Bradford on Avon 15 - 18 Wimborne
Last minute drop goal secures first league win of the season for Wimborne.
Wimborne secured their first league win of the season when coming from behind a drop goal from Tom Chaffey in the final minute of normal time got them over the finish line to the huge relief of the team and the small band of travelling supporters.
Wimborne started well and after a period of early pressure Williams grubbered through and Case on the wing played the conditions well and cleverly slid on to the ball and over the line for a try in the corner.
Within five minutes though Bradford reduced this early lead when venturing in to the Wimborne twenty two for the first time forced a penalty in front of the posts which was easily sent between the uprights.
The game then deteriorated in to twenty five minutes or so of stalemate largely played out around the middle of the pitch as neither side was able to gain any real dominance and the wet and windy conditions leading to a succession of errors and split ball from both teams.
Just when it seemed Wimborne had been able to weather all that the home team were able to produce lapses of concentration and ill discipline in the last eight minutes of the half saw a rapid change of fortunes.
Firstly the Bradford number eight was given far too much time to launch an attack from the rear of a scrum leading to a try for their centre then after what appeared to be a harsh penalty against Wimborne two instances of questioning the referees decision led to the loss of twenty metres. From the resultant kick to touch and line out Bradford engineered another score which converted saw Wimborne going into half time with a ten points deficit.
Whatever coach Matt Lishman said to the team during the break certainly had the desired effect because Wimborne dominated territory and it was difficult to remember when Bradford actually advanced into the twenty metres area in the second half.
That said, conditions continued to make matters difficult and scoring chances were few and far between with Wimborne guilty of running back into the congested areas far too frequently with inevitable loss of possession in contact and a succession of turnovers both ways.
A missed penalty kick in front of the posts midway through the half may have increased the nagging doubts whether this was indeed to be Wimborne’s day but to their credit they cranked up the pressure on the home side’s defence and eventually perseverance told when Jay Adams managed to wriggle over and ground the ball with a number of defenders in close proximity to record his first senior try of the season. Williams converted and suddenly Wimborne had their tails up.
Jay’s elder brother Tyler making a welcome return from injury came off the bench to solidify the scrum and with Sean Barker playing out of position on the flank putting in a useful shift in securing lose ball on the ground Bradford transgressed to allow Williams to hold his nerve and bang over a penalty from near to the ten metre line to tie the scores at 15-15
Then it was down to Chaffey and his Wilkinson moment. It flopped and flapped a bit on the way but was not to be denied.
A vital victory for Wimborne and a huge boost to morale which hopefully with other returning players can give them a springboard to move forward in to a very challenging month of fixtures in November.
1 J.Arnold 2C.McKenzie 3 P.Mills 4 P Watson(capt) 5 J.Walton 6 S.Barker7. E.Carter 8 D.Foley
9 A.Kerley10 J.Williams 11 J.Bartlett 12 O Hamer 13 J.Adams 14 J Bartlett 15 T. Chaffey
Replacements B Smith,J Young, T Adams