DORCHESTER came up against a strong committed Milton Keynes side in the Southern Counties Vase final and fell at the same hurdle for the second time in three years, losing 40-19.

The county town’s defeat brought to an end a 20-game unbeaten run, although the green and whites still hold a perfect record from 15 games in league trim.

Dorchester started badly as they fumbled the ball from the kick-off which resulted in a scrum and Milton Keynes took full advantage to score under the posts and get an early foothold in the game.

However, Dorchester responded well, keeping the ball tight in a difficult strong wind and laid siege to the home line for a full 15 minutes or more. The home defence worked well to keep them out until eventually Dorchester broke the line and Callum King forced his way over for a try.

Both defences worked hard and dominated, but the hosts worked their way towards the Dorchester try line and managed to release their right winger to score a converted try in the corner.

The half-time scoreline of 12-5 was a fair reflection of the match and Dorchester pressed for a score at the restart which could have brought them level, but an interception by the Milton Keynes skipper who then ran in unopposed to score under the posts and thus push the score to 19-5 left Dorchester a tough task to try and claw back.

Despite conceding, the visitors pressed hard and a series of penalties against Milton Keynes resulted in a yellow card for the home side and following a scrum King again broke through tackles to go over for his and Dorchester’s second score.

That score seemed to spur the opposition into action and they stepped up a gear. With Dorchester’s Zak Paton given a yellow card, the home side took advantage of the numerical superiority scoring two quick tries, effectively putting the game beyond Dorchester’s grasp.

However, having travelled a long distance to a non-neutral venue for the final, the Highwood-sponsored side were not giving up lightly and a knocked on kick-off from Milton Keynes eventually resulted in King completing his and Dorchester’s hat-trick of tries with James Baker’s conversion taking the visitors to 19 points.

The home side however had the final word in the match and put together a good move, allowing their winger in for a try which was converted leaving the final score 40-19.

The score however did not reflect just how hard the game was for both sides.

Dorchester: Underhill, Evans, Elliott, Harries, L King, Hosford, Sharpe, Newsam; Clark, Foot; T Gower, C King, Baker, Morgan; Moss. Cottell, Howell, Boyd-Paton, McKendry.