DORCHESTER won their 17th-straight Wadworth Dorset & Wilts One South game with a 38-19 triumph in the Ridgeway Rumble.

Victory gave Dorchester the double over their rivals but Weymouth, clearly missing key players, made the county town side work hard for yet another bonus-point win.

Dorchester made the perfect start when fielding the kick-off and putting Josh Hosford through a huge gap in the away midfield.

He was bought down but the support arrived and two passes later Hosford was back on his feet to open the scoring, James Baker adding the extras.

Weymouth, as expected, were using their big forwards to good effect and it was no surprise when Andy Bowditch crashed over for the equalising try, converted by Lewis Allan in the absence of fly-half Alex Toms.

Midway through the half Dorchester appeared to take control of the game, scoring two tries in as many minutes.

Firstly, Baker outpaced the cover to cross in the left corner before hooker Josh Ovey benefitted from another fine break by Hosford. Baker converted the second to give the hosts a 19-7 lead.

Weymouth refused to lie down and scored a second try almost identical to their first, Bowditch again touching down.

In the dying moments of the first half, Callum King powered over from close range and Baker’s conversion gave Dorchester a comfortable 26-12 lead at the break.

The second half turned into bit of an arm wrestle as Weymouth continued to pound away with the pack and Dorchester continued to tackle everything that was thrown at them.

Dorchester were looking to use their backs at every opportunity and it was leading try scorer Baker who extended their lead with his second try of the afternoon.

Weymouth added a third try when a fortuitous bounce fell into Luke Benyon’s hands and he found himself with a free run to the line under the posts, Allan converting for 31-19.

It was Dorchester however who scored the final try, a chip through collected by full-back James McKendry who easily beat the last defender to touch down between the posts, Baker’s successful conversion completed the scoring.

Speaking to Echosport, Seahorses’ coach Rich Bament rued “simple mistakes” as Dorchester marched to victory.

He said: “We had a shocking start, they scored straight from the kick-off. But the guys responded really well and came back, got a try to get back in it.

“Simple mistakes is the blunt way of looking at. Mistakes (are) what let them in and the experience with James and Callum told in the end.

“We went there with a gameplan of just going through the forwards for 80 minutes. Credit to our guys, they never gave up and kept going and going.

“Most spectators would say we had the upper hand in the forwards, but the backs we had a few drop-outs so that’s where we struggled.

“You’ve got to give credit to the guys who did step up.

“So, we’re a bit disappointed but I think we gave them a run for their money.”

Dorchester now sit top of the table by 13 points from Dorset Dockers who overtook the Seahorses for second place after being handed an away walkover.

The county town side have five games left to play with the last game of the campaign at home to Dockers. Remaining unbeaten for the entire league run is now the ultimate goal alongside an instant return to Southern Counties South.

On Saturday, Dorchester host Wimborne Seconds while Weymouth & Portland host Swanage & Wareham Seconds.

The club entertained both its main sponsor Highwood and held a lunch for its Vice Presidents before the game, where club president Bob Andrews launched a new initiative for next season to support its senior players.

The player development fund will aid injury rehabilitation and help with travel costs in a geographically larger league particularly for those returning from university, along with better fitness and training opportunities.

The scheduled game for Dorchester’s A XV away to Wimborne was postponed due to poor pitch conditions at Leigh Park.

Friday night saw a great game for Dorchester’s Gladiators, running out 29-0 winners against a combined side from Puddletown & Blandford. The visitors brought great support who were treated to a fine game played in a great spirit with the result not quite reflecting the effort the visitors put into the game.

Dorchester’s Colts XV County Cup semi-final was also postponed on Sunday again falling foul of the weather and an unplayable pitch.

Dorchester: Evans, Ovey, Elliott, Bamlet, Mayall, Hosford, Sharpe, Newsam; D Gower, Foot; T Gower, C King, Baker, Morgan; McKendry. Underhill, Satur, Clark.

Seahorses: Comben, Sankey, Davies, Norton, Oaksford, Eckersley, B Hayne, A Bowditch, Barter, Allan, Hoskins, Benyon, Legg, Keable-Kinsella, Avant.


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