By Len Clarke



A SPIRITED Weymouth & Portland side were seen off by Swanage & Wareham Seconds in their first Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South game of the season, losing 20-13.

Norton Rogers was the star for the visitors, crossing over for two scores, but they were unable to recover from a Swans lead that stretched to 17-5 at one stage.

After losing 23 players in the close season, having several players unavailable for the match and then losing skipper Dan Bowditch in a training session the omens were not good for the away side.

However, despite almost constant pressure from the hosts in the first half the deficit was only three points thanks to an outstanding defensive performance from all the Weymouth players.

At the start of the second half it was Weymouth who scored the first try despite having had a player in the sin bin for 10 minutes.

The pack won a quick ball which was passed sweetly along the line to right wing Norton Rogers who went around his opposite number and the full back to score in the corner.

Unfortunately the lead of five points to three was short lived and after more intense pressure from the home side they were able to retake the lead with a converted try. This was repeated shortly after the restart to make the score 17-5.

The try of the match was yet to be scored until Rogers got his hands on the ball deep in the Weymouth 22. First he came inside the opposition, then he went outside, he went to the left, he went to the right and finally he was over the whitewash for an unconverted try to reduce the gap to 17-10.

From there it was very much game on with Weymouth finishing the stronger of the two teams, but the only further scores were a penalty to each side – stand-in skipper Alex Thoms getting on the scoreboard for Weymouth.

Weymouth’s captain, confined to a spectator’s role on the day through injury, commended his team for their grit and determination and some storming runs with ball in hand from second row Ben Billington.

But man-of-the-match for Weymouth was awarded to full back Lewis Richards who never missed a tackle and made several counter attacks deep into the opposition half.