WEYMOUTH & Portland saw a first-half lead evaporate at Bestwall as Counties One Tribute Southern South title challengers Swanage & Wareham won 37-22.

Swans gifted eight penalties early on, the last of which was awarded in front of the posts, allowing James Baker to kick the visitors into a three-point lead.

From the restart, Swans moved into the Weymouth 22 and charged a kick down, enabling wing forward Jack Jenner to pounce for the opening try, converted by fly-half Jamie Foskett.

Swans continued to give away more penalties and after 25 minutes the Seahorses managed a catch and drive move to score a try in the corner through former colt Casey Pering-Hogg.

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Three more penalties cost Swanage again as Weymouth & Portland forced their way over thanks to James Davis, this time converted by Baker for a 15-7 lead.

Swanage did hit back late in the half when debutant winger Lewis Reeves went in at the corner, to trail 15-12.

If the first half had been characterised by home penalties, the second saw the hosts exert their quality on the Seahorses.

Jenner powered over the line for his second try out wide before Foskett kicked a penalty for 20-15.

Swanage centre Tom Munns broke clear and scored out wide for a bonus-point try and Swans were on top now as Weymouth ran out of steam.

Eight minutes from time, Swans moved the ball from a scrum to winger Olly Dillon who went in by the corner flag and a near identical move had Dillon going in for his second try a matter of minutes later, Foskett converting the latter for a 37-15 lead.

Weymouth & Portland did salvage something from an otherwise scoreless half as Jacob Brunell caught a crossfield kick before steaming in for a try out wide, converted by Baker to complete the scoring.

Speaking to Echosport, Seahorses’ coach Rich Bament said: “We turned around ahead, however we had a large amount of possession and missed a few opportunities.

“We could’ve made the second half easier and put doubt in their minds, but they came on strong. They had a purple patch and that was the killer for us.”

Weymouth & Portland now move on to a mouthwatering Ridgeway Rumble derby at home to Dorchester on Saturday.

Bament’s men could do the double over their close rivals after a 15-13 win earlier in the season.

He added: “It comes down to what happens over 80 minutes, we proved up there the guys have got the skills and belief to beat them.

“You’ve just got to control your emotions and not get carried away. The coolest, cleverest and who wants it most, a combination of all three.

“Whoever takes their chances, defends as a team and be clever in what you do.”

Andy Bowditch (knee) came through the Swanage match and should be fit to feature against Dorchester.