NEVER was the old sporting cliché 'a game of two halves' more apt than in this hard fought derby.

At half-time Bridport were sitting comfortably on a 22–0 lead, but after 80 minutes they were forced to swallow the very bitter pill of a 22–24 point defeat.

After the one-sided games of recent weeks this was a compelling contest nevertheless, and one from which Bridport will learn.

Very gusty conditions contributed to a rather scrappy opening period, with a solid home defence snuffing out some promising Bridport moves.

Finally the deadlock was broken from an attacking Bridport scrum, the ball was fired out along the back line and fed to Ricky Stubbs, who had taken a great line and was not to be denied from short range. Will Everitt added the conversion for the Blues.

From the restart Daragh McLoughlin stormed off downfield, scattering defenders and off-loading to Stubbs, who duly scored his second. The conversion kick hit the post to leave the score at 12-0 to the visitors.

At this stage the Bridport forwards were competing well with a much heavier Dorchester pack, providing good possession for the backs and forcing errors from the hosts.

Blues’ scrum-half Tom East was unlucky not to add to the score when his clever run from a quickly taken penalty and kick ahead went just long, but Fred Everitt was successful with a grubber kick of his own which he touched down under the posts. The conversion made it 19–0.

More pressure from the visitors led to some desperate defending from Dorchester and another converted penalty ended the half at 22–0. Unfortunately in the build up to the penalty Fred Everitt was forced off with a heavy blow to the face.

The second half was all Dorchester’s, for reasons that were hard to explain. Certainly they had the wind behind them and used it well to gain territory.

Bridport's forwards were feeling the strain of containing their heavier counterparts, but ultimately the sides were evenly matched. You might say that in the first half Bridport played to their strengths, and in the second, Dorchester to theirs.

After three converted tries from Dorchester, it all came down to a kickable penalty in the final minutes, which was coolly taken by the county town club’s full-back to cap a remarkable comeback.

Bridport man of the match: Ricky Stubbs