Peter Gavin previews Wimbledon v Worthing Raiders


Wimbledon RFC v Worthing Raiders

9th September 2017 Kick-off 3pm                                                              

Raiders travel up the road to visit league new-comers Wimbledon RFC (The Dons), who were promoted last season after winning the play-off fixture against our old friends Ding’s Crusaders from Bristol. Worthing have not played Wimbledon in a league fixture since 2003.

 Wimbledon RFC History & Background stuff.

The club was founded way back in 1865 with a Boxing Day fixture against Richmond. The club was one of the ‘19’ founders of the RFU that gathered at the ‘Pall Mall’ restaurant for the inaugural meeting in January 1871. The club captain Leonard Makin (an Old Rugbein and President of the RFU in 1874) was responsible for writing the first ‘laws’ of the game. The club was originally called Wimbledon Hornets, but the Hornets bit was dropped soon after foundation.

The club was originally based in Merton, played on Wimbledon Common and used the ‘Rose and Crown’ in Wimbledon Village for changing facilities and post match discussions. The club moved to Barham Road Wimbledon in 1987/8. Since the league system started The Dons have generally played at level 5 or 6, this season is their first adventure into level 4.

Wimbledon, like Worthing, is a proper ‘Community’ Rugby club with an emphasis on youth and junior and mini rugby. There is a strong link to Harlequins RFC with Joe Gray, Head Coach (Harlequins Hooker 138 apps) and Jordan Turner-Hall (Old Brightonian and former Harlequins centre 180 apps) assistant coach.

The club turn-out 3 or 4 senior teams along with the vital age-group rugby U21’s etc. Wimbledon Ladies play in South West 2.

Club Colours: Maroon shirts/blue sleeves and a blue stripe on the side. Navy shorts/stockings

There is no mention of a team mascot, although the Ladies use Alderney…a Womble.

Wimbledon v Worthing

Over the years before leagues the clubs must have met on many occasions, but the last encounter in league rugby was in season 2002/3 with Worthing having the edge 33-5 & 20-33. An older player recalls an occasion when Worthing 1st and 3rd XVs visited Wimbledon and for some reason the matches had to be played at a different location, although the players changed at the club house. The 3rd XVs had the usual invigorating encounter with the result rather irrelevant. The 1st XV match did not take place as the Worthing team could not find the new venue getting completely lost in by-ways of Wimbledon!!

Last season

A successful season that saw the side finish 2nd in National 3 (London & South East) 5 points behind Champions Tonbridge Juddians. They lost only 3 league encounters (TJs 12-25 & 19-17 and Westcombe Park 7-9). In the play-off match against the runners-up in South West, Ding’s Crusaders, they cruised to victory 55-5.

Team v Ding’s: Viane, Muir, Bayford, Tait, Flashman, Hunt, May, Godfrey:  Morgan, Croke, Charles, Lowe, Reville, Cheers. Bench: Brooks, Hore, Bennett.

Influential players: Messrs Godfrey (No8), Hunt (WF), Croke (FH), Muir (H) and Tait (L) were all mentioned as departees in the match report.

This season so far……P1L1…Wimbledon RFC 13 Barnstaple RFC 33

Early days, although many pundits thought that they would get the season off with a W against Barum, who had a slow start last season, especially on the road. It was not to be and judging from the match report on the home side web site, Barnstaple had the upper hand for most of the match, running out bonus point winners.

 The players

As usual a list of players is provided along with some detail as to their credentials. There are a few players who played in the pre-season match at Esher (66-22) included in the listing even though they may have missed the Barnstaple match.


Try and get along to this fixture to support the boys!!!

C’Mon Raiders.

Name N2 apps Joined Points Honours Position : Previous Club/s Apps                            *played v Raiders
Will Taylor 1 2017 Full Back:-
Nick Ogbonna 0/1R 2017 Wing: Amersham & Chiltern
Josh Charles 1 2014 Wing:-
Adam Ike 1 2015 Wing:-
Bam Fadahunsi 2017 Wing: Rutlishians
Dan Cheers 2015 Wing/Full Back:-
Matt Gilbert 1 2016 Centre:-
Leighton Bellamore 1 2017 Centre: Caerleon, Pontypool, Dragons, Richmond
Ben Hough 2017 USA Centre: Harrogate 14, Exmouth 7, Otley 34, Westcombe Park*23, Old Elthamians*40.
James Doe 1 2017 2P/ 1C England Students Fly Half: Exeter University, Havant, Old Elthamians
Rhys Morgan (vice-c) 1 2014 Scrum Half:-
Sam Waltier 0/1R 2017 England Students Scrum Half: Exeter University, Old Elthamians*7
George Beale 1 2016 LH Prop: Exeter University
Josh Bayford (c) 1 2015 England Students TH Prop: Durham University, Darlington MP 23
Bertie Haskins 0/1R 2017 England Counties Prop: Blackheath 39
Kareem Swandells 0/1R 2017 Prop: Harlequins Academy, Rutlishians
Bradley Ugodulunwa 1 2016 Hooker: Harlequins Academy, Leicester University
Ben Brooks 2015 Hooker/Prop:-
Dylan Flashman 2015 Lock: Plymouth Albion
Ben Turner 1 2017 Lock: Launceston75, Taunton*75, Bury St Edmunds* 15
Andy Hore 1 2017 Lock: London Irish A, Basingstoke
John Okafor 2017 Lock: St John Bosco School,  Wellington College, Harlequins Academy
Tom Edwards 2017 England Counties U20 BS Wing Forward: Sherborne RFC
Dave Thornton 1 2016 BS Wing Forward: Warlingham
Niall MacSweeny 0/1R 2017 OS Wing Forward:-
Rich Ridley 1 2016 1T OS Wing Forward: Chiswick
Ted Lee 2017 Wing Forward: Taunton* 27,  Dorking* 46,  Barnes*1
Chris York 1 2017 England U20 (5) No 8: Blackheath 6, Harlequins 35, Esher 20, Newcastle Falcons 39, Ealing 38.