Sat 16 Sep 2017

North Dorset RFC
Dorchester RFC

For the second week in a row, Dorchester came out on top in closely fought match which wasn't decided until the very last minute.

Given the number of enforced changes it would have been no surprise if the county town side looked a little disorganised at the start.

However, nobody would have expected them to have conceded four tries in the first quarter.

The visitors were unable to retain possession for any significant amount of time and every time they lost the ball North Dorset ripped their defence to shreds.

Trailing by 26 points and already having lost two backs to injury, it looked like Dorchester were heading for an embarrassing defeat.

To their enormous credit, they redoubled their efforts and began to get their big ball carriers into the game.

Replacement full-back George Foot was the first to get on to the scorecard. Then Sam Jones forced his way over from close range before loose head Dave Cottell added a third try on the stroke of half-time. Matt Fry added two conversions but Dorchester still trailed by seven.

The second half was almost totally dominated by Dorchester but time and time again North Dorset's defence frustrated the visitors.

With the clock running down, Sam Jones finally drove over and Matt Fry's conversion levelled the scores.

The hosts thought that they had retaken lead but the referee ruled that the scorer was offside and disallowed the try.

In the final two minutes, Dorchester were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and, despite having to wait for several minutes while injured players were treated, Fry put Dorchester in the lead for the first time in the match.

There was still time for the hosts to gather the ball from the restart and set-up one last attack, several phases later they lost the ball and emergency winger Brad Mullins picked and sprinted 60 metres to score in the right corner.

Fry's conversion drifted wide and the referee blew the final whistle.

Coaches view

Post match coach Parker, who also took to the field for this game, said “This was a sloppy game in places but the players identified those errors early.

"I feel this shows us as contenders for this season and as soon as we get back to full strength I think you will see us improving.

Man of the match for me was Charlie Harries who was involved in everything for the full 80 mins.”

After the disappointment of not being able to field a side last week, Dorchester’s second XV were determined to put on a good show at Coburg Road.

A superb well contested game against a newly-relegated East Dorset saw the home side go down 24-10.

Post match, first time skipper, Laurence Burch said “I was overawed by everyone’s performance as we had to make a statement after last week.

"With a lot of players out of position and picking up knocks throughout the game, I believe we made that statement.

"We proved we will be a strong team with strong character throughout the season.

"For me personally it was great to take the reins from Rob Parker as he took his first-team opportunity.

"We have the first brick and we will build. We didn’t get the win but we made a big ripple in our pond.”

Man of the Match

This week's Copper Street Dorchester, Costa Coffee Man of the Match was Charlie Harries. He receives his first "MOTM" since joining the squad during the summer, and is now a regular starter for the 1st XV.