FOLLOWING in the seniors’ footsteps, Dorchester Under-16s have completed a superb season and retained their Dorset & Wilts crown after beating Chippenham 34-7, in a hard-fought final at North Dorset Rugby Club.

Chippenham kicked off and immediately put on pressure, but a strong well-drilled county town side side broke the line after five minutes with a try from Ed Martin. Two further tries from Stefan Perry put Dorchester 15-0 up at half-time.

The second half saw both sides have good periods of play but a try from Ethan Staddon, which was converted by Orlando Bailey, kept Dorchester firmly in charge.

A converted try from Chippenham was not enough to get them back in the game and Yihan Kersaw soon responded for Dorchester to make it 27-7. Will Simpson scored a converted try to finish the game at 34-7.

This Dorchester squad are no strangers to success and are unbeaten since October 9, 2016. They were Dorset County champions in 2014 (under-12) and 2016 (under-14), as well as Dorset & Wilts champions last season at under-15. This is their last season together as juniors all going their separate ways through different options for sixth form and colleges, but hopefully many will continue with the Dorchester Colts, giving a bright future for the Club.

With many players from the excellently run and successful youth section not transitioning into the senior sides, the club has much to look forward to and be proud of.

Following the team’s last game together before they head off to follow different paths, Mike Sprules said it a privilege to coach the boys for the past seasons and reflected on the final season together.

He said: “A great final the boys were victorious 34-7. A third county title in a row and the whole season unbeaten.

"No mean feat when you consider how regularly we have lost players to Bath academy and to the county squad. Less games than usual as we had a few cry offs. It does make good reading.”