Devizes 44 - 17 Wimborne
Wimborne RFC Devizes
Wimborne crash in opening league match and Steve King sidelined View match report
Wimborne crash in opening league match and
Steve King sidelined
DEVIZES 44 WIMBORNE 17
Wimborne kicked off the 2015/6 league campaign with a visit to the re vamped Chivers ground on
Saturday. Wimborne had been the last visitors here in the final match of the 2012/13 season when
Devizes secured the Southern Counties league title and have subsequently spent two years in
South West 2 East eventually being relegated back down last season.
On a dry but blustery afternoon and on a pristine playing surface far removed from that
experienced on that last visit Wimborne were a much changed side with only five players surviving
from the 2012/3 encounter.
The line up included three starting debutants Tom Chaffey at fly half ,Will Watson at hooker and
Justin Whale in the second row. Two further new boys were included on the bench prop Will
Cooper and utility player Dylan Case. Former colts James Williams and Jay Adams who both
represented the first team at the very back end of last season were also included with Ollie Hamer
,after a year out, and Jack Arnold, after missing the last two seasons, also back.
The well organised home team dominated the early exchanges utilising the elements and pinned
Wimborne deep in their own half. Wimborne defended with spirit but indiscretion around the
breakdown area led to a succession of penalties two of which were slotted over by Andy
Thompson the home team fly half. Wimborne’s resolute defence was eventually broken just short
of the twenty minutes mark when Devizes worked the blind side for a relatively straight forward
touchdown which was converted to propel Devizes into a 13-0 lead.
Wimborne were finding it very difficult to get out of their own half but eventually on their first
visit to the hosts twenty two were able to force a penalty which James Williams was able to
convert in the twenty third minute.
Any good work in clawing themselves into the game was lost though as halftime approached when
Josh Lewis the Devizes live wire flanker evaded some flimsy tackling to canter over. The easy
conversion stretched the home side’s lead out to 23 points to 3 at the break.
The first five minutes of the second half proved disastrous for Wimborne. Initially influential
flanker Ed Carter was sin binned two minutes in for persistent offences at the breakdown and only
a matter of a few minutes later talisman stand in captain Steve King came out of a defensive
collision in great distress with a suspected broken leg.
This was a huge setback for Wimborne as fellow back rower Declan Foley had already departed at
half time with a hamstring injury, so Wimborne were facing the remainder of the match with a
severely rearranged forward pack.
Two quick tries followed for Devizes who quickly put themselves out of sight during this phase of
the game establishing a 37 to 3 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for Wimborne with further injuries to Jamie Walton and Jack
Arnold meaning debuts for Will Cooper and Dylan Case and being forced to play the last quarter of
the match with only fourteen players.
To the teams’ credit, when they could have folded meekly in the face of the home side’s
onslaught, Wimborne showed tremendous spirit and rocked Devizes with two tries of their own.
Firstly after working their way into their opponents half, Ollie Hamer managed to find a gap
through from close range and then after a searing break out from his own twenty two by James
Williams, Wimborne put together their best passage of play of the whole match which eventually
resulted in an overlap being created and Tom Chaffey crossing on his debut. James Williams
converted scores both to bring respectability to the scoreboard which had looked highly unlikely
for most of the game.
Devizes managed to respond with one more well worked handling movement of their own to rack
up the 44 to 17 final score line.
This was a difficult start to the season for Wimborne against a quietly efficient Devizes side whose
two seasons playing at a higher level was evident in large phases of the match.
Nevertheless the new management team will have taken a lot of heart from the performance of
the team in the latter stages and the contributions of the five debutants although there may well
be a race against the clock to get one or two of the injured players fit in time for next week’s
opening home encounter with North Dorset.
Sadly Steve King will not be one of them. This is terribly bad luck for Steve who had finished off
last season playing a very prominent role in Dorset & Wilts’ successful county championship run
and having stood down as first team captain at the end of last season was looking forward to a
season without the shackles of captaincy. We wish him well with a speedy recovery.