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Home > News > Weymouth 21 - Dorchester 13
Your News Weymouth 21 - Dorchester 13

Any uncommitted punter paying their three quid admission expecting to experience an open flowing encounter would have been disappointed with this contest.

It was more of a classic derby game with echoes going back to a previous generation of rugby players.

Hugh Mason, Frank Dyke, Trevor Williams, Martin Bartlett, Barry Ross Mackenzie, Geraint Hughes, names synonymous with south Dorset rugby have all hung up their boots for good and are now relegated to playing a supporting role.

This is the next generation of players, with the exception of Weymouth veteran full back Dave Allan and for first time this millennium, in fact the first time since Weymouth moved to their new ground in 1987 the Seasders managed to gain a favourable result against their nearest neighbours, a team containing three of their former players.

One of them prop Steve Hodgson actually captained the club during his tenure at Monmouth Avenue before moving north to Coburg Road.

Any derby clash has an added importance with local bragging rites up for grabs and it came as no surprise that tempers flared on occasion, but it was never beyond control and but for a couple of early incidents both teams managed to control the red mist throughout.

The game was littered with errors and some indiscipline that saw three players, one from Weymouth and two from Dorchester sin binned, however Weymouth made fewer mistakes and that in the end was probably the difference between the two teams.

The game was almost a carbon copy of the match back in November at Coburg Road when Dorchester raced into to an early lead then to be pegged back in the second period, but managing to hang on until the final whistle for the victory, only this time it was squeaky bum time for the Seasiders fans.

Dorchester drew first blood with a penalty from fly half John Firkin, but again it was the team with home advantage that held the lead at the break by 14 points to three courtesy of a penalty try awarded by the referee after home left wing Josh Docherty had been obstructed after chasing his chip kick towards the Dorchester try line and with scrum half Craig Barter stroking over the conversion from in front of the posts Weymouth took the lead by seven points to three.

Twenty minutes had elapsed when the Seasiders veteran full back Allan pouched a loose down field kick and broke back into the Dorchester half, he worked the ball back into the forwards to set up a ruck in centre field, the ball was secured then moved out to Docherty who sprinted in to touch down for the try with Barter again converting.

The remainder of the half was nip and tuck with neither side gaining overall control.

Directly from the second half restart Weymouth tuned over possession and moved the ball to centre Adam Hoxey who burst through a despairing tackle to dive across the line to score, Barter again converted to put the Seasiders into a commanding 21 points to three lead.

As the game progresses Dorchester began to exert pressure deep inside the Weymouth half and from a scrum on the home 22 centre Lee Harvey drove for the line, Weymouth skipper number 8 Tony Worle wrapped him up just short on the try line, however although on his back he still managed to reach out a ground the ball for a try.

How the Dorchester faithful must have wished mister reliable Geraint Hughes was still available to play as a simple conversion was missed then an even easier penalty attempt was struck wide of the posts.

Going into injury time Harvey capped Dorchesters best move of the game with a try in the corner, but it was too late.

As the final minutes ebbed away Weymouth monopolised possession and also had three unsuccessful penalty attempts, but they ran down the clock until the final whistle sounded.

After the game Weymouth assistant coach Paul Harding said: I have no doubts that we were the better side this afternoon and all credit to the way we defended when Dorchester came at us late in the game. I was a little disappointed that we shipped two late tries, but we got a bit nervous and under pressure made a few basic errors and had to defend like demons to keep them out.

We learnt lot loosing at Dorchester last month and the lads have worked very hard at training to put things right and all credit to them they got their reward this afternoon".

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