BRIDPORT came agonisingly close to a much-needed victory, but conceded a try in the last play of the match to draw 17-17 with Puddletown in Dorset & Wilts One South.

As has happened before this season, the Blues failed to close out a game they should have won and remain at the bottom of the table one point behind Salisbury.

The game started in a disastrous way for the Blues as Puddletown spun the ball out to the winger who evaded six attempted tackles to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Puddletown were soon back at the Blues’ line but a Nathan Herbert kick relieved the pressure and the Blues, while forcing turnovers, went into the 22 but lost ground with a line out throw.

However, they recovered the ball and Ellis Blackburn forced his way into the 22 gaining a penalty and Rich Layzell’s kick was narrowly wide of the post.

From the drop out, the Blues took a scrum against the head, Daragh Mcoughlin made the initial break offloading to Rick Pierce who powered over in the corner, Layzell making an excellent touchline conversion.

The Blues defended well in the last period before half-time as Puddletown mounted a series of attacks on the Blues line, and they eventually gained a penalty try for a high tackle preventing a score to go in 12-7 at half-time.

The Blues were soon back in their opponents’ 22 when Rich Pierce kicked a loose ball through,

Puddletown conceded a penalty and, from a quick tap, Mcoughlin broke into the 22 and good handling from Pierce put Guy Brazier in at the corner.

With no recognised kicker on the field, Layzell having retired, the conversion was missed.

The Blues were now in the ascendancy in the scrum and from a series of turnovers they drove play up to Puddletown’s line and, from another scrum, drove the Puddletown scrum back and Pete Phillips was on hand to ground the ball but the vital conversion was missed.

The Blues then suffered heartbreak when they conceded a penalty at the final scrum, allowing the opponents to take a tap down the line and score in the corner, but they missed the conversion.

Bridport’s host Salisbury Seconds on Saturday, December 15.