PUDDLETOWN’S dream of progressing towards a Twickenham final ended with a 36-13 defeat to a strong Oxford side in the final of the Southern Counties Junior Vase.

With Oxford’s large contingent of fans making for a terrific atmosphere, Puddletown were first on the scoreboard with captain Sam Bailey converting a penalty after eight minutes after the visitors were penalised for being offside at a ruck.

Within a few minutes, the well-drilled Oxford side took the lead when they were awarded a penalty try from a dominant scrum in front of the posts.

The visitors went down to 14 men after having a player yellow carded for stamping, but this did not stop them having the upper hand as two minutes after losing their player, they extended their lead with an unconverted try in the corner.

Before the break, Puddletown also went down to 14 men, with centre Dan Udell receiving a yellow card for tackling an Oxford player off the ball as Oxford took a 12-3 lead into half-time.

After the half-time interval, the hosts again went down to 14 men with centre Matt Watts seeing yellow for a late tackle.

Oxford made full use of the numerical advantage and applied some heavy pressure on the Puddletown line as the visitors’ number eight picked up and drove over from a five-metre scrum to score an unconverted try.

The men in red had not given up the fight, still with 14 men, winger John Moise fielded an Oxford clearance kick on the halfway line, he fed to flanker Chris Haynes, who found Pearce Mercer to put winger James House into space.

House showed good pace to outrun the defence to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Oxford’s forwards were dominating the set-plays and another five-metre scrum saw their number eight pick up at the base and attack the blind side.

Having drawn in the defence, he offloaded to the full-back who went into the corner to score an unconverted try.

Oxford now had their tails up and another two converted tries from a scrum and free-kick put Oxford out of sight.

However, the Villagers continued to compete and from a scrum in midfield, Dan Udell broke through the Oxford defence and fed the ball to Matt Watts who went over to score the final try of the match.

Oxford now progress to play the winners of the South West Junior Vase.

Puddletown return to Dorset & Wilts Two South action away against New Milton Thirds on Saturday.