A spirited performance and a win for Wimborne
Tries: M Tipping, R Maidment, P Roberts
Conversions: M Tipping(2)
Wimborne returned to Leigh Park for the first time in four weeks on Saturday when Oxford Harlequins currently in an impressive fourth place in the league were the visitors.
Wimborne were able to welcome back captain Declan Foley for the first time since mid December on a very damp afternoon and when despite the recent wet conditions the Leigh Road pitch held up well. In addition Mitch Stainer, Jack Mason, Jamie Walton and Marcus Atkins came in to the side from the previous week’s defeat at Old Patesians.
Oxford made all the early running in terms of possession and territory but Wimborne exhibited an impressive defence in the first ten minutes and then in the eleventh minute Atkins broke into the visitors twenty two and scrum half Tipping was on hand to dive over for a first senior team try which he duly converted himself.
Wimborne were able to extend the lead when Tipping coolly slotted over a penalty kick it in the nineteenth minute only for Oxford to immediately hit back with a try from a line out straight off the training ground.
Then with time running out in the first half Wimborne lost Mason to the sin bin for a ten minute spell and it looked as if the visitors would go into the break with a narrow lead when they scored a second try which was converted.
Back came WImborne though and well in to stoppage time forced a further penalty and Tipping again stepped up to the mark to edge Wimborne ahead 13-12 at half time.
The second half started well for Wimborne and raised one of the loudest cheers for a number of weeks when with just six minutes gone Stainer and Bartlett broke from deep in their own half and Maidment was on hand to take the final pass to win the race to touch down out wide.
Oxford showed the resolve that has kept them in the position in the top half of the league when striking back with a converted try to edge them into a one point lead.
The last quarter of the match was all Wimborne’s though. After ten minutes hold up following a nasty shoulder injury to an Oxford player and with their front five continuing to work tirelessly
Wimborne drove themselves down into Oxford territory. First Atkins again broke clear only to be hauled down a couple of metres short. Wimborne recycled quickly and got the ball wide where Roberts was on hand to collect the final pass and just made the line. Tipping converted and very shortly after banged over a further penalty goal which looked as if it would clinch victory.
Back came Oxford looking for at the very least a bonus point of their own but Wimborne continued to throw bodies into the defensive effort to deny the visitors any such consolation.
A thoroughly entertaining and spirited performance by the Wimborne team to keep them clear of the four teams below them in the league standings.
Next week Wimborne make the long journey to play Stratford on Avon to replay the match abandoned at the early stages back in November
15 Joe Bartlett 14 Mitch Stainer 13 Paul Roberts 12 Jack Mason 11 Lewis Mitchell
10 Ryan Maidment 9 Max Tipping 8 Declan Foley(capt) 7 Darren Degeura 6 Jamie Walton
5 Tom Starr 4 Tom Lofts 3 Terence Galdes 2 Marcus Atkins 1 Ben Davies
Replacements: Ashton Kerley,Nathan Warren, Sam Vivian
Coaching & Management : Giles Hewson, Matt Lishman, Dan Draper Chris Leaton , Charlie Morgan