DORCHESTER produced their best performance of the Tribute Southern Counties South league campaign so far, as they ran the unbeaten league leaders close with a late score ensuring they didn’t return home empty handed.

Playing with the stiff wind and the slope in the first half Dorchester probably didn’t make best use of the conditions, preferring to run rather than put boot to ball. Nevertheless, Dorchester took an early lead when skipper James Newsam steered a driving maul over the Devizes line. The reliable Jamie Morgan added the extras. The hosts hit back with an unconverted try in the left corner before Dorchester extended the lead, prop Chris Elliott proving unstoppable from close range. Once again Morgan converted. The hosts continued to look dangerous and a converted try just before the break restricted Dorchester’s half time lead to just two points.

With the elements now in their favour Devizes looked likely to run away the match and an early unconverted try only added to this feeling. Dorchester however, defending resolutely, kept their line intact for the remainder of the third quarter. At this point young fullback Brook Legg suffered a serious looking neck injury making a try saving tackle. This necessitated a change of pitch, a reorganization of the Dorchester defence and a trip to hospital for Brook. Dorchester continued to defy the odds and only conceded a penalty and a single unconverted try. As the match reached its conclusion Dorchester put together their best attack of the game, covering fifty metres and multiple phases and only ending when Luke Robson barreled over in the left corner, to secure a well-deserved bonus point.

Happily, Brook Legg was released from hospital later that evening with no serious injury.

The result leaves Dorchester in 6th place in the table with the next three games against 4th, 3rd and 5th respectively, giving the County Town outfit a real opportunity of a top three place to end the year on. Coach Josh Ovey described the weekends results for the senior teams as “Proper battles and dogfights” but was pleased with the positives to take away from the weekend and how the senior teams are all digging in to play for each other in a positive determined spirit.

Dorchesters A XV racked up a big result against a weakened Oakmeadians 2nd XV team at Surcouf Park 59-10, moving them into 2nd place in the Tribute Dorset & Wilts 2 South table, with a game in hand on the sides immediately above and below them.

Injured captain Matt Fry watched on from the touchline, ensuring the game was fairly contested throughout with Oaks travelling with the bare minimum to ensure the match went ahead. Kieran Fry picked up a hattrick of tries in the comprehensive win.

The weekend began on Friday evening with Dorchesters Gladiators 3rd XV playing a Matrix fixture against Bournemouth 4th XV picking up a bonus point win 35 – 17 leaving them 2nd in the table. Both teams had strong vocal support and cold weather affected the handling for both sides. Dorchester could potentially have gone over the 40-point mark had their scrum half not been confused by the pitch markings and grounded the ball over the dead ball line.

With a growing injury list across the senior sides, all team captains have thanked those players making themselves available and travelling to play. Bucking the local trend, Dorchester are still able to field three senior men’s sides showing the strength and depth at the club and the positive spirit across all teams shining through.