DEVIZES 15 Dorchester 5

A SLOPPY start ultimately led to Dorchester’s downfall at Devizes.

The county town side, not known for their fast starts, managed to concede eight points in the first three minutes of the match – a handicap that, in this closely fought contest between two well matched sides, proved to be the deciding factor.

The home side kicked off with the strong wind and slope in their favour and scored a try within 10 seconds, reacting quickest when Dorchester fumbled.

The conversion was missed but Dorchester’s restart went directly into touch. From the resulting scrum, Devizes worked their way into the visitors’ 22 and won a penalty, which the fly-half duly dispatched.

As usual, the county town outfit were dominant in the set-piece but the experienced home number eight managed to make the most of ball from a retreating scrum and neither side looked like troubling the scorers.

But 20 minutes in, on a rare visit to the Devizes 22, Dave Gower’s clever kick allowed James Baker to score in the left-hand corner.

Despite plenty of endeavour from both sides there was no fur- ther scoring before the half-time interval.

Now playing with the elements, the visitors spent the next 20 minutes on the attack but were unable to break down a resolute home defence.

And they paid the price when the home winger scored a breakaway try under the posts, which proved to be the only score of the half.

Dorchester did have a penalty opportunity with the last kick of the game, which would have earned them a losing bonus point, but the effort sailed wide and the away side returned home empty handed.

Dorchester: Warren, Chalker, Bamlet (Cottell 70), Makepeace, C Mitchell, Miners (J Mitchell 70), Newsam, Vivian, D Gower, Bament, Baker, Waddington, Harvey, Fry, Hunt (Newton 40).

Man of the Match: James Newsam