Dorset & Wilts Junior Vase Final


AMESBURY 31 (aet)

PUDDLETOWN came out victors in a classic cup final that will live long in the memory.

It was the Dorset side who drew first blood at Warminster with captain Sam Bailley kicking a penalty in the first couple of minutes.

The next half an hour or so, was pretty tough for the men in red, with the big physical Amesbury side playing a brand of rugby, more akin to the sevens’ circuit.

The Wiltshire side’s endeavour paid off scoring two tries out wide in quick succession, with one being converted to make the score 12-3.

Bailley added another penalty to bring Puddletown back within to six points.

Puddletown continued to dominate in the set-piece. From a line-out on the Amesbury 22m line, the ball was spun out to outside-centre Matt Watts, who spun out the opposition’s tackles and broke through. The ball was quickly recycled and found prop Harry Foot out on the wing, he neatly passed to winger Jack Langmead who went over in the corner for his first try of the day. Bailley narrowly missed the conversion.

This score seemed to boost the Villagers and just before the half-time break, Watts broke through again, this time finding prop Jez Beale who went over to score. Bailley converted making it 16-12 at the interval.

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with Puddletown being awarded a penalty for Amesbury not releasing in the tackle, Bailley slotted the kick to increase the lead to seven points.

Amesbury started their fightback and scored two quickfire tries.

The second came from a well-worked line-out and some poor Puddletown tackling, another of the big back row powered over to score, this time unconverted to give Amesbury a five-point lead.

Tim Yeatman was shown a yellow card for repeat offences at the breakdown, but within a minute or so, Amesbury were also down to 14 as their number seven was given a yellow card for a late tackle.

With time running out for Puddletown, the Wiltshire side were again penalised at the ruck, Baz Dovell took a quick tap penalty, Amesbury were caught off-guard and the ball was fed out to Langmead who went over for his second try in the corner to bring the scores level at 24-all.

Bailley stepped up for the last-gasp conversion attempt to win the game in normal time, but the pressure told and the kick fell short and wide. The referee blew for full time with honours even.

Into 10 minutes each way of extra time, the Villagers once again took advantage of Amesbury indiscipline, with Bailley successfully kicking a penalty to take the lead.

Puddletown were now playing to their strengths, Joe Malpas doing some sterling work at the breakdown and winning turnover ball.

Into the second half of extra time, the Dorset side’s pack once again showed their dominance and teamwork, driving a maul through midfield.

The ball once again was spun out to Langmead who went over in the corner for his third try of the game. However, as he went over he was hit hard and would play no further part in the game.

Bailley missed the conversion, but the gap was now eight points.

With the light failing, Puddletown should have kept the ball tight and seen the game out, but with the clock running out, a loose pass was intercepted on the Amesbury five-metre line by their live wire scrum-half, he ran the length of the pitch to score under the posts.

The conversion was successful, but the referee then blew his whistle for full time.

Puddletown coach Sam Cload said: ‘I’m very proud of the team, I hope that this win is a catalyst for the team to go on and achieve bigger things. It was a very physical performance against a very big and powerful side.”

He named three-try hero Jack Langmead as man of the match.