Wimborne kick off the new campaign with an away win at Bicester.
A great start to the season.
Tries: R Maidment, H Bazalgette
Conversions: H Bazalgette(2)
Penalties: H Bazalgette(2)
Drop Goal: T Moysey
Wimborne made their long awaited return to South West One league rugby after seven years playing in Southern Counties with a season opening match at Bicester. The home team, like Wimborne, have also been promoted the previous season, courtesy of a play off victory against Trowbridge.
Following a promising pre season Wimborne travelled with a much changed team from the one that landed the Southern Counties title last season with no less than five debutants in the match day squad.
It was the home team that made the better start as it was evident that the new combinations in the Wimborne team were taking a little time to find their feet. Early Bicester pressure led to a converted try in just over five minutes which at that point did not auger well for Wimborne.
Wimborne gradually grew into the match and when it looked like the early Bicester sustained pressure might breech Wimborne’s defences again the visiting team were able to pin Bicester in their own third of the field for a good fifteen minutes and whilst at least two good try scoring opportunities were spurned what this period of play did do was to force Bicester into a period of concerted energy draining defensive work in the hot conditions.
Despite this it was Bicester who fashioned the next score when Wimborne’s defensive line was broken and with a 0-12 score line it looked as if the missed opportunities could be costly.
Wimborne had other ideas though and with ten minutes of the half remaining after forcing Bicester into conceding a penalty close to the Wimborne line the visitors moved the ball quickly, Tom Moysey burst up field and checked short of the Bicester line to allow the support to arrive with Ryan Maidment taking the try scoring pass. Debutant last season colt Harry Bazalgette entrusted with the placing kicking duties slotted the conversion.
Thereafter the teams were well balanced for the remainder of the half and after the nervy start Wimborne would have felt fairly pleased with a 7-12 half time score.
In the early exchanges of the second half it was Wimborne who gradually turned the screw against their opponents. They were astutely rotating the front row options with Davies and Galdes both making their debuts. Foley,King,Corbin and in particular Atkins were to the fore with carries into the home team’s territory as the Wimborne forwards gradually began to put the heavier Bicester forwards under pressure. A succession of penalties resulted and Bazalgette coolly slotted the first two of these to edge Wimborne into a lead by one point in the fifty fifth minute.
Wimborne now had their tails up and forced a third penalty which went narrowly wide. Then what might well have been a pivotal point in the match occurred when Wimborne captain Dec Foley was yellow carded to the bewilderment of the visiting support after another foray into Bicester territory.
Conversely it was Wimborne who scored a further ten unanswered points during this period. First Moysey chipped ahead adroitly and it was Bazalgette who took the kick on the full over the try line to touch down and promptly converted himself. Then on their very next visit to the Bicester third Moysey thumped over a thirty metre drop goal to extend the lead and to bring up twenty three points to which there had been no reply.
The Wimborne supporters may well have relaxed a little at his point but with a good fifteen minutes remaining Bicester had other ideas and with Moysey off with a dead leg and both George Carter and Lewis Mitchell e introduced to bring the contingent of debutants up to five they brought the Wimborne defence under incessant pressure. With just over five minutes of normal time remaining they did score their third try to reduce the deficit to six points. Thereafter the final minutes and a significant period of added time saw them battering at the Wimborne defence which held firm to the end to record a hard fought victory for Wimborne.
Next Saturday (9th Sept), Wimborne start their home campaign against Dorset &Wilts opposition with the visit of Chippenham, the first league meeting between the sides for a number of years.
15 Paul Roberts 14 Jordy Brown 13 Joe Bartlett 12 Harry Bazalgette 11 Mitch Stainer
10 Tom Moysey 9 Ryan Maidment 8 Steve King 7 Nathan Warren 6 Miles Corbin
5 Declan Foley (cpt) 4 Darren Degeura 3 Terence Galdes 2 Marcus Atkins 1 Ben Davies
Replacements: Michael Pride George Carter Lewis Mitchell
Coaching & Management : Giles Hewson Matt Lishman Dave Oddie Dan Draper Chris Leaton