SWANAGE & WAREHAM IV 14 BRIDPORT II 12
A LOSING bonus point was Bridport’s only reward from a Dorset & Wilts Four fixture at Swanage & Wareham that could quite easily have gone their way, writes Adrian Everitt.
The Swans were charging £3 to park and watch the rugby, and if you enjoy seeing scrums being endlessly set and reset you would have had excellent value for money.
The backs were so cold as a result that the numerous handling errors could be excused.
The hosts kicked off into a low sun on a glorious afternoon and enjoyed a sustained period of pressure close to the Bridport line.
Bridport conceded numerous penalties but defended stoutly and their first vigorous incursion into Swanage’s half resulted in a scrum five metres out.
Scrum-half Ollie Everitt chose to go down the blind side and his well-timed off-load sent John Butler over in the corner. Rob Parker’s conversion from a difficult angle hit the post and went wide.
Swanage then returned to Bridport’s 22 and set up camp, their large, if somewhat one dimensional forwards mounting attack after attack. Their endeavour was rewarded with a try from hooker Craig Peterson, the conversion from in front of the posts was a formality.
Territory in the second half was more evenly contested, with erratic handling leading to opportunities missed on both sides.
Finally, strong running from Bridport’s backs led to a try from George Bowditch, which Rob Parker converted.
The try was sufficiently controversial to earn a Swanage player a straight red card for some choice language directed at the referee.
Jamie Livingstone was then sent to the sin-bin and during the resulting regrouping, Swanage scored again via Paul Dagley. Lee Smith added the extras.
Determined play from backs and forwards could easily have given Bridport a win at the last, but the final pass went loose and Swanage emerged winners.
All the Bridport squad played their part with man of the match Darragh McCloghlin tireless in defence, Mark Gough especially lively in the pack and Bowditch strong with ball in hand.