DORCHESTER were unable to return to winning ways in Wadworth 6X Southern Counties South after a 33-0 loss on the road to Devizes.

The visitors started brightly, dominating the early exchanges and could have gone ahead on multiple occasions, a long distance penalty was off the mark and two good try-scoring opportunities were eventually snuffed out by a dazed Devizes’ defence.

After blunting Dorchester’s efforts, Devizes went on the attack, the county town’s defence initially frustrating attempts to gain ground.

However, two penalties gave Devizes a line-out on the Dorchester five-metre line.

An aggressive maul was formed and crashed through the away defence to open the scoring, although the conversion was unsuccessful.

The game then settled into a stalemate, both sides conceding penalties and turn overs.

Dorchester’s pack were bossing the scrum, led by tighthead Joe Prior, while Devizes’ backs were getting momentum when the ball was spread out wide.

The home team scored again just before the interval, their winger crossing after a slick handling move.

The kick was successful, leaving the game at 12-0 to the home side at the break.

Dorchester made two changes at the interval with injury forcing James Newsam and Rich Deakin off for the remainder of the contest.

Devizes increased their lead swiftly after the restart with a converted try. A penalty kick was put into the corner allowing them to again demonstrate their excellent driving maul, which despite being initially halted by Laurence Burch, eventually crashed over.

Dorchester attempted to respond, strong carries from their forwards made head way, which allowed space to develop out wide; Andy Dowell and James Baker producing several clean breaks, but were unfortunately unable to score.

Dorchester tired and having exhausted their bench options at half-time, the defence were unable to prevent Devizes from adding two further converted scores from classy counter attacks.

The visitors did almost grab a late consolation when Liam

Kershaw charged down the touchline, only to be denied by the full-back.

The scoreline at the whistle did not reflect the Herculean effort made by the Dorchester XV, who managed to be better than their opposition for large parts of the game.

Meanwhile, at Coburg Road, Dorchester’s Seconds lost narrowly 41-38 in a top-of-the-table clash with Salisbury Thirds.

Collecting two bonus points despite the loss, Rob Parker’s men remain top of Dorset & Wilts Two South with a 13-point cushion over Salisbury in second, with the man of the match being Alan Gale.