Tue 24 Apr 2018 20:27

Sat 14 Apr 2018, 15:00

Dorchester RFC
Salisbury RFC

DORCHESTER celebrated their promotion from Dorset & Wilts One South in style beating Salisbury 96-7 and in doing so passed 1,000 points for the season in league and cup competitions for the first time.

With the league title and promotion secured last week, Dorchester treated their loyal supporters and sponsors to an afternoon of champagne rugby.

In a dazzling first 40 minutes, the county town side completely overwhelmed their visitors scoring 10 tries many of which were from moves started from deep in their own territory.

Callum King started the scoring when he intercepted a stray Salisbury pass and strolled over unopposed. Matt Read, Alex Peel and James Baker all added their names to the list of try scorers before Alex Peel scored the pick of the tries, finishing off a sequence of slick passing involving both backs and forwards.

Scrum-half Tom Bradbury got in on the act, quickly followed by hooker Liam Kershaw. Jamie Morgan latched on to Peel’s clever cross-field kick for try number eight and the half came to a close with both Baker and King adding a second try apiece.

The visitors did manage a solitary converted try to gain some reward for their brave attempts to stem the tide.

Salisbury were better in the second half and spent long periods in the Dorchester half and it was fully 15 minutes before the hosts were able to add to their score, with Baker completing his hat-trick. This was soon followed by Peel completing his treble with a good move.

Bradbury then pounced on a dropped pass and sprinted in from halfway and Baker added a fourth try, his 36th of a record-breaking season, and Harry Charlier crossed for the 16th and final try of the day.

Baker’s four tries and eight conversions took his points tally for the season to 367 surpassing Geraint Hughes’ previous record of 355.

Coaches Ben Parker and Rich Bament said: “That was a brilliant display of rugby from the lads and we are proud of what they have achieved this season.

“This was one of our best performances and we distributed the ball well with a totally unselfish attitude.

“It was a joy to watch the team working together through the match.”

Parker added: “This week, our final game this season, will be a very different game against a strong Bournemouth side that tested us in the first game of the season.

“Both teams will have progressed and I am hoping it will give us an idea of where we are heading next season with promotion to the next level.”

In other games over the weekend, Dorchester’s A XV narrowly lost away to Salisbury A while Dorchester Gladiators overcame Salisbury Fourths at home, in Nick Hodges’ last game as captain of the side.

The future looks bright for Dorchester as the highly successful under-16s side reached their third consecutive Dorset & Wilts County Cup final with another superb win over Wimborne.

The visitors started well with early momentum, however, towards the end of the first 20 minutes, Dorchester began to wrest control from Wimborne, with their more powerful forwards taking control.

Dorchester led 22-8 at half-time and, as the second half started, it was clear the home side had claimed the upper hand. Two further tries from a rampant Stewart and 50-metre surge from O’Connor and the victory was secured 39-13. The Twin Counties final is set for April 29 where Dorchester will face Chippenham.

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