ANGUISH summed up Dorchester’s afternoon as the county town side were beaten 27-23 by Combe Down in the Counties One Tribute Southern South.

Missing several key players, Dorchester travelled to Bath a little more in hope than expectation but came within seconds of pulling off a memorable win.

Playing down the slope in the first half, Dorchester started badly, several handling errors giving the hosts field position from which they crossed for the first try.

Dorchester then settled and with Ed Martin and Jamie Morgan making hard yards in midfield they took the lead, Cohen Emery on hand to take Morgan’s pass and go in under the posts.

READ MORE: Dorchester 20-29 Frome - report

Dorchester continued to shade territory and Emery again crossed under the posts, this time following scrum-half Jack Hayward’s break.

Morgan converted both tries and added a penalty before Combe Down scored a second, unconverted, try just before the break.

Facing the slope in the second half a mere seven-point lead looked vulnerable, but the visitors continued to play in Combe Down’s half and two further penalties from Morgan stretched the lead to 13 points.

Entering the final quarter Combe Down closed the gap with a simple penalty and then added a third try and conversion.

With the game now in time added and Dorchester down to 13 men, first Laurence Burch and then Dave Cottell yellow carded for technical offences, despite brave defending eventually the hosts found a gap and scored the winning try.

The final whistle followed the successful conversion but the result was already beyond doubt.

Although disappointing, there are still positives to take from the performance and the young squad will take heart they can compete well in a strong league.

Dorchester drop to eighth in the table following the result and, after three close defeats, will look to lift themselves at Surcouf Park on Saturday against third-placed North Dorset.

Back at home, Dorchester A were locking horns with Bournemouth Thirds in a Counties Three Tribute Dorset & Wilts encounter.

On the day, the opposition proved too strong for the home side, taking the win 39-17.

This result sees Dorchester sitting eighth in the table with Salisbury Thirds just three points above them.

Their next league game is against third-placed Sherborne Seconds in two weeks’ time; however they do have a cup fixture against Wimborne Thirds next Saturday on the road.