12:58PM, Monday 13 September 2021
Wimbledon 29, Maidenhead 7
Maidenhead’s disappointing start to the season continued as they lost 29-7 to new London & South East Premier Division leaders Wimbledon on Saturday.
Maids were well beaten in on their first away trip of the season, conceding five tries in a largely one-sided contest, and the margin of victory might have been even greater had the Dons not wasted several other opportunities.
Maids are still searching for their first victory in their new league after losing 24-21 at home to North Walsham last weekend, a game they could have won comfortably but for some errors in defence and attack.
Wimbledon look to be one of the strongest sides in the league this season, having crushed Tring 50-22 in their opening match and it didn’t take them long to get off the mark on home turf. They signalled their intentions in the second minute, kicking for touch when they might have gone for three points from a penalty. Once the ball was recovered from the lineout the Wimbledon pack surged towards the tryline and Dave Wayman picked up to touch down.
Maids spent most of the first half on the back foot as the Dons dominated from the breakdown and at set pieces, however, they weren’t able to make the most of several good opportunities and Maids were able to create some threatening moments of their own without capitalising.
However, their good work at getting themselves back into the contest was undone in the final 10 minutes of the half. First, Wimbledon were able to turn the ball over on the half-way line and winger Ollie Kitto sprinted clear to dive over in the corner. The try went unconverted, but the Dons weren’t quite done yet, driving Maids back through a series of mauls and an infringement led to the referee awarding them a penalty try to make it 17-0 at the break.
If Maids were hoping halftime might interrupt Wimbledon’s focus and momentum, they were sadly mistaken. Pushed back by the Dons’ pack once again Maids’ defence was splintered by Owen Davies’ break, and he created the chance for Tom Milner to go over the try line. At this point it seemed likely Wimbledon would add to their advantage but surprisingly it was Maidenhead who scored next, Dave Cole barging his way over from close range for his second try of the season.
The conversion was slotted to make it 22-7, but Maids weren’t able to make any more inroads and the Dons grabbed a bonus point try before the end when full-back Charlie Maskrey had the wherewithal to flick a pass up for Milner to go over for his second try after being tackled two metres from the line.
The win lifted Wimbledon top of the table ahead of second placed Dorking, who Maidenhead hosts at Braywick Park on Saturday. Maids are 11th with only one point to their name after successive defeats.
Windsor 0, Bracknell 36
Windsor have also struggled for form in their opening matches, losing 36-0 to one of the early season favourites, Bracknell, at Home Park on Saturday.
Bracknell began the season with a thumping 63-17 win over Trowbridge to move top of the South West 1 East table and they picked up where they left off against Windsor.
Windsor lost their opening game 47-36 at Beaconsfield but their attacking play gave cause for encouragement as they ran in four tries to earn a losing bonus point.
Neither side were able to trouble the scorer in the first half as the match was played out largely between the teams’ 22s, however, Bracknell took some stopping after Chris Laidler bulldozed his way over the Windsor try line in the early stages of the second half. They scored their second from a catch and drive from a lineout close to the Windsor line, with Ben Bathurst the man to touch the ball down.
It was a tactic that Bracknell employed again three minutes later as Ben Yates dived over, and he was involved in the visitors’ fourth try, breaking the line only to be dragged down beneath the posts. Bracknell quickly recycled the ball and threw it to John Maybe to barge his way over for a bonus point score with only 12 minutes remaining.
By this stage Windsor looked a well-beaten side while Bracknell had rediscovered their rampant form of the previous week. Some swift hands created the chance for Bradley Walters to scamper in for a fifth try in the corner while Ruairi Henderson added a sixth from the final play of the game to cap a very pleasing second half display.
Windsor are back on the road again this Saturday against Buckingham, who are also yet to win this season.