DORCHESTER have been awarded their second walkover in succession after Tadley pulled out of their Southern Counties Vase final due to forward pack injuries.

After last weekend’s cancelled Ridgeway Rumble, Dorchester’s first team were ready for a different challenge in the form of Tadley who lie third in the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Premier. This was down to be a tough semi final in the Southern Counties Vase, having won the Dorset & Wilts Vase and progressing in the competition.

Tadley, however, have also fallen foul of injuries and have cancelled their trip to Coburg Road.

This means Dorchester progress through to the final against Slough, top of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon league, on February 24th. This will be played at a neutral venue yet to be decided.

Dorchester had assembled a strong squad for the game and had trained hard to be able to compete for the win.

Coach Ben Parker whilst naturally disappointed not to see his team in action, is now looking forward to the Southern Counties Vase final.

He said: “Training has again been good this week, with more and more competition for places. We were very aware of the standard of rugby Tadley play, and the strength of the league they are in. This would have been a tough game without a doubt and I told the players to go out and give their all.”

The break now gives influential centre Callum King the chance to recover from his concussion and other players with minor knocks some well earned rest.

With no senior games at the club this Saturday, the Six Nations will be shown on the big screen for all to enjoy. Dorchester rugby club president, Bob Andrews, who was sponsoring the semi-final game, joked. “I’ve gone from sponsoring a Dorchester game to sponsoring an England game, with an Irish game as a warm up!”

There will be rugby at Coburg Road on Sunday morning for the junior section, with the U13s taking on East Dorset in the Dorset & Wilts Cup and the U15s welcoming Oakmeadians. The Colts entertain Salisbury in the afternoon.

n Weymouth and Portland, Bridport and Swanage and Wareham all have bye weekends due to cup fixtures.

Dorchester next face Dorset Dockers on Saturday February 17, while Weymouth and Portland return to action when they face a trip away to Salisbury Seconds.

On the same day Bridport travel to Lytchett Minster while Swanage and Wareham face ninth-placed Yeovil at home.