The Senior Development Squad welcomed Windsor to the Hithercroft for their first game of 2022.
In selection, Wallingford were without their county contingent, as well as regular fly-half Allister Marsden, but were able to welcome back Abingdonians Matt Jarvis and Oscar I’Anson into the fold as Wallingford fielded a threadbare squad of 15.
Windsor, who compete in the league above, had some decent ball players as well as some big lumps in the pack, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock early on. With play moved right in the Windsor half, Jarvis found JJ Brown, who showed his trademark power to blast through several would-be tacklers before dotting down for his fourth try of the season. JJ missed the conversion.
The visitors came back strongly, and had their own sustained spell of pressure in the Wallingford half. They were camped on the Wallingford line for nearly 10 minutes, but after some heroic defence from the hosts, Windsor eventually broke through for a deserved converted score.
Wallingford got back into the game with some strong breaks in midfield, and despite wasting some good opportunities, they did get the next score, as Jarvis got the ball 10 meters out and showed good feet and strength to barge over for a try that Toby Bucknell converted.
A hard fought first half ended 12-7 to the hosts, before Windsor equalised with a try shortly after half time.
The rest of the half was keenly contested but there was a noticeable momentum shift towards the hosts as their backs, spearheaded by the marauding Brown began to break through almost at will at times.
But over-ambition in the form of forced offloads curtailed a number of good opportunities as the deadlock remained in place going into the last quarter.
Boosted the addition of Silas Allum and Jack Earl, fresh from their county game, Wallingford finally got the reward for a dominant second half, as Big Bob Moroney drove over from short range.
Continued Wallingford pressure resulted in a scrappy try for Felix Harris, as he was first to react to a loose ball on the Windsor try line after good pressure from Bucknell.
Despite some later pressure from Windsor, Wallingford closed the game out as they secured a fine 24-12 victory.
This was an impressive display from Wallingford against an able Windsor side, who really tested the hosts in the first half. But it was Wallingford’s superior fitness and unity that ultimately decided the fixture, as they really upped their game in the second half and the visitors began to fall away.
There were strong performances across the park, with Alfie Bumpass, Oscar I’Anson and Harvey Miller carrying plenty of ball, Felix Harris was tireless in defence in his first outing in the forwards whilst in the backs JJ Brown and Toby Bucknell regularly made good yards, but Man of the Match went Matt Jarvis, who, stepping in at 10 for his first start of the season, showed his class and composure in managing the backline and creating plenty of opportunities.
1.Yendole 2.Hall 3.Bumpass 4.Moroney 5.Miller (Allum) 6.Furlonger 7.Harris (c) 8.I’Anson 9.Perrott (Earl) 10.Jarvis 11.Lecky-Thompson 12.Brown 13.Newing 14.Bucknell 15.Cotton