BRIDPORT 21 EAST DORSET 13
NEW Bridport skipper Dave Cutting led the hosts to back-to-back wins in Dorset & Wilts One South and in doing so avenged their heavy cup defeat to East Dorset a fortnight earlier.
Full-back Cutting took over the captaincy just one game into the season after Rob Sullivan had to step down due to work commitments.
But the change in leadership had no effect on the team at the weekend as the Blues took the four points and denied their opponents a losing bonus point too.
What made the victory even sweeter was that newly-promoted East Dorset had dumped Bridport out of the Dorset & Wilts Cup with an emphatic 45-5 thrashing a week before the new campaign.
But after opening with a win at Blandford, Bridport were determined not to let the same thing happen again.
A lively first half included unconverted tries for each side, Nathan Herbert for the hosts and Tom Clark for the visitors.
An evenly-matched 40 minutes ended badly for the Blues as East Dorset second row Tim Linford charged over in the corner for an unconverted try.
And with moments to go Bridport were caught offside in front of their posts and Mark Chiverton slotted the penalty to give the away side a 13-5 lead.
Bridport had a stuttering start to the second half with mishandling at crucial moments.
However, Rory Greening settled the side with a penalty to make it 13-8 and the tempo of the game picked up again after both sides’ kickers missed with shots at goal.
With the Blues camped in the East Dorset half Greening found his range with a penalty to take his side to within two points with 10 minutes left.
East Dorset made a rare incursion into the Bridport half but when a pass went to ground Cutting got to the ball first and kicked ahead. Herbert chased the ball to the line and was able to flick it up to Greening to score between the posts.
He converted his own try and added another penalty and despite a fierce final few minutes from the visitors, Bridport ran out 21-13 winners.
Cutting was very pleased with the performance, saying: “Ayor-inde Fraser led the pack well and Mike Pibworth soared in the lineout throughout the game.
“Tim Edwards played with his usual vigorous enthusiasm and managed to avoid a yellow card. And it was good to see his brother back in Bridport colours after his world travels.”
Meanwhile, Grant Connelly has moved from the seconds to become first-team manager, replacing Arthur Barclay who has also had to step aside because of work, while Jason Blackmore will take Connelly’s old role as well as being the club’s fixture secretary.
Bridport Seconds were unable to raise a team for their match at Weymouth Thirds in Dorset & Wilts Four.
They are due to host Swanage & Wareham on Saturday with the firsts at Westbury (both 3pm).
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