Puddletown 34

East Dorset 5

EAST Dorset returned to Greenfields for this Dorset & Wilts 1st XV Plate semi-final tie intent on avenging last week’s 30-0 league whitewash to Puddletown, but found the high flying Villagers in no mood to surrender their eight game unbeaten run.

Puddletown took control of the midfield from the start, soaking up the visitors’ early pressure and repeatedly turning defence into attack.

The home side drew first blood after 15 minutes, with outside centre Matt Watts cutting through to score.

Captain Sam Bailey missed the conversion but made amends five minute later by adding three points from a penalty.

Pearce Mercer was next on the scoresheet as the big number eight simply shrugged off the tackles as he powered to the line before Bailey duly converted.

Just before half-time Watts turned provider, spinning out of a tackle to make a 40 metre break before spotting Ryan Snook running the outside line.

Snook took the short pass sprinted clear to dot down under the posts with Bailey adding the extras for a 22-0 half time lead.

Old rivals East Dorset stepped up a gear after the break and were undaunted by prop Jez Beale’s unconverted try adding to the home side’s tally.

The relentless pressure from East Dorset eventually breached an otherwise resolute defence to fashion a deserved score of their own.

The Villagers had the final say in a second half contested mainly in midfield with ten minutes to go as Mercer broke off the back of a set piece to score his second try of the game, while Bailey converted to take his tally with the boot to 9 points.

Puddletown will now face new boys Amesbury in the final of the competition on December 2 but return to league action with a visit to second placed Sherborne Seconds next Saturday.