RUGBY: Dorchester's revenge mission in Shield final

SHIELD FOCUS: Tom Gower

SHIELD FOCUS: Tom Gower

First published in Rugby Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

DORCHESTER have something of a score to settle with Royal Wootton Bassett tomorrow when the sides clash in the final of the Dorset & Wilts Seconds XV Shield at Trowbridge RFC (3pm).

The Wiltshire outfit got the better of Dorchester in last season’s final so revenge will be on the mind of captain Tom Evans and his troops.

Judging by their league rec-ords, Dorchester in Dorset & Wilts One South and their opponents in One North, the showpiece event looks like it could be an evenly-matched contest.

Evans’ men are fourth in their league on 59 points while Royal Wootton Bassett are fifth in theirs with just a point less – both go into the final on the back of victories too.

Skipper Evans starts in a familiar front row alongside hooker Simon Pengelly and tight-head prop Jamie Richie, and he can’t wait to get going tomorrow.

He said: “Our ambition this year was to finish in the top three of the league and to win this Shield competition.

“We already feel as though we’ve had a great year and we will put everything into winning tomorrow, especially as it’s against the same guys as last year.

“Selection for this was tough because of the new lads who have joined and impressed in the last couple of months, however, we are completely settled with those we’ve chosen to represent the squad overall.”

Team manager Tom Gower is also really looking forward to the occasion, adding: “Last Saturday was about getting some of our combinations right ahead of the Shield final.

“We’re really pleased with how our half-backs, Harry Smith and Daniel Cree, controlled the game and both had solid performances, individually and as a partnership.

“Harry picked up the man of the match award and we’ll want them to play the same way this week.

“The squad we’ve picked has served us brilliantly in getting the club to this final, now we just need to pick up one more win.”

Dorchester RFC are taking a coach for players and supporters to Trowbridge and will be looking forward to saying an official thank you to the host club for their support in dealing with first-teamer Chris Miners’ ankle injury two weeks ago.

Having been moved to Dorset County Hospital, Miners is still recovering following corrective surgery.

Dorchester (from): Evans, Pengelly, Richie, Broadbent, McQuillan, Gower, Sharpe, Tucker, Smith, Cree, Waddington, Harvey, Deakin, King, Read, Underhill, Skidmore, Grassby, Vivian, Simpson, Cheeseman.

Puddletown visit Poole in Dorset & Wilts Two South (3pm).

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