BRIDPORT and Puddletown fought out a derby draw that did not live up to expectations, despite a late equaliser in a forgettable performance by both sides in Dorset & Wilts One South.

The game started with a mistake by the home side from the kick off, with the ball not going 10 metres, from the ensuing centre-field scrum, Puddletown captain Joe Malpas picked up and fed out to centre James Elwood.

Elwood out-stripped the covering Bridport defence and went over to score in the corner, however, he could not convert his own try.

Halfway through the first half, the well-drilled Bridport pack won a scrum against the head 10 metres from the visitors’ line, the Villagers’ Daragh Mcoughlin picked up and neatly passed out to Rich Pierce who went over to score a converted try.

Five minutes from half-time, the visitors were applying pressure to the home side’s try-line, scrum-half Lucas Frizzle popped a short ball to flanker Chris Haynes who was taken out by a high tackle short of the line.

The referee then awarded a penalty try and Puddletown went into the break in the lead at 12-7.

After the break, it was the home side that looked to be in the ascendancy, within five minutes, their hefty forwards had driven upfield and had the visitors camped on their own line.

After repeated phases, the ball was spun out to the left for the winger to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Bridport also scored the next try, once again their forwards dominating the scrum and pushing the Puddletown pack back over their own line for a pushover try by Pete Phillips to make it 17-12.

Puddletown became increasing desperate to get back on the scoresheet to at least level the scores, but their efforts were repelled by the Bridport defence and some poor decisions of their own.

Finally, with the clock in the red and with the last play of the game, the visitors managed to spin the ball from right to left to find hooker Jez Beale on the wing, and he powered over in the corner to score. James Elwood just missed with the conversion and the referee blew the final whistle with the teams tied at 17-17.

The shared points meant that neither side change their league position after this game. Puddletown head coach Paul Chidley named second row Dave Phillips as his man of the match.

The Villagers host Dorset Dockers on Saturday.