BRIDPORT narrowly lost a tight game against fellow Tribute Dorset & Wilts One South relegation rivals Salisbury Seconds 22-24.

However, the Blues gained two bonus points and with other results going their way they remain out of the bottom two.

The points were not without cost though, as Bridport’s injury curse continues. Both Hugh Vivian and Ross Duncan left the field with what could mean a long-term absence.

From the kick-off Salisbury started brightly with some strong runs but the Blues’ defence held firm and they were able to profit from an early penalty with Mitch Waters setting up Andrew Livingston for a score only to be called back for a forward pass.

Waters’ kick set them up for a line-out on the five-metre line only for Salisbury to turn it over. Somehow the Blues regained the ball and Vivian scored, Waters converting.

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Sadly for the Blues, Salisbury attacked from a midfield scrum and poor defence allowed them to run in a converted try. Salisbury came again from the kick-off and the Blues had Toby James yellow carded.

Salisbury were unable to capitalise as Waters found an excellent touch from a penalty and despite a badly functioning line-out the Blues forced a scrum with Nathan Herbert breaking on the blind side and neatly offloading to Richard Middleton to score.

From the kick-off a great run by Rich Layzell took the Blues into their opponents’ 22 and after conceding a penalty the Blues regained control through the forwards and Paul Mullaney drove over from a five-metre scrum.

With the half coming to an end the Blues were unable to control their lead when an attempt to keep the ball in play from a Salisbury penalty fell kindly for the opponents to catch and score in the corner.

The second half was very disjointed with injuries effecting the shape of the Blues’ team and Salisbury playing with increasing confidence and pressing the Blues’ line, eventually their backs outpacing the Blues’ defence to equalise the scores at 17-17.

With both sides conceding penalties the game lost structure but it was the Blues who benefited when from a quickly taken penalty by Waters, Mullaney was able to offload for Herbert to score his fourth try of the season, claiming a 22-17 lead.

Salisbury came again and despite desperate defence from the Blues their backs were able to break the hosts’ defence for a converted try to take the lead.

The Blues desperately sought the winning score and with their goal-kicker Waters off the field declined a lengthy penalty kick in favour of a pick and go which they were unable to turn into points.

Bridport will now regroup to face East Dorset Dockers in their next home game on Saturday.