A DEPLETED Dorchester side suffered a heavy defeat away at Grove, continuing their slide towards relegation from Wadworth 6X Southern Counties South.

Dorchester now sit 10 points from safety with four matches to go and travelled with only 16 players to a game they could have taken points from with a regular full squad.

With a team showing nine changes to the published side on Wednesday, due to drop outs and unavailability to travel, it was always going to be a hard day at the office for those who took up the call and stepped into the team.

With only one player on the bench this was only going to add to the side’s concerns.

In the opening quarter, Dorchester struggled defensively with players in unfamiliar positions and the hosts quickly ran in three tries, all converted.

The visitors improved in the second quarter and, despite conceding two more tries, they ended the half on the attack and were unlucky not to score a try of their own.

The second half was more of the same, Grove added four more tries but Dorchester did manage a consolation through Cameron Wills.

The side now have four more matches to try and remain in the division. With the side above them winning this weekend the job has now been made even harder given Dorchester have leaders Sherborne to play away and fourth-placed Yeovil at Coburg Road.

With the gap to Thatcham now at 10 points, Dorchester need at least two bonus point wins and a losing bonus point to overtake them.

In complete contrast, the A side took a home walkover as New Milton could not raise a side to travel.

The team now sit 18 points clear atop the league table with three games to go. Mathematically only fourth-placed Lytchett Minster can overhaul Rob Parker’s side as they have two games in hand.

Dorchester Gladiators welcomed a very strong and hard battling Swanage & Wareham team to Coburg Road on Friday evening. Even with such a strong side Dorchester’s third team came out on top 48-44. With only one league fixture left this season, captain Tony O’Connell was full of praise yet again for his band of warriors.

The combined Dorchester Weymouth & Portland Ladies team took a hard 43-5 defeat at home to Basingstoke.

A tough game but still plenty of positives for coach Sam Wilson to build on in training. The ladies have one more fixture left away at Amesbury.


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