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It was a fitting sign off for captain Jim McGiven as he ended his 20+ year playing career with Woking RFC. On a glorious day for running rugby, Woking looked dangerous early on; a break from Chris Wallis looked like the first try would come in the first few moments, however Seb Murphy in support couldn't quite get to the pass.
Woking started to rush things early on in an effort to apply their new passages of play. Mistakes began to creep in and Wandsworthians used the wind and the hill to put Woking under pressure. Several penalties for offside cost Woking and it was Wandsworthians who struck first, their No8 crossing from the back of a 5m scrum.
It was now down to 9-10 partnership Justin Dougherty & Callum Wogan to run the show. Woking camped in the Wandsworthians 22 and the pressure eventually paid off, Wogan spotting the gap and finding Dan Hills who crossed for the equalising try. Woking continued with the exciting flowing rugby and both Wogan and Phil West getting on the score sheet. Dougherty got 2 out of 3 to take the score to 19-5 at half time.
There were no nerves in the second half as Woking put Wandsworthians to the sword. After the forwards made good inroads within the Wandsworthians 22, it looked like Wogan would put in Steve Rhodes for a try. However, it was Alasdair Hamilton-Wilkes who was on the end of a short range pass and dotted down unopposed. From the kick off, Rhodes obliterated the opposition forwards and drew the full back to put in Phil West for his second. With the new pod system now firing on all cylinders, attacking options came from everywhere overwhelming a tired Dubs defence. This resulted in tries from Chris Wallis, Seb Murphy & further tries.from Phil West, Dan Hills and Callum Wogan.
The script must have been written to give Jim McGiven a perfect sign off as replacement scrum half Mark Sargeson made a break. Attacking options were lined up left and right but the ball span left to McGiven who rounded the defender to go under the posts. McGiven also slotted the conversion with the last kick of the game to make it 69 points to 5.
An emotional Jim McGiven commented "What a game to end the season, as well as my playing career. Woking RFC have given so much to me and i am proud to say i am part of this club. I look forward to being on the touchline next year and seeing the boys go from strength to strength. Today they showed they have the potential to do whatever they want in this division but it will take more hard work and a little bit of luck."
Scorers: West x3
Conv: Dougherty x6, McGiven
Woking: Simon Power, Alisdair Hamilton-Wilkes, Lee Abi Haydar, Matthew Brennan, Jon Hursthouse, Carwyn Roden, Steve Rhodes, Dan Hills, Justin Dougherty, Callum Wogan, Phil West, Richi Carter, Jim McGiven (c), Chris Wallis, Seb Murphy, Matt Shepherd, Ashley Morris, Mark Sargeson