DORCHESTER Rugby Club kicks off its 150th season celebrations with a friendly against near neighbours Weymouth & Portland at Surcouf Park today (2.30pm).

Although there are no league points to be won, rest assured both sides will want to take the win in the Ridgeway Rumble to lay down a marker for their respective league campaigns.

In pre-season action, Dorchester travelled to Tor RFC, based in Glastonbury, and came away with a hard-fought 32-24 win.

With several familiar faces back on the pitch and some new combinations in key positions being trialled, this was never going to be an easy game after such a long lay-off.

Dorchester’s scrum looked comfortably superior to their hosts and the pack contributed to the first score.

Team captain James Newsam came away with a hat-trick, Jamie Morgan grabbed two tries and Charlie Sharpe added a sixth try.

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As a big season approaches for the newly-promoted first team in Southern Counties South, complete with new player-coach Josh Ovey, the club itself celebrates its 150th anniversary.

It will hold a number of events culminating in a summer ball in May.

Club chairman Tony Foot, with over 500 appearances for the first team, is looking forward to steering the club to its ambitious goal of raising ‘£150,000 for 150 years for one club’.

Foot commented that the club is proud of its heritage and enabling the next generation of local players of all abilities to benefit from the club, would be great for the local community.

He added that as the town expands then facilities such as the clubhouse are vital to its residents to enjoy and make use of.

Having been used during the recent pandemic as a community test centre, the club is right at the heart of the local community and is a well-used local resource for many different functions, other sporting clubs and community associations as well its large junior section, men’s and ladies’ senior sections.

The club is looking to improve its facilities to enable larger groups to meet and provide better facilities for its players and all involved.

This includes new floodlights on the main pitch, this will also enable local academy games and more county games to be played at Surcouf Park.

Dorchester have invited numerous sponsors to the match as a gesture of thanks for their continued and valuable support through the pandemic.