DORCHESTER got off the mark with a hard-fought first win of the season at home to Thatcham in the Southern Counties South Division.

The hosts started brightly and soon took the lead, fly-half Alex Peel with a simple penalty goal.

Thatcham’s gameplan soon became evident as they kicked long and applied pressure at both scrum and line out.

The plan appeared to be working as the visitors scored two tries, one of which was converted, from close range. Dorchester hit back as slick passing put record try scorer James Baker in at the corner. Peel’s conversion fell short but he slotted a penalty shortly afterwards to close the gap to a single point at 13-12 to Thatcham.

Dorchester had by now sorted out their problems at the set-piece but Thatcham extended their lead when a couple of missed tackles allowed the right winger to cross in the corner.

However, with the last play of the first half, Dorchester retook the lead, scoring by the posts and converting the try to lead by a single point.

The second half started badly for the home side as poor defence allowed the visitors’ fly-half a free fun to the posts. The conversion was to be their last points of the day, however.

Dorchester once again retook the lead, concerted pressure on the Thatcham line ending when veteran scrum-half Dave Gower fed James Newsam who dived over by the posts.

Dorchester failed to finish several chances that would have put the game to bed as all they had to show for their efforts was a single Peel penalty.

With a man in the bin, Dorchester were forced into desperate defence for the final five minutes as Thatcham rallied to try and score a winning try.

Eventually, the visitors conceded a penalty and, with a huge sigh of relief, the ball was kicked into touch to end the game.

Post match, Eral Anderson, joint head coach, said that there is still much to work to do and more improvements on fitness to reach the levels necessary to compete in this league. Whilst clearly happy with not just one but three wins across the club, the coaching team are working hard to have one cohesive squad and improve all the players.

The A side led by Rob Parker came away from tough encounter at Swanage & Wareham with a 25-19 win, while new Gladiators captain Tony O’Connell took his third team away to Bournemouth IV and came home victorious with a 37-7 win.


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