Eight-try thumping has the Old Boys smiling, but Croydon grimacing

Wimbledon Guardian: On their way: Old Walcountians flanker Jack South opens the scoring against Croydon            Picture: Alun Stockton On their way: Old Walcountians flanker Jack South opens the scoring against Croydon Picture: Alun Stockton

Old Walcountians hauled themselves out of the Surrey Division One relegation places with an impressive eight-try 46-13 demolition of fellow strugglers Croydon at Kent Gate.

From the start, the Walcountians pack was in control of the game with props Pete and Steve Cowlin anchoring a powerful scrum, while lock Simon Fowler and flanker Jack South worked tirelessly in the loose.

Early on, Croydon’s committed defence proved stubborn and the home side benefited from a penalty count in their favour, the hosts opening the scoring with a penalty in the 17th minute from Guy Maynard.

Walcountians took only six minutes to respond. A tap penalty close to the Croydon line gave Jack South the opportunity to crash over and open the Old Boys’ account.

The visitors got a critical breakthrough as the game went into stoppage time in the first half, when hard tackling led to a breakdown of play near the halfway line.

From this, winger Tom Naylor pounced on the loose ball and broke clear of the Croydon defence to run in from 50 metres for a superb try.

The scoring was not finished, as Croydon banged over a second penalty of the half in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

The second half saw Walcountians’ hard work finally pay dividends as the Croydon defence tired, with fly-half Tom Diamond setting up the first of six second half tries.

Diamond jinked past the Croydon defence and found Simon Fowler in support, who put scrum-half Callum Stone away to touch down. 

Walcountians’ number eight Gerry Connor scored the second when he broke from a ruck in the Croydon 22 and drove through a cover tackle to touch down.

With the bonus point for scoring four tries in the bag, Walcountians further pressed home the advantage. 

Walcountians’ forwards continued to dominate, with the experienced Matt Houghton replacing hooker Remy Claustres who was on the wrong end of a high tackle.

Flanker Joe Henderson scored his first try for the club when the powerful Walcountians pack rolled a maul over the Croydon line.

Carelessness in possession by the visitors gave away the ball in midfield, with Croydon reducing their arrears with a breakaway try from Will Salvidge, but Walcountians responded with two more tries. 

Replacement scrum-half Will Diamond linked with Gerry Connor to feed Matt Witcomb, who rode an attempted tackle on the way to scoring the Old Boys’ seventh try of the day.

The final try came in stoppage time when centre Fred South forced an error by the Croydon defence on their own line and touched down the loose ball.

Walcountians face a stiff challenge next Saturday when they take on fifth-placed Kingston at Clock House, while Croydon travel to Old Freemens.

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