WHILE Bridport’s first XV were losing 29-10 at New Milton Seconds in Dorset & Wilts Two South, the Blues’ second team went to Monmouth Avenue for a friendly against their Weymouth & Portland counterparts.

Steve Hodder, Stefan McMaster and Paris Hawkes-Wellstead made welcome returns for Bridport in a team of 14 that featured a mixture of old hands and young blood.

Led by captain Tim Edwards, the Bridport forwards hit the hosts hard and attacked from the outset.

The home side, on the other hand, had a superb combination at outside-centre, wing and full-back.

Weymouth & Portland opened the scoring after some superb interplay by their back three. The full-back converted his own try.

Bridport fought back with a series of attacks by Mark Gough and Edwards, before the former had to leave the field through injury.

Replacement Pete Phillips, in his first game after a neck injury, carried on the attacks and crossed the line only to have the try disallowed as referee Chris Burton was unsighted.

Changing tack, Blues' scrum-half Ollie Lavis spun the ball to McMaster who punched holes in the Weymouth back line and linked with Hodder to form an effective attack.

When the ball reached man of the match Hawkes-Wellstead he was brought down just short of the try line by a high tackle.

Unfortunately, the ensuing penalty was not converted into points.

Weymouth fought back and once again their full-back scythed through to score out wide.

The score wasn’t converted but the hosts led 12-0 at the break.

Again, both sides were evenly matched in the second half, but Hawkes-Wellstead was continually closed down by Weymouth who recognised his danger.

This allowed rugby league convert Alex Gale and novice Harry Nelson to show their natural talent.

Both proved very effective, with Nelson almost making the try line after a 50-yard run – he beat three defenders only to be stopped five yards out.

Paris took the ball on and crossed the line only for replacement referee Gareth Thomson, like Burton, to be unsighted and so Bridport’s try was again disallowed.

Bridport’s line-out worked well in the second half with James Wallbridge securing ball thrown in by young hooker Joe Hewet- son.

This gave Bridport a good platform to launch more attacks, culminating in the dying seconds with Wellstead crossing the line again, only for the score to be ruled out once more.

Bridport Seconds face Oakmeadians Thirds at the Brewery Ground on Saturday and the firsts entertain North Dorset Thirds.