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RUGBY: Self-control lets Dorchester down
DORCHESTER 18 NORTH DORSET 20
A LACK of composure at crucial moments almost certainly cost Dorchester victory in a closely-fought Southern Counties South contest.
Dorchester started well, pinning their opponents in their own half for long periods until quick thinking by the North Dorset scrum-half caught the hosts napping.
His quickly-taken free-kick started an attack which culminated in veteran hooker and former Dorchester star Rich Miller crossing for the opening score. His try was converted.
Despite the setback, Dorchester continued to dominate territorially, their pressure creating several penalty opportunities for Jamie Morgan.
Unfortunately, he was having trouble judging the tricky wind and could only convert one of the chances.
As half-time approached, the visitors came into the game more but solid Dorchester defence kept them at bay until the break.
The second half had barely started when North Dorset extended their lead to 12-3, the captain forcing his way over from close range.
A battle of attrition then ensued with neither side able to gain dominance.
With 20 minutes left Callum King latched on to a loose ball and his strong run was only halted in the shadow of North Dorset’s posts.
The visitors illegally prevented release and Morgan’s simple penalty closed the gap to just six points.
Dorchester now appeared to have the momentum and, another break down the left, set up a position on the visitors’ try line from where John Bowden wriggled over.
Morgan added the extras and Dorchester led for the first time at 13-12.
The lead was short-lived and the county town side conceded a penalty in front of their own posts when trying to be ambitious from their own 22.
North Dorset regained the lead and it looked as though they had wrapped up the game when a speculative kick down field and a lucky ricochet allowed the flanker to score their third try.
The conversion was missed but the visitors now led 20-13 with time running out.
Dorchester refused to lie down though, and a concerted attack saw Morgan show real pace to cross in the left-hand corner with only a desperate tap tackle preventing him from going round behind the posts.
The conversion from near the touchline drifted agonisingly wide and once again Dorchester had come up just short.
Dorchester face another difficult trip to Wimborne this week but can take heart from their improving performances over the last couple of weeks.
Dorchester: Hodgson, Chalker (D Gower 60), Cottell, L King, S Jones (Dixon 60), Miners, Hosford, Mitchell, Bowden, A Jones, Clark (Read 40), C King, Devine, Paton, Morgan.
Man of the Match: Lee King
Elsewhere in Southern Counties South, Weymouth were forced to forfeit their home game against Wimborne because they could not raise a side.
It is the second time this season the Monmouth Avenue outfit have had to cancel a fixture and another points deduction leaves them stranded on -10 at the bottom of the table.
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