DEPLETED Dorchester were sent to a 41-12 defeat at Walcot in the Tribute Southern Counties South.

Another frustrating day for Dorchester with late player withdrawals meant they had to travel to Bath with only 16 players, and no back replacement.

Although Dorchester were well beaten the scoreline flattered the hosts. Given first use of the slope Dorchester created a number of chances but were not clinical enough to convert any of the opportunities into points.

In contrast the hosts took their chances well scoring four tries, one of which was converted, to lead by 22 points at the break. The county town outfit looked somewhat disorganised, missed a number of tackles and squandered some opportunities.

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It looked like Dorchester were in for a long afternoon when Walcot crossed for two more tries early in the second period, but the visitors rallied to score two tries of their own.

Firstly, Brook Legg finished off a smart move in the left corner after a driving maul led by James Newsam made ground before offloading to Luke Robson who drove on refusing to go to ground and flinging the ball to Legg finish off.

The visiting pack showed some grit and dominance in a number of plays resulting in Dorchester being awarded a penalty try after Walcot were forced to stop a driving maul illegally.

Dorchester’s players did show great character at times instilling some pride back into the game. Performances from Kieran Fry, try-scorer Brook Legg and second row man Brad Mullins were highlights, however Walcot had the final say of the game scoring under the posts with a break out from their own 22.

Dorchester’s Gladiators welcomed Chard Thirds to Surcouf Park and what was a highly competitive game of rugby ensued.

Chard fielded a largely veteran side with Gladiators slightly edging it on the age front. Captain Tony O’Connell, whilst delighted with the win, stated the primary purpose of the game was to get players back to the game and that was achieved by fielding close to 30 players for Dorchester, many of whom had not returned to the game more than once since the Covid enforced lay-off.

All those who took part survived the game without injury save for the referee who pulled a hamstring with five minutes of the game left. However, both sides were delighted to adjourn to the clubhouse for a post-match business meeting and a well-deserved pint or two.

Anyone interested in returning to rugby is more than welcome to contact the captains and coaches via the club’s Facebook page and is guaranteed fun at whichever level they want to play at, from Southern Counties to friendlies.