HAVING suffered a 29-10 defeat at New Milton earlier in the season, Bridport were keen to reverse that scoreline and create some breathing space between themselves and Wheatsheaf Cabin Crew, challenging the Brewery Ground side for fifth place in Dorset & Wilts Two South.

Playing in better weather conditions than has often been the case this winter, Bridport started strongly, playing with control and making good territory.

Following some powerful carries by Bridport forwards the ball was moved along the line quickly stretching the New Milton defence and freeing up winger Ollie Cole to dive over in the corner. The conversion was missed (5-0).

New Milton then built some pressure of their own, kicking in the gusty wind to gain yards.

From a scrum near the Bridport line, they worked a move on the blind side with the number eight, scrum-half and then winger combining to score out wide to level the game up.

After the turn around, with the wind at their backs, the Blues were then able to play much of the game deep inside New Milton’s half.

Bridport’s forwards were now on top in the scrum and twice came close to pushing over from close range.

From a Bridport line-out and driving maul, a well-worked switch in the midfield opened just enough space for Ricky Stubbs to dash in under the posts. The conversion was made to give the home side a 12-5 lead.

Momentum was building for Bridport and they struck again shortly after.

Quick handling and some smart offloads resulted in the ever present Stubbs to collect another five point for the Blues. The conversion added, Bridport now led 19-5.

New Milton then responded quickly with a try of their own. A loose scrum saw the ball spit out of the side and was gathered by New Milton’s blindside flanker, who charged downfield offloading to a support player who slid in. Kicking into a strong headwind the conversion was missed as Bridport were still in the ascendancy at 19-10.

Sniffing a chance, New Milton piled on the pressure for the final 20 minutes.

Bridport defended robustly, led by man of the match Andrew Livingstone, but when a prop of considerable stature charged a quickly taken penalty five metres from Bridport’s line he was not to be denied.

But from there Bridport were able to control possession and run down the remaining few minutes to record a memorable victory.