RUGBY: Dorchester looking for festive cheer at Frome

Dorset Echo: MR VERSATILE: Jonny Bowden is set to move to scrum-half MR VERSATILE: Jonny Bowden is set to move to scrum-half

MARTYN Peel takes his Dorchester side to Frome tomorrow (2.15pm) knowing the match represents a golden opportunity for a much-needed victory in Southern Counties South.

A win for the county town side would break a nightmare run of seven straight defeats and, in all probability, take them above Frome in the standings.

Like Dorchester, Frome are also struggling to find their form this season, which has surprised head coach Peel.

“For any regular followers of Southern Counties South, the league table looks like it’s been shaken-up,” he said. “It reflects how competitive the league is this year.

“Frome traditionally have a big pack and tend to play a physical brand of rugby, so it is strange not seeing them towards the top.

“I only know what has been happening in our camp and for all of our hard work and endeavour it continues to be the same message – when the team compete for the full 80 minutes they will win.

“We’re very close and the last two matches have shown that.

“The team have responded brilliantly to the challenge this week and we still believe that we can win this weekend.”

In a slight reshuffle from the side that lost to Trowbridge, Jonny Bowden, quickly establishing himself as Dorchester’s ‘Mr Versatile’, is likely to move in from the wing to scrum-half and lock Carl Mitchell is also expected to return to reinforce the pack.

There is a local derby at Coburg Road in Dorset & Wilts Two South where Dorchester Seconds host Puddletown (3pm).

And Dorchester team manager Tom Gower is set for a good old-fashioned December ding-dong.

He said: “Puddletown have a great following so there will be plenty of atmosphere and early festive cheer on the touchlines.

“We expect them to field a strong side so it only seems right that we follow suit.

“Our backs are really settled at the moment and this is starting to show as it is clear they are gelling together as their understanding improves.

“Second row James McQuillan had a stunning debut last week and he’ll be well supported again by the consistent Hugh Vivian.”

Joe Underhill comes in at tight-head prop and Dorchester welcome back Matt Bridges following his return from working abroad.

In the same division, Weymouth Seconds entertain Oakmeadians Seconds at Monmouth Avenue (3pm), looking to consolidate their position in the top three.

Weymouth Thirds host Dor-chester Thirds in a friendly (2.30pm).

A couple of in-form sides meet in Dorset & Wilts One South as Bridport, on the back of two wins, travel to North Dorset Seconds, who are going for a fourth straight success (2.15pm).

And there is a tough test for Bridport Seconds in Dorset & Wilts Four when they host leaders Bournemouth Fourths at the Brewery Field (2.30pm).

Swanage & Wareham also have a difficult job on their hands tomorrow with Southern Counties South pacesetters Wells in town (2.15pm).


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