BRIDPORT were fortunate to come away with two losing bonus points after facing a well-drilled Salisbury third team.

Both teams scored four tries, but a first-half penalty to Salisbury acted as the difference between the two teams as at the final whistle the visitors lost 27-26.

Excellent kicking all game from Richard Layzell kept Bridport in touch with their opposition. Whilst Richard Pearce managed to claim two of Bridport’s four tries, while Mitch Waters and Daragh McLoughlin contributed with the others.

After the team conceded early on from poor defence, Pearce was able to give Bridport their only lead of the game as he broke the line and ran in from the halfway line for his first try.

All afternoon, Bridport struggled to contest at the breakdown and Salisbury soon edged in front with a penalty that the

Blues’ forwards conceded for killing the ball.

At half-time, after conceding another try, Bridport’s heads were down despite being a mere six points behind.

The 20 minutes that followed the interval could only be described as sheer capitulation; the Blues stood quietly on the field as they watched the home side dominate while they themselves looked devoid of ideas in attack, continually losing possession.

If it was not for a spirited defence led by McLoughlin, Salisbury could have easily ran in more than the two tries they did during that period.

However, now comfortably in the lead and with a bonus point in hand, the home side became complacent and didn’t count on the determination of this Bridport side.

Now trailing by 20 points, Bridport’s forwards finally began to protect the ball.

After six or seven phases in possession the Salisbury defence was left ragged and Waters found a gap to score his try from the halfway line.

Subsequently the Bridport backs reinvigorated themselves. Neat hands through the backs left Pearce an easy run in to score his second.

But the resulting kick was unfortunately Layzell’s only miss of the game and still left the Blues trailing by eight points with only five minutes to go.

For the final minutes, Salisbury valiantly defended on their own line to keep the encroaching Bridport side out.

Thankfully, fortune was with the Blues and especially McLoughlin as he fumbled the ball over a defender's head, only to scramble to catch it over the try line to score under the posts for Layzell to convert a further two points and leave them behind by one.

As the final whistle went a play later, Bridport were fortunate to have come so close at the final whistle.

However lessons must be learnt as this week Bridport’s undefeated home record will be challenged as top of the league and undefeated New Milton Seconds will come to the Brewery Ground.