PUDDLETOWN showed patience, determination and endeavour to take a bonus-point 43-8 victory against relegation rivals Bridport in this crucial Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South fixture.

Bridport were first on the scoresheet, after the usually strong Puddletown midfield defence left a gaping hole for Bridport flanker Jordan Thirlwell to cut through and score an unconverted try.

After 15 minutes the home side took the lead with centre Tom Yeatman taking advantage of a neat break down the left from young winger Tom Roy to score in the corner, Tom Nixon converting.

A high tackle right in front of the posts gave the visitors the opportunity to regain the lead with a penalty, which they duly converted through Rich Pearce for 8-7.

The Bridport forwards persisted with their pick-and-go game but the home side’s efficient tackling nullified any attacking momentum.

On the half-hour Puddletown had a penalty advantage and fly-half Nixon executed a superbly-weighted cross-field kick to winger Jacob Holt who used his power to hand-off his opposite number and run in a try in the corner.

On the cusp of half-time, the men in red secured a 15-metre line-out, Tom Nickisson catching cleanly and driving through the defence. The ball was recycled quickly and spun out along the backline, with Holt popping up on the opposite wing to score his second try of the game for 17-8 at the break.

Early in the second-half, replacement flanker Chris Haynes injected some much-needed pace into the game, breaking through the Bridport defence 22m out and going unopposed to score under the posts, Nixon adding the extras.

Haynes scored his second a few minutes later, taking advantage of a quick tap penalty by Nickisson and crisp passing out to the left wing.

From the resulting kick-off, Puddletown secured possession and within two passes the ball was in the hands of Holt on the left.

Thrillingly, from within his own half, he evaded tackles and sprinted clear to score his hat-trick before converting his score.

Nearing the end of the game, Haynes took possession within his own half and once again made a searing break through the Bridport defence to power clear and go in under the posts for his hat-trick, Roy adding the conversion for 43-8.

The gap between bottom side Bridport and Puddletown is now 17 points, with the Blues holding a game in hand.

Puddletown next face Dorset Dockers away on Saturday, March 23 while Bridport host Dorset Dockers this Saturday.

Man-of-the-match: Oliver Whitfield