DORCHESTER RFC head into the holiday season with a busy weekend at Surcouf Park, with all three senior men’s teams playing at home, followed by the club’s Christmas party.

Currently on a run of 11 games unbeaten, the first team look to make it the round dozen at home tomorrow. Visitors Salisbury Seconds sit one place from the bottom in contrast to the county town’s league position, but coach Martin Oxland will make sure complacency does not creep into his side.

Oxland has urged the players for a commanding performance to maintain pressure on the teams looking to knock Dorchester off the top spot when the league campaign recommences in January.

The team sheet yet again includes a nucleus of players who are ever present since pre season, and this can only breed confidence in the group. Oxland commented: “If we can continue with this in the New Year then the group will only get better as we look to push hard when we reset for the second half of the season.”

With a return to the squad for Zach Paton after injury plus recalls for Tom Bamlet, Charlie Sharpe, James Bryant-Harries and Jamie Morgan, Oxland fields a strong side.

Before kick-off for the first team at 2.15pm, the players will observe a minute’s silence for club stalwart and former Gladiators’ captain, Brian Eadie, who sadly passed away recently.

Looking to continue to build on some recent great performances Dorchester’s A XV play Salisbury Thirds at 2pm. Regular number eight Luke Robson will look to increase his tally of tries on top of last week’s hat-trick.

The ever-present James Grant-Jackson and Tim Stephens will no doubt play their strong carrying game and look to attack the opposition line. Matt Fry will encourage a well executed running game and if scores go in the team’s favour they should climb to fourth in the table.

Showing the strength and depth of the county town club, Dorchester’s third XV, the Gladiators, take on Crewkerne in a friendly (1.45pm).

Captain Tony O’Connell will lead out a team of experienced players interspersed with younger players moving into senior rugby from the club’s successful youth setup.

Following the fixtures the club’s Christmas party takes place with a live DJ from 4.45 to 6.45pm, including a Christmas playlist from 6.45 until late. All welcome, with Christmas jumper advised.

Sunday morning the club’s under-15s entertain Devizes in a Dorset & Wilts cup fixture at 11.30 whilst the Colts lock horns with Chippenham at 2pm.

With Dorchester guaranteed to top the table over the Christmas break and into the New Year, plus the Dorset & Wilts First XV Senior Vase final next Saturday, the new decade will dawn brightly for the county town club. Both Chairman Nick Hodge and president Bob Andrews are rightly proud of the club’s progress and the bright future ahead of it, particularly with the successful youth set up now boasting six boys and one girl heading into international squads at under-18 and under-20 level.


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