BRIDPORT Daggers came agonisingly close on the road for the second time in 2024, losing 21-17 against North Dorset Seconds in Counties Two Tribute Dorset & Wilts South.

Daggers’ domination of the first half began in the opening five minutes, following a turnover in North Dorset’s 22.

After a strong carry by Daggers’ eventual man of the match, Luke Robertson, the ball was moved quickly to the left wing, allowing Jack Pellow to use his pace and go over in the corner.

Daggers continued to apply pressure and a smart dummy from an attacking line-out saw Cam Waite sneak through a gap in the North Dorset defence.

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With North Dorset on the back foot, Nathan Herbert picked a hard line to go through, before an unorthodox chip and chase bamboozled the North Dorset winger, allowing Herbert in under the posts.

Daggers did not manage to capitalise on all of their opportunities in the first half, although they ended the half with a try built from their forward power.

A number of strong short-range carries from the Daggers’ forward pack enabled Guy Wyndham to power his way over in the last act of the first half.

After the break, North Dorset came out with greater ferocity in their defence and carrying of the ball.

North Dorset struck first when their second row, Brad Bignell, took the ball neatly off the line-out and powered his way through two tacklers to score and put North Dorset onto the scoreboard.

Having regained confidence, North Dorset kicked well to gain territory, with Daggers losing possession of the ball in their own half and found themselves with too much space in their backline.

North Dorset identified this opportunity and quickly seized their chance, moving the ball down through the line, until they provided Josh Salisbury with the space to go over for a straightforward try.

North Dorset’s final try was a perfectly executed backline move from a scrum, starting in their own half.

North Dorset’s full-back, Tom Ashfield, found space between the Daggers’ outside centre and winger channel, making his way down the field to feed Dan Pott after drawing the full-back.

Pott went in for the try, which gave North Dorset the score that would see them home for the win.

In the final stages, Daggers fought valiantly to find a try to take back the lead, however this was to be in vain as North Dorset found the fight to hold them out.

With Daggers on the ball, North Dorset timed a counter-ruck perfectly to win back possession, before clearing it to touch to bring the game to an end.

Daggers’ next game will be home in the league against Oakmeadians on Saturday.