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Dorchester in derby double
DORCHESTER face a second Dorset derby in only their second match of the new season as Wimborne pay a visit to Coburg Road tomorrow (3pm).
The county town outfit renewed their rivalry with newly-promoted Weymouth last Saturday and despite trailing at the break, Martin Oxland’s men hit back in the second half to run out 34-15 winners.
And they will be looking for a similar outcome in tomorrow’s Southern Counties South clash.
Head coach Oxland said: “We’ll be looking to take our second-half performance against Weymouth, where scoring 28 points to none secured us a winning bonus point, into tomorrow’s fixture.
“In training this week we have concentrated on the positives from last weekend and the players should feel confident going into the game.
“We do have some enforced changes from last week’s win though. However, it gives those coming in an opportunity to impress and give the coaching staff something to think about for future fixtures.”
Weymouth counterpart Paul Harding refused to be downbeat in the wake of last weekend’s loss and remains optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s match at Frome (3pm).
He said: “I wasn’t disappointed with the actual result as that didn’t matter to me, there were some parts of our performance that I was slightly disappointed with but there were others areas that I was really pleased with.
“Overall, Saturday showed that we are not miles away at this level but we do have another tough game in store tomorrow.
“Frome have a good, strong pack and that is where we will need to be competitive.”
After the postponement of last week’s curtain-raiser at Bournemouth Thirds, Bridport hope to get their Dorset & Wilts One South campaign up and running at home to Oakmeadians Seconds (3pm).
In Dorset & Wilts Two South, Puddletown start the new term at Greenfields with a visit from old rivals East Dorset (3pm).
Last season the Christchurch-based outfit not only finished one place ahead of the Villagers, but also narrowly won both games between the two sides, so skipper Tom Yeatman will be urging his squad to go all out and reverse that trend with an opening-day victory.
Winger Dan Udell is unavailable but Puddletown will nevertheless select from a strong pool of players, including influential number eight Paul Chidley who, after a year out through injury, has already demonstrated his return to fitness in the pre-season friendlies against Somerton and Lytchett Minster.
Elsewhere, Swanage & Wareham host Old Centralians in South West One East (3pm).
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