DORCHESTER survived a late comeback from Grove to earn a valuable 21-17 Wadworth 6X Southern Counties South victory and move into ninth in the table.

With players returning from injury and much improved availability, this Dorchester side looked a lot more like the team that had earned promotion last season.

After an evenly-matched start, the county town side opened the scoring with a textbook catch and drive from a five-metre lineout, James Newsam getting the touchdown.

James Baker was unable to add the extras and Grove soon hit back with a simple penalty. With half-time approaching, Baker restored the five-point lead with another penalty.

The second half continued in similar fashion until an outstanding try turned the game in the hosts' favour. A pass from Dave Cottell released George Foot down the touchline. Tackled short of the line, Dorchester recycled and spun the ball the full width of the pitch for left-winger Jack Ward to cross for the try, Baker converting to open a 12-point gap.

The niggle that had been apparent all game finally exploded, resulting in a player from each side being red carded.

Two further penalties from Baker appeared to make the game safe for Dorchester but Grove produced a spirited final 10 minutes.

Firstly, the visitors’ centre ran though untouched to score under the posts before a series of scrums on the Dorchester line, set up the number eight to score again.

Both tries were converted and Dorchester’s four-point lead was looking very fragile. However, the county town side managed to survive the final three minutes, keeping Grove pinned in their own half, for a hard-earned win.

Rob Parker’s A XV travelled to New Milton and won 29-19 to come home with both the points and return to the top of the Dorset & Wilts South Two table.

Dorchester’s Gladiators took the short trip to Swanage & Wareham with a depleted squad, but put up a fantastic fight to go down 46-27 with tries for captain Tony O’Connell and former first team player Lee King along with new American football convert Damon Ashmore. Gladiators now sit second in Dorset & Wilts Three South.

Dorchester, Weymouth & Portland Ladies side travelled to take on Jersey Reds.

A spirited team performance was put in but they fell to a 35-0 defeat and now sit third in their league, one place above their opponents.


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