Sat 7 Apr 2018
DORCHESTER have been crowned champions and gained promotion back to Southern Counties South with two games to spare.
The county town side went into the match knowing that a bonus point win would be enough to secure the league title and they started a little tentatively.
Then 10 minutes in, Dave Clarke, who gave a man-of-the-match performance as emergency fly-half, sliced through the home defence with a superb dummy pass to score by the post.
James Baker added the extras and Dorchester were on their way.
The visitors continue to dominate field position but were unable to add to their score and paid the price when a speculative kick into the corner was not dealt with allowing the Oaks to touch down out wide.
The score appeared to energise Dorchester and, in the second quarter, they added three tries to effectively seal the required five points.
Cameron Wills, a home grown talent from Dorchester’s own youth set-up, carried several defenders over the line for the first, Lee King proved to be unstoppable from two metres for the second before scrum-half Tom Bradbury pounced on mistake at the base of an Oaks’ scrum for the bonus-point try.
Two Baker conversions gave Dorchester a 21-point lead at the break and the comfort of that bonus point.
However, if Dorchester thought that Oaks would rollover they were proved to be much mistaken.
The hosts tore into Dorchester in the second half and for most of the third quarter they more than held their own.
Eventually they were rewarded with a second unconverted try.
The visitors rode out the storm, and as Oaks tired and injuries took their toll, they took back control of the game.
Baker crossed for his 32nd try of the season, thus equalling the record set by Darren Thomas back in the 1990/91 season.
Matt Fry popped up on Clark’s shoulder to stroll through untouched for try number six and Baker’s conversion completed the scoring.
Following the game, coach Ben Parker gathered his thoughts on the league winning performance and said: “I am immensely proud of the squad and what they have achieved. The pressure was on and it showed with a few nerves to start with, including mine.
“But as a team they delivered in style and produced some brilliant rugby in places.
“We knew Oakmeadians would pose a threat and they took us out of our comfort zone several times.
“We kept out composure throughout and our discipline shone through which led to a convincing win and the important five points.
“I would like to give a special mention to the younger members of the squad, Cam Wills and Harry Wheeler for fronting up and proving a big influence on the game. Another outstanding performance came from our man of the match, Dave Clark, filling in at fly-half.”
Club Chairman Nick Hodge added his congratulations to the senior squad and coaching team by saying: “It was a very well deserved league title and promotion sealed by beating Oakmeadians.