WEYMOUTH & Portland crashed to a second heavy defeat in as many games as leaders North Dorset claimed a 50-5 win in their Tribute Dorset & Wilts One South clash.

Last week, the third-placed Seahorses were beaten 58-0 by title-chasing Blandford and their latest loss emphasises the gap they must bridge to the top two sides.

Storm Eunice had dropped significant rainfall on the Slaughtergate pitch, making for soft conditions underfoot, but the game was largely played in bright sunshine.

And with the Seahorses’ defence holding firm against the hosts’ variety in attack, there looked to be a big battle on the cards.

READ MORE: Weymouth & Portland 0-58 Blandford - match report

However, North Dorset’s pressure finally told when Jamie Bettesworth charged over the line, Sam Jones converting.

Dave Stickland grabbed the hosts’ second from a rolling maul before Jake Cannings finished off a slick move for a 17-0 lead.

North Dorset were not done there and duly added a fourth try when Sam Trevis pierced the Seahorses’ defence for a converted score before half-time.

Tom Rose crossed for a fifth try and Adam Trevis ran in to match his brother, converted by Jones, as Weymouth & Portland trailed 36-0.

Rich Bament’s men did have chances to score and were closing in on their first try only for debutant Ben Wynne to intercept and run the length of the pitch to notch a converted try.

Weymouth & Portland dusted themselves down and a quickly-taken line-out helped them register a try of their own, fly-half Ryan Lewendon assisting Scott Greaney for 43-5.

But North Dorset had the final say when Tom Spinney dismissed the covering defence to score under the posts, Jones kicking the extras to complete the scoring.

Both teams ended the game with 14 men after a North Dorset played was sent off for a flailing arm on Andy Bowditch, who was then giving his marching orders for dissent.

Speaking to Echosport, Seahorses’ coach Bament said: “I don’t think we were as physical as what we can be.

“Whether it took it out of some of the guys against Blandford, I don’t know. Blandford were really physical but it was a soft underbelly for us on Saturday.

“We didn’t play our plays again until we threw caution to the wind.

“When we did, we looked good but we’ve got to start stringing a 70, 80-minute performance together instead of 10 to 15-minute patches and exert our game plan on a team.

“It’s 50 points again but it certainly wasn’t relentless defence. We had chances and didn’t take them through a combination of poorly executed plays or good defence.”

On the conditions caused by Storm Eunice, Bament added: “Yes, the wind affected it but it wasn’t too bad up there.

“There was no rain, so it was equal for both teams. It was just about who came up better in the conditions, not that they had a big effect on proceedings.

“We just didn’t play to our full potential. We’ve played the top two teams and it just shows the standard where we need to be to push on in this league.

“But we’re sitting third so it can’t be too bad a year so far.”

Weymouth & Portland next play at home to Swanage & Wareham Seconds on Saturday, March 5.