BRIDPORT’S Tribute Dorset & Wilts One South season ended with a 59-13 defeat to second-placed Blandford in Brett Chant’s final game for the Blues.

An ever-present player, Chant retires from playing at the age of 49.

He started with the Colts in 1991 and has up to 700 games in the front row. In recent years he has conserved his energy for the dark art of the scrum rather than concentrating on blistering line breaks.

Chant was one of just 17 players in the Bridport squad that made the trip to Blandford, making it difficult for the Blues to regain the momentum of the last few months against a strong side.

READ MORE: Weymouth & Portland 33-18 Bridport - match report

As they did against Weymouth, the Blues started brightly keeping the Blandford backs at bay and were unfortunate to lose out to a speculative kick and chase by the Blandford backs to go 7-0 down after only 10 minutes.

From the kick-off good defence by the Blues kept Blandford out and a booming clearing kick earned a line-out penalty which Mitch Waters just put wide of the posts.

From the drop-out the Blues were back on the attack going through the phases and earning a penalty which Waters quickly took driving into the 22. Blandford did not release and Waters successfully took the three points.

But Blandford pressure kept the Blues pinned back in their 22 and only excellent clearing kicks by Charlie Samways kept the hosts from adding to their score.

From one of these kicks the Blues gained a line-out penalty which Waters took quickly again driving into the hosts’ 22 forcing another penalty.

The Blues went for the corner and took a short line-out, Nathan Herbert went close forcing another penalty from which quick ball through the backs enabled Harrison Crane to go over in the corner for an unconverted try and an 8-7 lead.

Bridport now had their tails up and from the kick-off they forced a turnover and a clean break by Andrew Livingston took them over halfway.

Quick ruck ball then enabled Samways to throw a pinpoint long pass to Crane who offloaded to Jordan Neil to score in the corner, extending the lead to 13-7.

Unfortunately, this was to be the last Blues score of the game with Blandford running in two converted tries.

The first came from a poor clearance kick and the second with a powerful catch and drive to lead 21-13 at half-time.

Sadly, in the second half the Blues could not find any momentum and continuity in their play, not helped by injured players being substituted and then subsequently having to come back on the field to keep the side at 15 players.

They had no answer to the powerful running from the hosts’ forwards and backs and conceded six second-half tries without reply.

At the end of the match, Waters said for family reasons he was hanging up his boots and with captain Andrew Livingston moving to the Midlands the Blues will be looking to recruit new players for next season.

Overall, after a poor first half of the season they had a purple patch after Christmas with some excellent results over higher placed sides to secure a ninth-place finish in the league.