PUDDLETOWN secured an impressive 31-5 victory over Salisbury Thirds in Dorset & Wilts Two South.

However, the result did nothing to change the league placings at the end of the day, with top-of-the-table Sherborne Seconds being awarded a walkover against Bournemouth, meaning Puddletown remain second.

The first 10 minutes of the game at Greenfields was an even affair, until home winger James House made a break down the left from his own half.

The ball swiftly passed through flanker Joe Malpas and left winger John Moise and ended up in the hands of number eight Pearce Mercer to storm down the wing and round under the posts to score his fifth try in two games. Captain Sam Bailey converted for 7-0.

Salisbury put up stiff opposition for the next 20 minutes, but eventually Puddletown were awarded a free-kick in front of the Salisbury posts after a scrum infringement.

The tap was taken quickly and fed first to the left and then switched back across to the right, with captain Bailey entering the line from full-back and going over to score, before converting his own try.

Within a couple of minutes, Salisbury were on the scoresheet after a line-out.

The ball was gathered and the driving maul was joined by the big fly-half, who carried the ball over to score an unconverted try for 14-5 at half-time.

Upon the resumption, Bailey added three points after the visitors were penalised for not releasing in the tackle.

Puddletown then made the most of a penalty advantage with man-of-the-match inside-centre Dan Udell powering through the Salisbury defence to score near the posts with Bailey adding the extras.

From the restart, Tom Yeatman put in a massive clearance kick into the Salisbury 22m.

The Salisbury full-back kicked back, but failed to make touch, allowing scrum-half Lucas Frizzle to catch cleanly on the halfway line and pass inside to Bailey who offloaded to House.

House arced across the pitch to the left wing, straightened and evaded the Salisbury tacklers to run in a final converted try.

* Puddletown host Oxford at Greenfields in the final of the Southern Counties Junior Vase competition on Saturday (2pm). The winner will face the winners of the South West Division Junior Vase and will be two games away from the national final at Twickenham.


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