BRIDPORT Daggers ground out a tense, tight 18-17 win on a boggy pitch at East Dorset Dockers in Counties Two Tribute Dorset & Wilts South.

Daggers started the match finding good fluency in their attack and putting Dockers under pressure.

Having moved the ball well to the right wing, Harrison Wilkins used his pace to get in behind the defensive line. The next phase saw Sam Petchey carry strongly through the middle, before Dockers gave away a penalty for hands in the ruck.

This provided Petchey with his first penalty of the day, to give Daggers an early 3-0 lead.

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Having controlled possession for the opening stages of the game, Daggers then fumbled the ball in their half, providing Dockers with an opportunity to get into Bridport’s 22.

Applying pressure at the breakdown, Daggers were viewed to have knocked on the ball trying to regain possession and Dockers’ number eight Jamie Whitehall powered over for a try from the back of the scrum.

Wanting to find pace in the game, Daggers quickly moved the ball from an attacking line-out and were able to exploit space in the left-hand channel of the pitch. Once again, Dockers were penalised and Charlie Samways took a quick tap, feeding the ball down the line to Cam Waite who scored in the corner.

Daggers continued to take control of the game, leaning more on their power game as the weight of the pitch began to play a factor. Having gained territory from a strike move, the forwards carried close to the line and Luke Robertson powered over for a try for a 15-5 half-time lead.

As the second half began, Daggers exhibited a strong defensive line, which held Dockers back from the kick-off. This defensive effort paid off as Daggers were awarded with a penalty kick opportunity, which Petchey duly converted for 18-5.

With Daggers having built a strong lead, Dockers struck back, gaining ground from a kick. Working the ball width to width, the space opened for Dockers’ right wing who powered his way over, through the would-be Daggers’ defenders, to score.

Feeling that they were back in the game, Dockers clearly had the desire to play and control the momentum which was with them.

Once again, Dockers broke through following a Samways kick and found space on the left-hand side of the pitch. Seeing that the Daggers’ defence had become narrow, a beautiful cross-field kick was seized by Dockers’ right wing, who fed the ball to his full-back, who scored under the posts for a converted try.

With only one point separating the teams, the last stages of the match became a nervy spectacle.

Having kicked long from the restart, Daggers were able to keep Dockers pinned in their half to avoid any scoring opportunity. The final passage of play saw a strong defensive press from Daggers which led to a knock on, that provided an important away victory.

Daggers’ next game will be away in the cup against Oakmeadians on Saturday. Rugby fans are encouraged to scan Bridport RFC’s social media channels for opening times at their clubhouse for watching the Six Nations, which continues this weekend.