DEPLETED Puddletown put up a brave show before going down 39-25 to Wimborne in Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South.

Despite dominating play early on and scoring first with a converted penalty from Tom Yeatman, the visitors, only 16 strong, found it hard to control the straight, hard running of the home side.

Fifteen minutes in, young Puddletown winger Jacob Holt came off with an injury and a few minutes later captain Joe Malpas was trapped in the bottom of a ruck and received an injury to his shoulder, which meant that the visitors were down to 14 men for two- thirds of the game.

By the break, the hosts had capitalised on the numerical advantage and had scored four tries and converted two of them for 24-3.

However, the men in red had not given up on being competitive in the game and the 14 players battled valiantly in defence and played some exhilarating rugby going forward.

The hard work paid off, as it was the visitors who were first on the scoresheet in the second period, with Tom Doyle rounding off a sweeping move to score in the corner. Yeatman converted from the touchline.

The Minstermen once again took control of the game and scored another three unconverted tries to make it 39-10 with 10 minutes to play.

As Puddletown put pressure on the Wimborne line, the home side started to get riled by some of the referee’s decisions and their inside-centre was shown a yellow card for dissent, making it 14-a-side for the remainder of the game.

Puddletown tapped the resulting penalty and fed the ball out to centre Matt Watts who powered over to score.

The home side were now committing offences at will, the visitors were quickest to react to the infringements with flanker Sam Pomeroy and his brother Harry, playing at scrum-half, taking control and upping the pace of the game.

With four minutes to go, hooker Jez Beale was in position to benefit from some controlled forward play and he barrelled over to score.

Puddletown now realised that although the game was lost, they could in fact get a bonus point with another score.

With the clock in the red and on the last play, it was once again Beale who found himself out on the left wing, who managed to evade the desperate Wimborne tackling to go over in the corner to score Puddletown’s fourth try.

After the game, Puddletown coach Paul Newbury said: “I was extremely proud of the 14 players that dug deep and out-played Wimborne in the second half.”

Puddletown host Sherborne II at Greenfields on Saturday.

Man of the match: Harry Pomeroy


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