IN A TYPICAL pre-Christmas game in which both sides were understrength, Dorchester did enough to earn another bonus point win to leave them on top of the table at the mid-season break.

The visitors kicked off down the slope but into the wind and within 30 seconds were in front.

Salisbury spilled the kick-off and Dorchester regained possession and scrum-half Dave Clark kicked into the corner where James Baker caught the ball and touched down.

The county town side continued to dominate in terms of possession and territory and, after missing a couple of good chances, centre Harry Charlier crossed for Dorchester’s second try and Baker added the extras.

The hosts may have been missing some key players but they still had a strong pack that were happy to take on their opponents at close quarters.

However, Dorchester’s defence remained solid and managed to cope with all that the home side threw at them.

It was the visitors who were to score next, another of Dorchester’s young stars, debutant Jack Ward outpacing the defence from the halfway line to score under the posts. Baker’s conversion giving the visitors a 19-point lead at the break.

The second half followed the pattern of the first with Salisbury trying to keep the ball with their big forwards and Dorchester playing a much more expansive game.

Surprisingly though, Dorchester’s fourth try came from their forwards, skipper Adam Makepeace forcing his way over from close range.

The result was no longer in doubt but Salisbury were in no mood to roll over and Dorchester had to wait until the final quarter for full-back Matt Read to add a fifth try.

The hosts got their deserved consolation score when a 12-man maul drove over the Dorchester line.

However, the visitors had the final say, Ward crossing for his second try of the afternoon. Baker converted all three of the second-half tries to complete a fairly comfortable win.

Sitting top of the table at Christmas was one of the targets set by the squad and head coach Ben Parker.

Following the game Parker said: “It’s great to see young talent coming through the club and making their mark in the first-team squad.”

Parker again reflected that it was good to get the full five points from the game but again it wasn’t his team’s finest game.

The Copper Street man of the match was Matt Read.

Dorchester’s seconds overcame Salisbury’s Thirds 24-10 to give the club two great wins to end the year.

Skipper Rob Parker sees his team move up the table after five successive wins and is calling for his side to keep building on the success and push for a top three league finish.

Dorchester: Underhill, Gale, Cottell, Makepeace, Mullins, J Harries, T Harries, Tucker, Clark, Peel; Baker, Wheeler, Charlier, Ward, Read. Adams, Scadden