These really are strange and difficult times and some of you, particularly the ‘essential workers’ will
have rugby far from your minds but I thought an update on our teams and what the club has been
doing since social distancing began would be a welcome change from the endless stream of
First the good news, the really good news! Our Senior First XV have been awarded top spot in
Wadworth Dorset and Wilts South and will be promoted back to Wadworth Southern Counties South
next season. This is just reward for the squad who were unbeaten in 16 matches in the league with
one home walkover. Coach Martin Oxland changed the style of play and maintained a core group
who played some scintillating rugby and learned to dig deep to win tough games. Congratulations to
Martin and his squad and indeed to the whole senior section who have supported the First XV effort
this year. The team have also been named "Club Rugby Team of the Month" for February in the May
issue of Rugby World Magazine. They were also in the running for grassroots team of the season if all had
gone to plan and the season had been finished. If you’re out and about you can pick up a copy with your
essential shopping or you can visit www.rugbyworld.com/in-the-mag/current-issue/whats-inside-the-
may-2020-issue-of-rugby-world-magazine-108842 to download a copy and read all about this fantastic
accolade for the team and the club as a whole.
There was another success story, and this one is very encouraging for the future of senior rugby at DRFC.
Our Colts were Dorset & Wilts Premier Division Champions and because the county cup final was
cancelled due to the corona virus they were joint winners of the County Cup with Chippenham RFC. The
lads have been coached by Mike Sprules who should be applauded for producing yet another winning
team for the club. Congratulations to all involved and we look forward to seeing all the lads playing senior
rugby next season.
Our ladies section started the season with a strong pool of players but sadly injuries cut the numbers
drastically and the team was also victim to the two storms but there was still an improvement overall as
the season went on. Coach Sam Wilson said “I am immensely proud of this great bunch of ladies, their
‘sportswomanship’ and rugby ethics are outstanding” Sam added her thanks to her co coach Nathan
Parker and others behind the scenes who make things happen.
Here’s a round-up of news from age groups:
Under 6s and 7s- The boys and girls swelled the numbers to over 20 during the season and had some
great games against Bournemouth, Swanage and Wareham, Sherborne and Blandford. Good progress
was made with skills and development.
Under 8s- The children plated at The Rec at half time during the Bath v Leicester match to start the
season and recently won a competition to play against other regional winners at Sandy Park courtesy of
Bradfords Builders Merchant, a date has yet to be set for this honour.
Under 9s- It’s been the first year with tackling for this group and they’ve thoroughly enjoyed the new
challenge. They were badly affected by the weather this year but are raring to go for 2020-2021.
Under 12s- This age group had a brilliant season, they now have 26 active players and they cam second in
their Dorset & Wilts division. They should have played in the second phase tournament at The Rec during
Easter but this has fallen foul of the corona virus too.
Under 13s- The boys had a disappointing season, by Dorchester standards but they all had good game
time and the section picked up a decent clutch of new players which bodes well for next season.
Under 14s- Another successful age group, second in the Dorset & Wilts league at Christmas and top of the cup competition when the corona virus restrictions hit. There’s lots of enthusiasm in this group and the boys are keeping in touch via social media and practicing skills whenever they can.
Under 16’s- This age group are also performing well and giving more hope for the future of our senior sides. In 2019-2020 the boys played 19 and won 16, two of the losing games were only by a point, the other by one try. This group have 9 players representing the county and every county game for the last two years for this cohort has been captained by a Dorchester player. They have two players in the Bath academy.
Girls- Numbers have been a problem for the girls this season so clubs around Dorset & Wilts clustered to provide rugby and it’s good to know that Dorchester were well represented in all these matches. As a club the girls played four friendlies with a 50% success rate. Six girls from Dorchester represented Dorset & Wilts at under 18 level and two at under 15. One of the girls, Masie Allen, was selected and played for England under 18s in the European 7s championship, congratulations to Masie for this achievement. Finally, I should mention Dave Critchell who is stepping away from coaching the girls. Dave will be sorely missed, we wish him all the best and thank him for his service over the years.
Off the pitch-
The committee have been working hard to make sure the club is in a good state when rugby starts up again or we are able to organise some much-needed social activity, whichever is the sooner. Maintenance work on the pitches has been carried out earlier than usual due to the premature cessation of rugby. This means that re seeding and other groundwork is better timed to take advantage of wetter spring weather and should result in better playing surfaces in September. Any work on the clubhouse that we would do at the end of a season has obviously been postponed, as soon as we are able to have a clean-up and maintenance day we will need lots of volunteers so please watch out for announcements. Financially we have taken all measures possible to shore up the club and I’m pleased to say that as I write the club is moderately healthy in a financial sense. However, we do not know when we will be allowed to resume normal activity at the club and during this uncertain period our only regular income is the 100 club, more about that below.
There is one way you can help the club now and in the longer term, you will also be in with a chance of winning a cash prize every month. At the present time the 100 club has less than 100 members paying £5.00 per month, half of the money received is paid out in prizes (£100 is the monthly first prize, which will grow if the membership increases). The target is to double the membership and prizes so please join if you can spare £5.00 per month. If you would like to join, please follow these instructions:
Via online banking:
Visit your bank online and set up a monthly standing order for Dorchester RFC for £5.00 (Sort code 309260 account number 00397293) Please put DRFC100 in the reference section so we know what it’s for.
Visit the club website 100 club page https://dorchesterrfc.rfu.club/100-club there you can download a standing order form you can either print off and post to your bank or email to your bank.
Important: Once you have either set up or your standing order or sent your form to your bank you must email email@example.com to let our membership secretary know you have joined.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on our Facebook pages for news of events and games as and when conditions permit. We will also update you with progress off the pitch throughout the summer and suggest other ways you can help the club in these trying times. In the meantime, enjoy your summer, stay safe, look after your loved ones and stay in touch with your rugby friends.