The Wild Geese played Wimbledon (away) on Saturday 30th January in National League 3 and won, as expected, by 41 points to 17, to retain the league leadership.
On a blustery day, Wimbledon took advantage of the wind in the first half. They scored a try after 3 minutes but, once Wimbledon had scored, the Wild Geese took control in most departments – particularly in the scrum – with Wimbledon going backwards in the set piece most of the time. Darren Livett at No.8 had a field day, scoring tries after 8, 16, and 20 minutes, one converted by Ollie Turner, to give the Wild Geese a 17-5 lead. Wimbledon hit back with a converted try after 25 minutes but the Wild Geese responded with a try from Ollie Turner after 32 minutes. Wimbledon kicked a penalty goal in first half injury time to make the interval score 17-22 to the Wild Geese.
[blockquote]Report from John S Hunter; Pictures © Nick Moore[/blockquote]
The half-time score did not fully reflect the dominant power of the Wild Geese and would have given Wimbledon some heart but, in the second half, the Wild Geese pressed home their attacking dominance, allied to resolute defending, blotting Wimbledon out completely. With the wind now in their favour, the Wild Geese were in cruise control, scoring firstly via a penalty try after 3 minutes, converted by Turner. Jerry Cronin added a try after 26 minutes and George Owen kept the backs involvement with a further try after 36 minutes, converted by Turner, to make the final score a comprehensive 41-17 win for the Wild Geese.
Some fine tries were scored. Apart from Livett’s hat-trick, honourable mention must be made of the try by tight-head Cronin, appearing on the wing and, with 20 metres to the line, no one was going to stop him! What made the day for the Wild Geese was Tonbridge Juddians defeat at East Grinstead, which means that the Wild Geese are now 8 points clear at the top of the league; 8 points that could be precious come the last 2 months of the season.
London Irish Wild Geese: Charlie Connor, Matt Cornish, Jerry Cronin; Michael Jones, Andy Evans;
Brent Jones, Scott Moore (Capt.), Darren Livett; Tom Barker, Jordan Gott; George Owen, Seb Rodwell, Ben Kitching, Tom Richard; Ollie Turner. Replacements: Eddie Fraher, Liam Martin, Pete Hodgkinson.