BRIDPORT maintained fifth position in Dorset & Wilts Two South despite losing a hard-fought game away at North Dorset.

In the first half, the Blues were guilty of allowing the hosts’ very useful back line too much space, and conceded four tries from open play, three of which were converted.

However, Bridport’s scrum was sound at the set-piece and provided good possession, from which several moves fell just short of success.

Finally, Daragh McCloughlin scored from a ruck at short range and Ricky Stubbs added the conversion to end the half at 26-7.

Bridport started the second half brightly and might have scored three tries but for some dogged defence, with Nathan Herbert brought down just short twice and Ollie Everitt held up on the line.

It was against the run of play when the hosts stole the ball at a Bridport line-out and added another unconverted try.

The Blues responded immediately from the restart, winning the ball and setting up Al McNab, now playing at centre, for a stirring run to the line. The conversion went wide.

Enjoying a good spell of pressure, Bridport repeated the move with McNab this time running half the length of the pitch to score.

The kick was missed and the visitors were unable to add further points, so the score ended 33-17, a result which probably didn’t reflect the closeness of the encounter.

Ayo Fraser earned Bridport’s man of the match for forcing numerous turnovers.