BRIDPORT are now almost certain to finish bottom of the league and face relegation to Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts South Two following another defeat against local rivals Puddletown, going down 43-8.

Sadly, it was the continuing story of not having a settled side and having to field a team depleted by injury and player availability.

Despite this, the Blues started brightly and were soon on the attack.

From a line-out on halfway, Harrison Crane made good ground into Puddletown’s 22 and a smart offload enabled Jordan Thirlwell to go over in the corner for an unconverted try.

From the kick-off the Blues again exerted pressure on their opponents but tenacious defence by Puddletown stopped the Blues making any progress apart from a good break again by Crane with Tayler Woodcock being bundled into touch on halfway.

Puddletown then went up a gear from the line-out and strong running by their backs gave them a try in the corner which was well converted for a 7-5 lead.

From the kick-off, Harry Richardson did well to charge down a clearance kick and gained a penalty for a high tackle which Rich Pearce converted to lead 8-7.

Unfortunately, this was the last time the Blues would trouble the scoreboard and despite several strong drives and with a dominant scrum, the Puddletown defence was excellent and gradually gained the upper hand, scoring two unconverted tries before half-time.

At the start of the second half, there was again positivity from the Blues but their ball carriers were not able to make any progress through a resolute Puddletown defence.

They went close when Thirlwell almost repeated his first-half score but was denied by a forward pass.

With Mitch Waters carrying an injury and Richardson forced off with a knee injury, the Blues’ attacking options were limited and Puddletown duly took advantage with three breakaway tries by their strong running backs.

Bridport looked as though they would hold out but with the last move of the game Puddletown ran through the defence to score under the posts.

Next up for the Blues is second-placed Dorset Dockers on Saturday.