IN A BREAK from league action, Dorchester have only one senior men’s game this weekend, with the firsts travelling to Tadley to lock horns in the Southern Counties Senior Vase semi-final.

The last time Dorchester reached this stage of the competition in February 2018, they lost 16-14 to Slough having been 14-3 up in a game they should have won with better choices in late replacements in the game.

This season having won the Dorset & Wilts Senior Vase at a canter, head coach Martin Oxland aims to go one better and get to the final, where the team will play the winners of Milton Keynes versus Chipping Norton.

Dorchester sit top of the table in the Wadworth Dorset & Wilts One South, whilst Tadley sit eighth in the Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier League.

Tadley have won four from 13 matches scoring 262 points during the campaign with Dorchester boasting a 100 per cent record and scoring 397 points.

Rest assured though that this will be no easy game as potentially the winner could get to play at Twickenham representing the Southwest for the RFU Regional Vase final after a further three games.

The competition was put in place by the RFU in 2006-07 for level 8 clubs and split into North, Midlands, London & Southeast and Southwest regions. Last season the competition was won by Honiton.

With the team announcement being made at the last minute by Oxland, the team is not currently known.

However this season Oxland has been consistent with his selection when availability allows, and with no other senior games this Saturday he will have a full squad to pick from and fill the extra places on the bench he has for cup game.

Nine players remain in the squad from the 2018 game and will be aiming to make amends.

Both captain James Newsam and vice-captain Callum King, were part of the losing side last time out, and will be ready to encourage those who have not played in this type of knockout game before.

Among other players involved in the previous game are Lee King, Tom Gower, Chris Elliott, Laurence Burch, Joe Underhill, George Foot and the club’s leading try scorer James Baker.

All are likely to be in the final squad but Baker is carrying a calf injury and must be considered a doubt at this stage.

Kick off at Tadley is 2pm and the club is running a coach for the players with spaces available to supporters.

With only one other game on at Surcouf Park on Sunday the under-13s face Weymouth & Portland in the Dorset & Wilts cup.

Next weekend the club roars back to life with all three senior sides in action and the start of the Six Nations on the big screen in the clubhouse.


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