WEYMOUTH III 27 Dorchester III 72

A DEVASTATING second-half performance saw Dorchester Thirds run out comfortable victors in this friendly clash with rivals Weymouth.

Having been removed from the league structure last season for constantly failing to raise a side, it was perhaps ironic that the county town outfit managed to muster 24 players for this local derby at Monmouth Avenue.

It was Weymouth who made the brighter start though, taking advantage of handling errors and indiscipline by their visitors to go 10-0 up courtesy of a Nathan Allan penalty and a converted try from Ian Tibble.

Dorchester then started to cut out the errors, and full-back Will Holmes bounced off several tackles to stumble over the line.

The hosts came back strongly and only heroic efforts by Josh Foot prevented another home score.

Buoyed by that reprieve, scrum-half Harry Smith sprinted down the left wing and raced under the posts for the away side’s second score, which he duly converted for the first of nine successful attempts.

After Holmes’ second try, newcomer Richard Deakin gave the Gladiators a 26-10 advantage.

Dorchester’s large number of young replacements then made a huge difference in the second half.

Whenever the backs got the ball they looked fast and dangerous, and as long as they managed to keep it alive they started to run the home defenders ragged.

A spell of penalties allowed the visitors to get close enough to score from a tap penalty but it wasn’t all one-way traffic though, as the home side were also lifted by two excellent breakaway tries from impressive flanker Harry Charles.

Weymouth’s John Beare also crossed the whitewash with Tom Lane adding the extras However, tiring home defenders were unable to hold back the relentless pressure from Dorchester, conceding a hat-trick for Connor Skelland as well as scores for Dan Congo and Cameron Turner for a 72-27 scoreline.

The Gladiators’ next match is on Saturday, October 27 at home to Chard Thirds while Weymouth visit Blandford Seconds this Saturday in Dorset & Wilts Four.