DORCHESTER pulled off a remarkable comeback to stun Bournemouth and claim victory with just minutes left on the clock.

In a busy weekend for the Highwood-sponsored county town club, the first XV clung to their unbeaten record in Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South, leaving them top of the table by three points from Blandford, who they play in two weeks.

In a poor first half, Dorchester, missing several key players, struggled to put their stamp on the game. Hesitation in defence allowed the home centre to collect his own kick and run in for a simple converted try.

The same player then added a second and things were looking bleak for the visitors.

Finally, the visitors began to put some phases together and tight-head prop Chris Elliott forced his way over in the corner. Dorchester trailed by seven at the break.

The second half started badly for the away side as a slick passing movement by the Bournemouth three-quarters saw them scoring a third try by the posts.

Needing a positive response, the visitors hit back with tries from Lee King and Dave Clarke.

Clarke dislocated his shoulder in the act of scoring requiring a major reorganisation with Josh Ovey moving to scrum-half.

The hosts took advantage of the changes and pounced on an overthrown line-out to score a simple try, the conversion extending the lead to 12 points with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Dorchester threw everything at Bournemouth and, benefiting from some ill-discipline in the home side, camped in the corner.

Skipper James Newsam steered a driving maul over the line to make it a single-score game.

Dorchester immediately returned to the same corner and it was replacement prop, Joe Underhill, who became Dorchester’s own Ross Moriarty for the day scoring the all-important fifth, and match-winning try in the dying minutes of the game.

Rob Parker held his nerve and put over the conversion to complete the comeback and retain Dorchester’s 100 per cent record.

Dorchester’s A XV, also missing key players, showed energy and willing in their performance, but were ultimately a little disjointed.

Leading North Dorset at half-time 13-5, they eventually lost 29-18 to a better drilled side.

Captain on the day, Laurence Burch, said post match: “As always there are things to work on which we will address in training, however, we showed fire and determination in the first half to get into the lead.

“Joe Easter raced away with his pace and dodged tackles for his debut try. We battled hard but switched off at important times in the match.”

The third XV Gladiators took on a combined Puddletown & Blandford second XV at Enterprise Park on Friday evening in a merit table game.

The Glads lost a spirited match, going down 19-5 to an experienced side.

Newly named “Ridgeway Roses”, the combined Dorchester Weymouth & Portland Ladies’ team, were beaten in a hard-fought and competitive match by Swanage & Wareham. The Roses just missing out 17-15.

The club’s future continues to look bright with Dorchester’s successful Colts team taking another win, this time against rivals Wimborne, coming out on top 29-21.


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