Having not met for six seasons in a league fixture, these two local rivals went head-to-head in Saturdays Tribute Southern Counties South match, and this meeting recalled some of the close battles in the past.

Swans started quickly and took the lead with an early penalty. The match then settled into a clash of two styles. The hosts using their forwards to make yards around the rucks. Dorchester trying to play a wider game, looking to use their pacey back three. A converted try extended Swans’ lead, but Dorchester hit back with a try by fullback Jack Hayward converted by Jamie Morgan. The half ended with Dorchester camped on the Swans’ line but unable to convert pressure into points.

The second half continued in much the same fashion with both sides playing at a frantic pace. An easy penalty for the hosts was followed by a second try but the simple conversion went wide. Trailing by eleven points Dorchester threw everything at Swans in an attempt to earn something from the match. A string of penalties eventually ended with a yellow card for the Swans No8. Deep into time added Jamie Morgan finally broke through the home defence and crossed wide on the left. His first conversion fell short, but the referee ordered a retake due to early charge. Morgan slotted the conversion at the second attempt.

The County Town side now sit in sixth place in the table, one point above Combe Down. Their next fixture is home to Swindon College Old Boys on January 8th, when head coach Josh Ovey will be hoping for a much-reduced injury list and the side to be well rested but come out of the blocks at speed to pick up the momentum again in the second half of this season’s campaign.

Post-match Ovey reflected on a much-improved performance from his team and a close fought game. He commented that the set piece was evenly matched in the forwards but that the side were still letting teams make too many yards and break the gain line with ease. He also mentioned the strong performance from his young players, Brook Legg, Freddie Marsden, and Jack Hayward, but was concerned they were under utilised in attack.

Dorchester’s A XV also travelled to Swanage & Wareham to take on Swans third string side and came away with a strong 81 – 19 victory.

With both the injured captain and vice-captain watching on with their team manager, Matt Fry, Jamie Jackson, and Dave Clark watched their side’s victory over a depleted but hard-working Swans side.

Fielding a near full strength side for the first time in a number of weeks, Deklyn Bane continued his fine form in the backs, stand in captain Rob Parker again led by example. The game was all square up front, but Dorchester’s backs dominated once the ball moved out wide, Scott Peach completing a fine hattrick.

The side now sit comfortably in second place in the league table, with their next match away on January 8th, against third placed Christchurch.