PUDDLETOWN made it through to the semi-finals of the Junior Vase by beating Dinton Barbarians 25-8, despite going down to 14 men. 

The hosts had been convincing winners at Dinton in the league a month previous, but the Wiltshire side came down looking a different outfit.

Puddletown were 3-0 down within a minute, after the referee awarded a penalty straight from the kick-off for a tackler not rolling away. 

The next 20 minutes was a tight affair with both defences working hard and cancelling out any momentum.

Just before the 30-minute mark, the referee awarded Puddletown a penalty after a Dinton player had gone off his feet at a ruck and stopped the ball coming out. 

However, the referee also adjudged that the home side’s scrum-half, Lucas Frizzle had made contact with the Dinton player’s head with his boot.

The Dinton player was given a yellow card for killing the ball and Frizzle shown a straight red for dangerous play. The penalty remained with Puddletown and captain Sam Bailey slotted the ball over to level at 3-3.

Puddletown then reorganised with James Hill coming on at scrum-half with winger John Moise sacrificed.

Bailey added another three points after the lighter home pack had shown some dominance in the scrums and the visitors were penalised for standing up.

But Dinton responded with a breakaway try after some sloppy play in the midfield saw the ball hacked through and eventually touched down for an unconverted try.

Just before the break, the home pack won a scrum, the ball found its way out to ‘man of the match’ prop Matt Watts, who powered over to score in the corner, Bailey converting from the touchline for a 13-8 half-time lead.

Even down to 14 men, the Villagers played the better rugby and midway through the half, it paid off.

After stealing a line-out in the Dinton 22, number eight Pearce Mercer drove on and offloaded to scrum-half Hill, who dummied his way through to score, with Bailey adding the extras.

The final score came a few minutes before the end, with Mercer driving forward. He exchanged passes with full-back James House, scoring an unconverted try to complete the scoring. 

Puddletown now face East Dorset at home on Saturday, November 18.

Puddletown are next in league action today at home to Oakmeadians Seconds. 

n The long awaited Puddletown Peckers fixture against a strong and well-drilled Swanage & Wareham Presidents XV took place, with Wareham winning 27-0.

The game was arranged as part of the ‘return to rugby’ campaign and although the home team battled hard, they came out second best.

There were notable performances by all concerned, but especially Dave Phillips and James Green.

n The newly-formed junior section Puddletown mini-maulers held their second training session, with boys and girls up to 10 years old enjoying the event.

Anyone interested in making a return to rugby, or even starting to play can come along to ‘gentle’ training on a Tuesday evening at 7pm at Greenfields, Piddlehinton.