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Captain marvel Tom steers the Villagers
8:09am Tuesday 29th January 2013 in Rugby
Fordingbridge Seconds 8 Puddletown 10
PUDDLETOWN captain Tom Yeatman landed the match-winning conversion to give his side a first Dorset & Wilts Two South victory in three outings – and they did it playing one man short, writes Geoff Puryer.
After weeks of inactivity, both teams were keen to get back into league action, so much so that with the Fordingbridge pitch waterlogged, a last-minute switch saw the game played at Southampton RFC.
League form suggested that the Villagers should have been favourites but with a number of players unavailable and a couple of late withdrawals, the 14 men that took to the field looked to be in for a torrid time against a home side clearly enjoying a resurgence in player numbers.
They were quick to spot the shortfall and immediately put pressure on the Puddletown defence, but with a back line that kept its shape all match and a mobile pack working hard up front, the visitors more than held their own and took the lead after 15 minutes with a Yeatman penalty from in front of the posts.
This could have been increased when winger James House made it to the try line only to have the ball stolen as he tried to ground it. And just before the break it was the home side that eventually found the overlap for an unconverted try in the corner.
Into the second half and Fordingbridge, bringing on fresh legs, increased their lead to five points with a penalty.
And it looked for a while that the best the tiring visitors could hope for was to hang on for a losing bonus point.
Somehow though they managed to up the tempo and take the game to their opponents with Yeatman’s penalty attempt sliding just wide before the sheer pace of a fine passage of play sliced open the home defence and prop Matt Watts unselfishly found Jon Perrett in space.
The flanker made no mistake as he powered over to level the scores, then, not for the first time this season, skipper Yeatman took his team to victory, coolly dispatch- ing the conversion from a difficult angle.
Dorset Piddle Brewery Man of the Match: Jon Perrett