By Kevin Harte


LAST week’s excellent performance could not be maintained as a young and depleted Bridport side came up against a stronger and more experienced Swanage side.

The game was played in long periods of heavy rain which produced numerous handling errors throughout the match.

The early exchanges were even and when after 10 minutes, a promising Bridport overlap on halfway was foiled by a Swanage interception who then ran in to score a converted try.

Bridport responded well and five minutes later, clever passing created space on the halfway line and centre Richard Pearce broke free and outpaced the defence to score a converted try.

The visitors now started to struggle especially in the forwards and soon received their first yellow card.

They almost held out with 14 men but they finally succumbed to continuous pressure conceding another converted try.

They continued to concede territory and penalties and Swanage converted one of these to lead 17-7 at half-time.

Bridport started the second half well with periods of quality possession and came close to scoring on several occasions but their inexperience told when they lost their ball in the Swanage 22 allowing the opposition to run in for an unconverted try.

It was all Swanage now and Bridport received their second yellow card for over vigorous defending.

They continued with a brave defensive effort but were not able to stop Swanage scoring an unconverted try in the closing minutes.

The relative inexperience of the side, particularly in the backs with players playing in new positions, showed with the concession of too many penalties and not providing enough support play in promising situations but this will give the Blues a lot to build on for the forthcoming games, with the added value that the next four games are all home fixtures.

However, they will take pride from a spirited defence, and solid scrummaging, which limited the scoring opportunities for Swanage.

The Blues next match is a home Dorset & Wilts cup match against Melksham on Saturday followed by a home league game against Weymouth on Saturday, September 30.