FOR the final league match of the season old rivals Swanage & Wareham beat Dorchester 34-32, serving up a classic game of attacking rugby with the result in doubt until the final whistle.

Swans had the best possible start to this Counties One Tribute Southern South fixture, when Lewis Reeves punished a fumble to score a converted try in the first minute.

Dorchester, with a handful of teenagers in the side, took time to settle but a typical break from Jamie Morgan carried on by Henry Bartlett and finished by Cohen Emery was a sign of things to come. Morgan added the extras for 7-7.

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Dorchester then took the lead, winger Brook Legg outpacing the defence for the first of his two tries.

Swans playing with the strong wind and the slope had the better of the second quarter running in three tries, one of which was converted well given the conditions, to give them a 12-point lead. Ollie Dillon crossed twice and George Crouch also notched.

Dorchester had the last word of the half however, Steve Tucker driving over from a five-metre scrum, although Morgan’s conversion attempt was held up by the wind and fell inches short.

Now with the elements in their favour, Dorchester were eyeing a surprise win and when Legg intercepted a Swans pass and ran in under the posts Morgan’s conversion levelled the scores. Swans were in no mood to concede defeat and Connor Moag scored their fifth try, converted, put them into a 31-24 lead.

With both sides looking to play an expansive game the match ebbed and flowed, in spectacular fashion for the crowd, until Emery finished off a fine team move to close the gap to just two points. Then, with time running out Dorchester were awarded a kickable penalty.

With Morgan recently off the field injured, Emery stepped up to put Dorchester in the lead again at 32-31.

Swans laid siege to the Dorchester line and although the defence held firm Swans were awarded a penalty, converted by Will Slack, with almost the final kick of the game as Dorchester finished eighth in the standings on a losing note.

With Jack Hayward playing all but one game for the side, and seven other players all having started eighteen games or more, there has been some consistency in key positions this season.

Eight Colts have stepped up to senior rugby, seven of the squad have comfortably exceeded 100 appearances, with one well over 100 and another now on 330, there is also a great deal of experience in the group to carry into next seasons campaign in this competitive league.

Morgan picked up a total of 105 points, making him the side’s top scorer overall, whilst Emery racked up the highest tally of tries with 12, and even the captain, Tucker, grabbed eight tries.

Dorchester A also had their last league game of the season and fell 29-27 at the last hurdle against Salisbury Thirds in another close fought game.

At least they will have the pleasure of a good local derby next season as Puddletown just failed to get promoted, no doubt some more tough games lie ahead.