RUGBY: Safety is paramount for Bridport

Dorset Echo: TOOK OVER THE CAPTAINCY: Dave Cutting, centre TOOK OVER THE CAPTAINCY: Dave Cutting, centre

AN INTERIM captain, no coach and a five-point penalty for a failed fixture at the end of the previous campaign made Bridport’s start to the new season last September an inauspicious one.

With long-term first XV team manager Arthur Barclay departing due to work commitments and the Blues exiting the County Cup in the first round, things didn’t seem to be getting much better.

However, Dave Cutting took on the captaincy, Grant Connelly became team manager and ex-England international Krissie Washington was installed as the new head coach.

Several Colts moved up to senior level, and have been outstanding since, and five wins and seven losses sees Bridport currently sitting third bottom in Dorset & Wilts One South.

Of Bridport’s 10 remaining league matches, seven are on home soil and, with experienced coach Roger Clark now on board, there is hope the team can pull away from the lower reaches of the division.

“Staying in this league is a must and Bridport will do it,” said club spokesman John McHugh, who confirmed there will be an end-of-season tour to the Isle of Wight.

“The second XV had a similarly wobbly start to the season with two regrettable failed fixtures, which cost them 10 penalty points.

“Without this deduction they would be top of Dorset & Wilts Four.”

The seconds have six fixtures left with as many as five away from home.

Hard-working team manager Jason Blackmore is confident that the wheels are now firmly on and the team can anticipate a far more successful second half to their season.

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