Wimbledon left it late but eventually overcame a stubborn host in Cobham to take an important 18-17 win in London Division One South.

Wimbledon soon got on top in the early exchanges but on 20 minutes, Cobham centre Billy Bates scored his first of two tries through strong running and exploiting a gap in Wimbledon’s defence. 

He repeated the format on 36 minutes, and this time the try was converted by Gravier for Cobham.

But with Cobham allowing Wimbledon back into the match with two first half penalties from Neil Hallett - the second coming from near the half way line - a half time score of 12-6 to the home team was probably fair.

Cobham extended their lead nine minutes into the second half to lead 17-6 through a try from Gravier.

Wimbledon’s forwards were getting the upper hand and this led to a push-over try from a five metre scrum for replacement number eight Danny Craven, while Cobham had a player absent serving a yellow card - Hallett was unable to make the conversion.

The introduction of the three Wimbledon replacements, all forwards, appeared to make the difference and the remainder of the match was dominated by Wimbledon.

On the left, wing Leon Driscoll was forced into touch near the line and another attack was only unsuccessful when the ball could not be grounded for a try.

Wimbledon also had another attack blunted when the referee got in the way five metres out as a try was on offer.

It was left to a superb catch of the ball off his toes by Hallett following a burst and feed from Julian Callanan and then Chris Lewis taking Hallett’s pass eventually led to Wimbledon’s match-winning try in the 76th minute.

There was still pressure for the conversion to turn a one point defeat into a one point victory.

Despite a final minute attack from Cobham a turnover allowed a kick to touch and victory was in the bag.

Credit should be given to Wimbledon’s two youngest players, Tommy Moore at scrum-half and Peter Scott on the right wing who both played well.

It was sad to see the final game, for the present, we hope, from Callanan captaining the team, who is moving abroad.

On an adjacent pitch, Cobham 2nd XV defeated Wimbledon 2nd XV 28-17.

The league now takes a break until January 5 when Wimbledon host Beckenham - 2pm kick-off.