PUDDLETOWN held unbeaten Blandford to a draw at Greenfields in Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South.

Blandford arrived as joint leaders of the division having won all four of their league games so far this season, meanwhile the Villagers were in eighth place with only one win in their league campaign.

The opening exchanges looked ominous with Blandford looking powerful up front, after only six minutes, they drove over from a number of pick and drives to score their opening try, which was unconverted.

After a quarter of an hour, returning home centre Matt Watts got the ball in his own half and made a clean break through the Blandford back line.

He passed out to left-wing Chris Haynes who had popped up on the right. Haynes looked certain to score in the corner but was taken out short of the line with a high tackle by his opposite number.

To most in the crowd it looked like a penalty try and a yellow card, but the referee awarded just a penalty.

Puddletown tapped and span the ball wide through the backs to Haynes now back on the left-wing to go over in the corner to level the scores.

Immediately from the restart, Blandford pressurised the home side and won the ball back.

A neat crossfield kick to their left winger saw him break through the covering tackles and run through to score.

The remainder of the first half was a hard-fought contest, both sides having opportunities to score, but defences holding firm.

The score remained 10-5 at half-time to the visitors.

Puddletown started the second half with scintillating try from their own 22.

Centre Tom Yeatman made a break in midfield and the ball was offloaded through Matt Watts, Jez Beale and number eight Tom Nickisson before ending up in the hands of hooker Archie Fairclough who went over to score to make the scores level at 10-10.

The weather worsened and the ball became slippery, Blandford’s pack tightened their game up and again started to drive through the home defence.

Some loose tacking around the fringes resulted in Blandford going over for their third unconverted try.

As the game entered the final quarter, the contest opened up with the breakdowns becoming a bit of a lottery and both sides making mistakes and giving away penalties.

The more open the game became the more it suited the home side.

With the clock running out, Puddletown had one last flourish towards the Blandford try line.

Playing with a double penalty advantage the ball came out to man of the match Tom Yeatman, he put in a dainty kick pass to Beale on the right wing who went over to level the scores.

Puddletown could have won it with the conversion, but once again the extras went begging.

Puddletown coach Paul Chidley paid tribute to the squad and said, “It was a good result against a strong and unbeaten Blandford side. It is promising and shows that our hard work is paying off.”

On Saturday, Puddletown visit near neighbours Weymouth & Portland.


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