DORCHESTER have been confirmed as Wadworth Dorset & Wilts One South champions for the second time in three seasons.

In a campaign that delivered so much, Dorchester’s chase to the title was cut short by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

With a perfect unbeaten record in the league, the county town club had five fixtures left to play with only one of those against top-three opposition.

That was Dorset Dockers, on what would have been a home fixture at Surcouf Park on the last day of the season – Saturday, April 18.

Having announced the end of the community rugby season, the RFU had to decide upon a fair way to complete the leagues and give those clubs in promotion positions the chance to progress.

This was eventually decided using a formula for the best playing record and average points gained in both home and away fixtures.

Dorchester topped the table on 106.25 points with Dockers in second on 85.44 and near neighbours Weymouth & Portland on 82.67, meaning Dorchester are promoted whilst Swanage & Wareham Seconds and Lytchett Minster are relegated.

The expectation is that the county town side will return to Southern Counties South, however the RFU have given a caveat to all clubs at level eight, stating: “Please note: Many promotion and relegation issues at level eight and below cannot be decided until the constituent bodies have been able to study these tables and work on any new club applications and possible re-structuring. This is only a guide.”

Both the club chairman, Nick Hodge, and club president, Bob Andrews, congratulated the playing squad and the coaching team led by Martin Oxland, for all their hard work and endeavour for the season and both looked forward to the time the team can run out again at Surcouf Park having gained a well-deserved promotion.

With 16 straight wins in the league and one home walkover, the first team are also the Dorset & Wilts Senior Vase winners, runners-up in the Southern Counties Senior Vase and were awarded the Dorset & Wilts team of the month for January.

On top of this, they were nationally recognised by Rugby World Magazine who awarded the team their Club Rugby Team of the Month for February.

In all competitions the club played 21 games and lost only to Milton Keynes in the Southern Counties Vase final. They had two home walkovers during the season giving them a record-breaking season.

Dorchester’s A XV ended the season with seventh place in Wadworth Dorset & Wilts Two South, whilst the Gladiators third XV topped the Dorset & Wilts South Matrix Two Merit table.

The future of the club looks in safe hands with the successful Colts team winning their Dorset & Wilts Premier Division and being joint winners of the County Cup with Chippenham, which was shared due to the current situation.