THREE tries in a 10-minute spell at the start of the second half effectively decided the outcome of this Dorset & Wilts Two South encounter.

And, despite a typically battling performance from the Villagers, the home side went on to claim victory and so maintain their challenge for the league title.

Things started badly for the visitors as, virtually straight from the kick-off, the Oaks took the lead with an unconverted try out wide.

But to their credit, Puddletown hauled themselves into the game, competing well in midfield and preventing the home side from building up any real momentum.

A successful penalty kick midway through the half did increase the home advantage but in a good spell of Puddletown pressure, with the break approaching, skipper Tom Yeatman responded in kind before a strong run from winger Will Hiscock very nearly opened up the defence for what would have been an equalising score.

Into the second period and immediately Hiscock again nearly broke through down his wing, only to be tackled into touch.

But then disaster struck for the visitors as the free-scoring home backline suddenly found its form.

First the full-back, running from deep, managed to elude the whole of the defence to score, before minutes later missed tackles down each touchline gifted further tries in the corners.

Once again though, the Villagers steadied the ship and while the Oaks managed a further drive-over score, they kept the pressure on and in the final 10 minutes at least got some reward for their endeavours, as well as giving the scoreline some respectability.

Firstly, in what was probably their best move of the match, a cleanly won line-out gave the platform for some great movement right across the field, with the dummy runner creating space for full-back Dan Udell to take the final pass at speed and touch down in the corner.

The try remained unconverted but just minutes later, with the visitors maintaining their ascendancy, Josh Hiscock was first to react to an infringement just inside the home 22 and, taking a quick-tap penalty, the centre showed real tenacity as he broke through several tackles to score a fine individual try.

Yeatman added the extra two points to reduce the final deficit.

Dorset Piddle Brewery Man of the Match: Giles Trowbridge