Bradley Ugodulunwa, to make it 12-5.
Then they had a taste of their own medicine when they lost possession on their own 22 and after two attempts, Dorking’s lock was able to finish off a strong drive and power over with the conversion levelling the score.
Dorking scored another try and conversion but the Dons equalised with their first good attack by the backs, initiated by a nice break by flanker Kane Alboni, and centre Paul Hendry crossed in the corner, touching down beneath the posts for a simple Boatman conversion.
Wimbledon’s winning score rightly came from their pack. Jack Cooke caught cleanly at a 15m lineout and the entire pack drove the distance to the line for Rob Lowe to score. Boatman landed an excellent conversion from out wide.
The Dons travel to Brighton tomorrow.
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