FOR their first outing in Dorset & Wilts Division One South, newly-promoted Puddletown came up against a powerful Oakmeadians side from Bournemouth and gained a losing bonus point in a close contest.

The first 15 minutes saw the visitors assert most of the pressure, but the home team’s defence stood firm.

Against the run of play, the Oaks were back in their own 22m and were awarded a line-out five metres out from which Puddletown flanker Sam Pomeroy stole the ball at the front, the rest of the red pack joined in the drive and hooker Jez Beale touched down to score an unconverted try.

The home side held their lead for 10 minutes.

That was until the Oaks’ outside centre kicked through from the 10m line, the ball bounced against the bottom of the home post and the centre, chasing his own kick, was on hand to gather and dot the ball down for a converted try for the away side to take a 7-5 lead.

Towards the end of the half Puddletown number eight, Dan Udell, was taken off with a fractured collar bone but the home side continued to press the Oaks’ line.

A quickly-taken penalty five metres out caught the visitors napping as the ball was swiftly passed across field to hooker Beale who drove over to score his second try of the game and Tom Yeatman converted to regain the lead at 12-7.

With time running out in the extended first half, Oakmeadians nicked a Puddletown lineout on the home 22m line.

The ball was then neatly spun down the back line and the winger went over in the corner to score an unconverted try to make it 12-12 at half-time.

The second half started as the first with the visitors applying most of the pressure. This paid off 10 minutes in, their hefty pack drove the home side back from a line out to score an unconverted try.

The Villagers came back into it with a well-taken penalty kick from 30m out, after the Oaks were penalised for going off their feet at a ruck.

The final score of the game fell to Oaks, who once again won a line out 10m out and their pack drove over to score an unconverted try in the corner, holding on despite late pressure to win.

Puddletown return to league action again tomorrow at Greenfields against Wimborne Seconds (3pm) looking to get their first victory.

Puddletown’s coaches were pleased with performance against Oaks and matched them across the field for the full 80 minutes, however difference at end of the day was felt to be experience at this level, making possession tell and taking chances when offered.

Puddletown will reshuffle their pack having picked up a couple of injuries, including Udell’s.