COMBE DOWN 5
DORCHESTER beat Combe Down 27-5 to claim all five points in their first home Counties One Tribute Southern South fixture of the season.
With a change in the back line required due to Owen Mitchell withdrawing in the warm-up at Surcouf Park, Alex Peel moved into the fly-half role, and far from being tentative the county town outfit started the game the brighter of the two sides.
After an early penalty to open the scoring, Dorchester looked good in phase play and recycling the ball.
Player-coach Josh Ovey found himself on the right wing and ran in to score the first try in the corner before Dorchester struck again quickly with another try from Brook Legg to take the driving seat.
Combe Down began to play in Dorchester's half and eventually picked up a try for their efforts but failed with the conversion.
Dorchester came back attacking and Jack Adams went over for the third try giving the home team a 20-5 half-time lead.
With a change in the front row for the second period, Dorchester looked to dominate up front and very quickly picked up a penalty from forward play and gained a further ten metres when the opposition back chat was heard by the referee.
Losing momentum with a number of penalties against them, Dorchester needed to defend well and prevent their line being breached.
Combe Down picked up a yellow card following a messy scrum. Midway through the second period, one the visitors' front row was injured resulting in a lengthy stoppage as he was stretchered from the pitch.
Dorchester now picked up a yellow card with less than ten minutes left of the game, with the side looking to get the bonus point try making several breaks through Adams and Jack Hayward.
With little time left, Legg received the ball well in his own half and beating four players went in under the posts to score, claiming the bonus point for the team and his second of try of the day. The conversion completed the scoring.
This week’s Clayson Scaffolding Man of the Match was awarded to Legg.
Post-match, Ovey said: “Following last week’s performance, where we came away knowing we hadn't stuck to our gameplan and underperformed, we were looking for a whole squad response.
"The first half was some of the best rugby we've played in recent years, when the gameplan and structure were utilised, we proved just how effective it is creating space to exploit.
"Using our more mobile forwards, spreading the field and giving speedsters like Cohen and Brook the freedom to attack space out wide with constant support.
"The combinations in our backs worked well with leadership and control displayed to keep ball in hand, a huge improvement on last week.
“The second-half performance was less inspiring though, with periods of the game where the penalty count and attitude required attention, but our on-field leadership stepped up and ensured the final ten minutes (we regained) control enabling us to score late and secure that bonus-point win.”
Dorchester rise to third in the table, three points above next week’s opposition Swanage & Wareham.
At the same time, Dorchester's A XV took on Poole, coming out with another win for the club, 32-5.
After last week’s disappointment of a narrow loss this puts them back to second place in the Counties Three Tribute Dorset & Wilts table.
As with the recent friendly, both sides were evenly matched, however a more determined and disciplined Dorchester made the most of their opportunities to lead at half-time without conceding.
The first score in the second half went to Poole but, unlike last weekend’s collapse, this only succeeded in rousing the home side, to prevent Poole crossing the line again.
The A XV’s next game is at East Dorset Dockers Seconds next Saturday, however they have not raised a side for their previous three fixtures.
Clayson Scaffolding man of the match: Brook Legg
A XV Clayson Scaffolding man of the match: Scott Peach