THE much-anticipated local derby between Dorchester and Puddletown, the first in the same league for over 10 years, did not disappoint as a spectacle.

The large partisan crowd of around 250, showing strong support for both clubs, was good to see at this level of the game, and the spirit on the pitch matched expectation from both sides, and both clubs can rightly be proud of it.

From the kick-off, both sides signalled their intent to compete hard and aim to get the scoreboard moving as soon as possible.

A few nervy handling errors and basic mistakes led to a brace of penalties before the game settled.

After 10 minutes, Dorchester’s captain James Newsam took a line-out ball well following some good work by the home side’s forwards, veteran scrum-half Dave Clarke spotted a gap in the visitors’ defence and chipped through for Newsam to score the first of his hat-trick.

A moment of indiscipline followed for the county town side when following a high tackle, referee Stewart Kilby, marched back the home side a further 10 metres for back chat and Puddletown gladly took advantage slotting the kick home to draw closer 10-6.

Straight from the kick-off, Newsam again led from the front earning a penalty, fly-half Rob Parker put Dorchester five metres from the Puddletown try line.

The hosts, having lost Dave Cottell to injury, had shuffled the front row giving prop Chris Elliott throwing duties.

Elliott duly found his receiver in the line-out and Dorchester picked up another try.

Puddletown were defending hard and struggling a little to gain possession of the ball, James Baker at centre made one of his elusive runs through the line and off-loaded to Charlie Sharpe who nosed over in the corner for the home side’s third try.

Dorchester were keen to collect the bonus point try early in the second half and started with high intensity.

Elliott collected the ball from the kick-off to charge back at the Villagers’ defensive line, another strong run from Mayall resulting in a try and the bonus point was earned.

Baker collected his second try of the day towards the end of the game following great support play by the home side and some late indiscipline by Puddletown.

With virtually no time left and Dorchester down to 14 men after a yellow for Andy Dowell, full-back George Foot ran in the home side’s final score, resulting in Dorchester’s hard-earned win.

Puddletown battled hard all game, did not give up and made sure Dorchester knew they were in the game.

Their chairman, Ray Stephens, congratulated Dorchester after “a well-deserved win”.

Both teams know the return match in January will be the same high intensity battle.

Dorchester now sit at the top of the Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South table narrowly on points difference from Blandford.

Their next match is against Bournemouth Thirds who have only lost one game from four.

Friday night also saw another local derby, with Dorchester Gladiators taking on Weymouth & Portland Seconds in a merit table game.

As expected this was another no quarter given game, and Weymouth started the brighter of the sides.

Dorchester’s strength and experience overcame the day, running out 55-20 winners.


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