Bottom-of-the-table Shelford may not have provided the toughest opposition, but that does not detract from an excellent Wimbledon performance.
All eight forwards – who had never played as a unit before – drove into the opposition and gained ground each time, before off-loading neatly to any one of several supporting players.
The backs looked like scoring almost every time they got the ball, and Shelford breached their defence just once – only for Dons wing Tom Milner to spoil their moment of glory with a well-anticipated interception and a sprint the length of the field to score his team’s 10th try with seven minutes remaining.
Wimbledon’s first try came 11 minutes in, when prop Jordan Saunders took a perfectly-timed pass from the base of a ruck by scrum-half Ed Askew to crash over the line.
Although play hardly left Shelford’s half, it was another 15 minutes before Saunders got his second try in identical circumstances, Freddie Hooper converting from out wide.
He converted his own try 10 minutes later - this time from the touch line – after a lovely run and pass by skipper Alex Campbell. Replacement wing Josh Charles’ well-taken try in the corner, stemming from a good break by hooker Dave Wayman, took the score to 24-0.
Dons squeezed in one more before half time. Mark Scott reached over the line from a ruck to touch down. Another fine conversion from Hooper took the half-time score to 31-0.
Bertie Haskins was on the spot to pick and dive over for try number six 12 minutes after the restart. Wing Phil Chesters showed his pace to run in number seven and Askew rounded off a lovely handling move by Scott and Haskins to claim number eight. Hooper’s conversion made it 48-0.
Saunders completed his hat-trick, this time with a bit of support from the back five to help him over, and make it 53-0.
Hooper converted Milner’s first try to make it 60-0, as well as Milner’s second following a lovely switch by Chesters to take it to 67-0.
Flanker Joe Dale made the final try look easy by claiming a Shelford lineout overthrow and barging aside two defenders to take the score past 70. Hooper did the necessary with his kick.
A very satisfactory day all round, marred only by injuries to number 10 James Moffat, prop Saunders and hooker Wayman – all of which will hopefully take less recovery time than those sustained last week by captain Josh Bayford, and back row Kane Alboni.
Dons travel to CS Stags with the aim of avenging the one-point defeat at their hands in September.
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.