Wimbledon look nailed on for promotion after 55-31 win over Bracknell

Wimbledon’s clear 55-31 home victory over a strong and committed Bracknell side put beyond doubt their promotion to National League 2 East next season.

The Dons only need to score one point from their final two Regional 1 South Central matches while third-placed Camberley require five-pointers from their final four matches – the last of which is against the South Londoners.

Even if the clubs go level on league points, Wimbledon have a points difference of 551 – miles ahead of second-placed Havant (272) and Camberley (296).

But coach Collin Osborne will not be best pleased with the way they went off the boil having been 41-5 ahead five minutes into the second half.

A touch of complacency perhaps? Although Wimbledon’s three yellow cards didn’t help as Bracknell were quick to exploit their extra man for 30 minutes, adding 26 more points before full time.

The game opened, as so often this season, with a Wimbledon try after five minutes.

A nice inside pass set wing Ollie Kitto off to score his first of three on the day, further stretching his lead as the league’s top try scorer.

Minutes later Zane Dallinger scored the Dons’ second after two misspasses let full-back Ally Duddell create the space for his number eight to charge over the goal-line, stand-off Ed Morgan adding the extras.

Soon though Bracknell got a penalty, kicked for a five-metre lineout from which they swung the ball wide then back again for their unmarked hooker Bradley Walters to score in the corner.

Then a great sequence of quick ruck ball was sent speedily out by scrum-half Rhys Morgan to any one of his pack lurking nearby – they barged into the opposition and made five or 10 metres every time. The sequence ended just short of Bracknell’s line and the pack powered over for flanker Connor Pearce to touch down. Morgan’s conversion made it 19-5.

Next a lovely run by Jake Farnworth led to Dallinger running in his second of the day. His pass to Rhys Morgan and on to Duddell then put Kitto clear to speed in for his second too. A great shove by the pack led to Dallinger touching down for his hat-trick just before the break.

A lovely kick from Ed Morgan in midfield sent speedster Kitto on his way to bring up the day’s second hat-trick. It was then that Dons lost the plot a bit. A strong run from Bracknell’s Ken Hodgson produced their second try, converted by Martin Radford, as was the next, scored by wing Mark Boarer. Then a quickly-taken Bracknell penalty caught Dons napping and Tom Scott’s try made it 41-24.

A lovely solo effort by Ed Morgan involving three dummy passes, a try and conversion then extended the Dons lead to 48-24. Wing Max Lufkin finished off a flowing backs move with a fine try, again converted by Morgan and it was 55-24.

Bracknell did not give up though and just before the whistle scored another good try by Hodgson and converted by Radford to wind up an intriguing game.

Wimbledon have a break next week before travelling away to Banbury.

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