TUNBRIDGE WELLS visited the London & South-East Premier League leaders determined to avoid a repeat of the 52-8 beating earlier in the season, and they put up an impressive display before slipping to a narrow defeat.
On a very cold, wet afternoon Wells kicked off with the strong wind at their backs and put pressure on Wimbledon with immediate effect.
Only solid defence stopped the visitors from scoring, with debutant James Catt making an impression with his strong running.
Against the run of play Wimbledon made their way downfield and on 12 minutes they scored after a series of pick-and-drives by the bulky pack.
Wells fought back with good phase play, direct running and fine handling given the conditions.
They were soon rewarded when George Montgomery dived over the line after a five-metre scrum to level the scores.
Just before half-time Wells were on the attack again but with an overlap looming, Ryan Taylor-Dennehy’s pass was intercepted by the winger.
He sprinted off but was caught on the Wells 22 by Taylor-Dennehy, who was adjudged to have seatbelt-tackled the player and was sent to the sinbin for 10 minutes.
Wimbledon kicked to the corner and from the ensuing lineout the home side drove over the Wells line to go in at the interval 10-5 ahead.
As conditions got worse after the break Wells went straight on the attack and pressurised Wimbledon throughout the second period.
Strong running by Richard Webster drove Wells forward and the visitors camped on the Wimbledon line three times but were unable to convert the points after either knocking on or sealing off the ball.
Given the conditions the standard of rugby from both sides was excellent and Wells were left feeling that once more they had let a match slip through their fingers.
Wells have a two-week break before returning to action at home to Shelford on January 5.