BRIDPORT Daggers claimed a first win of 2024 on their return home against Oakmeadians, triumphing 23-20 in their Counties Two Tribute Dorset & Wilts South clash at the Brewery Ground.

Daggers continued to showcase their ability to start strongly in the first half and this week they had the fortune of a strong wind behind them.

As the half went on, Daggers began to utilise the wind more and more, through a neat kicking strategy.

This provided the platform for a strong carry from Luke Robertson, to bring Daggers into the Oakmeadians’ 22. The initial work had been done and enabled Harry Courtice to fight his way over for a converted try.

READ MORE: North Dorset II 21-17 Bridport - report

Against the wind, Oakmeadians fought back through their forwards to give themselves field position. With strong carrying, Oakmeadians caught a Daggers’ player not rolling away and their fly-half stepped up to successfully take the penalty.

Daggers responded quickly with a smartly-taken try from Harrison Wilkins in the left corner.

After winning the ball back in Oakmeadians’ half, Daggers’ fly-half, Will Scott, spotted space out wide to feed the ball through the backs and give Wilkins the space to use his pace and add a very impressive try.

Continuing to use their kicking to apply pressure to Oakmeadians, Daggers found themselves winning penalties within a position to go for posts.

The first penalty attempt from Rory Greening on the Oakmeadians’ 10-metre line fell just short, however Greening was successful with his next attempt, which was within range.

Daggers were wary of a slow start to the second half and a sense of déjà vu began to take hold, as Oakmeadians found themselves quickly in a position to take another successful penalty kick at goal, which brought them closer on the scoreboard.

What followed was another Oakmeadians’ try and conversion, which brought them to within two points of Daggers.

Daggers made some substitutions to freshen the team, with Louis Cornick and Pete Phillips coming off the bench to add some much-needed energy.

The Daggers’ coaching team got the response they had been hoping for when Nathan Herbert found space, following a smart line and went over for an unconverted try.

With the impact from the bench showing, Daggers found themselves in a position to go two scores clear in the closing stages of the match. Fighting against the wind, Cam Waite stepped up under pressure to deliver a penalty kick, which would go on to be the difference.

Under pressure to score quickly, Oakmeadians’ fly-half Bryn Hopkins placed a challenging restart into the backfield and Camille Bird was left with no other option but to touch down on his try line.

From the resulting scrum, Oakmeadians carried short and went over close to the posts.

At this point the match referee declared 30 seconds remaining in the game and once Hopkins had kicked the ball, there was no time for the restart, providing Daggers with a much-deserved win.

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

Following the game, the clubhouse is hosting a charity horse race event, starting at 7pm, in support of Weldmar Hospice, in memory of clubman Keith Readings.