ON A mucky afternoon at Greenfields, Puddletown defeated Salisbury Seconds 27-13 in a tricky Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South clash.

A pre-match lunch for the Ducks & Drakes charity had warmed up some of the vocal home crowd to welcome the Wiltshire side and Puddletown duly started the game with a flourish.

The hosts went five points up in as many minutes, with flanker Sam Pomeroy dotting the ball down from a driving lineout maul.

For the next 25 minutes Salisbury had the best of the play, breaching the home try-line twice on the left wing, firstly from a quick tap penalty and secondly from broken play in midfield.

Towards the end of the first half, fly-half Tom Yeatman went off with a rib injury and veteran full-back Baz Dovell stepped up to the plate to guide the men in red home.

On the stroke of half-time, it was Dovell who reacted quickest after the visitors were penalised 10 metres out from their own try-line. He tapped quickly and passed out to lock Pearce Mercer who broke through the defensive line to go over by the post.

Centre Matt Watts added the conversion to make it 12-10 at the break.

After the oranges, Puddletown took control of the game and were helped by Salisbury making mistakes and not playing to their strengths.

The hosts were first to put more points on the board, Watts fielding a poor box kick from the Salisbury scrum-half and making 40 metres before slipping the ball inside to winger Chris Haynes to score, although Watts missed the conversion.

Almost immediately from the restart, the visitors were awarded a kickable penalty and they drew back to within four points.

With the light fading, the home side stepped up a gear, applying sustained pressure to the visitors’ line and Mercer once again crossed the whitewash, crashing through the flailing defensive line to score the bonus-point try.

As the game drew to a close, the Villagers caught and drove a line-out from 10 metres out, releasing to the backs and centre Tom Doyle handed off one defender and danced through to score Puddletown’s fifth and final try.

Puddletown coach, Paul Chidley, was delighted with his team’s performance.

He said: “There were some great performances out there, some big tackles from Sam and Joe Malpas kept us on top and some strong ball carrying from Pearce, Oliver Whitfield and Matt kept us going forward.”

He added: “We’ve had some good numbers turning up to training on both Tuesdays and Thursdays and it’s now paying off on the pitch.”

Puddletown’s next league game is on Saturday, December 7 away to Dorset Dockers.

Man of the match: Baz Dovell


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