ANOTHER dominant second-half display saw red-hot Dorchester reach the Southern Counties Senior Vase final after a convincing 27-7 victory over Tadley.

Dorchester, who are now unbeaten in 18 games this season, took charge from the kick-off, despite losing scrum-half Dave Clark to a harsh yellow card within five minutes.

After 15 minutes spent in their own half, a speculative kick was chased down by Tadley’s winger for the opening score.

Dorchester continued to dominate but conceded a stream of penalties and failed to make the most of the opportunities they created.

Callum King kicked a simple penalty, however Andy Dowell lost the ball as he crossed the line and George Foot had a try disallowed for a double movement.

Finally, as the half drew to a close, replacement prop Tom Evans forced his way over by the posts, King converted for a 10-7 half-time lead.

After harsh words from coach Martin Oxland, Dorchester cut the errors and penalties in the second half as Tadley came under continuous pressure.

Jamie Morgan, whose running caused Tadley massive problems, got his reward scoring in the left-hand corner. Laurence Burch then drove over from close range following another sustained period of pressure on the Tadley line.

Tadley tried to run out of defence but as the clock ran down there was still time for one moment of class from captain Callum King.

As everybody waited to see what he would do with a free-kick in his own half, King tapped it, chipped over the Tadley defence, gathered on the bounce and sprinted away before handing on to Josh Hosford to score. King’s successful conversion completed the scoring.

After the match, club chairman Nick Hodge congratulated the squad on a great result and said: “This gives the group of players a superb chance to showcase their skills in the Southern Counties final.”

Dorchester will play Milton Keynes away in the final on Saturday, February 22 after a 22-7 victory over Chipping Norton.

Dorchester: Underhill, Ovey, Elliott, Burch, L King, Sharpe, Hosford, Harries; Clark, Foot; Gower, C King, Dowell, Boyd-Paton, Morgan. Evans, Dunning, Moss, McKendry, O’Connell.


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