Sat 21 Apr 2018, 15:00
With the record-breaking season coming to its conclusion, Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South champions Dorchester completed their season with a hard-earned victory at Bournemouth.
There was little of last week’s free running and carefree attacking. There was however plenty of stern defence and hard carrying in close quarters.
The hosts started confidently and showed plenty of ambition in the early exchanges.
Dorchester’s defensive line speed kept the pressure on and it was no surprise when Callum King intercepted and had a free run to the line, James Baker added the extras.
The score seemed to dent Bournemouth’s confidence and they resorted to trying to kick for field position. A tactic that Dorchester’s back three were more than happy to deal with.
With their set-piece working well, Dorchester launched series of attacks culminating in King crossing for his second try as Bournemouth ran out of defenders.
Finally, Bournemouth created some pressure of their own and, from a five-metre scrum, one of their flankers scored in the right corner. The conversion was successful leaving Dorchester leading by 14 points to seven at the break.
The second half started with three quick scores, winger Zak Boyd-Paton scored for Dorchester, Bournemouth immediately replied with a try of their own and then James Baker went over for his 37th try of the season.
With the match result probably decided and the bonus point in the bag, the game lost much of its structure. Both sides tried hard but achieved little in the way of creating scoring chances.
As the game drifted to its conclusion, fly-half Alex Peel did add a fifth try for the visitors then, on the stroke of full-time, Bournemouth forced their way over for a consolation score.
In what can truly be classed as an outstanding season, Dorchester’s first XV have rewritten many records.
Most tries scored in one game in November, collecting the try bonus point in every game won in the league, scoring more than 100 points and topping the league on 101 points.
The side lost only two league games all season and overcame Oakmeadians in the Dorset & Wilts Vase in January.
Vice-captain Baker scored 37 tries for the season and broke the club record for most points scored in a season with 382 points, a record which had stood since the 98/99 season.
At the celebratory players’ dinner on Saturday the season’s awards were announced.
Player of the season: James Baker; Most improved player: Joe Underhill; A XV player of the season: Rob Parker; A XV most improved player: Jim Murnane; Third XV Gladiators’ player of the season: Jamie Lamb-Foster. James Baker also picked up the players ‘player of the season.
With the coaching partnership of Ben Parker and Rich Bament stepping down, Bament was presented with a club blazer in which his playing and scoring records were listed. Bament has played more than 250 times for the county town club and racked up over 900 points.