BRIDPORT Daggers ended their regular season at home with a pulsating 43-36 win over local rivals Crewkerne to retain the Brown Bowler.

With the sun shining down, Daggers showed within the opening minutes that this would be a day for running rugby.

An opening try started in Daggers’ 22, when Pete Phillips carried through contact, freeing his arms to release the ball to the backline to find Cam Waite in space.

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Some fine interplay between Waite and man-of-the-match Ollie Hansford-Harvey, saw the Crewkerne full-back drawn and sent Daragh Mcloughlin over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Crewkerne struck back with the first of Huw Edwards’ hat-trick of tries, which all came from a strong scrum setup. Edwards’ first try was an effective move that began in Crewkerne’s half and saw the inside centre go clean through for a converted try.

In response, Daggers wanted to raise the tempo and a quick tap was passed from scrum-half Euan Chant to Luke Robertson, who fed Phillips at short range to force his way over. Waite added the conversion.

The momentum then began to go in Crewkerne’s direction, as Nathan Herbert was yellow-carded for side entry at a ruck, which caught a Crewkerne player on the head.

With the extra man advantage, fly-half Ollie Singleton added a penalty kick and Edwards went over for another converted score, to give Crewkerne the lead.

With Herbert back on the pitch and Crewkerne’s numerical advantage lost, Robertson broke through, almost stepping the full-back. A neat offload found its way to Louis Cornick to go over for a converted try.

Three consecutive breaks from Mcloughlin, all leading to tries, then gave Daggers a firm lead. The first break was finished by Waite, Sam Petchey adding the extras.

The second put Finlay Cottle-Taylor over for his first senior try, with this score also converted by Petchey. And the final try of this passage was finished by Hansford-Harvey, with the final conversion missed.

Another break from Robertson, creating space out wide, provided the space for Hansford-Harvey to score. At this point, Daggers were running riot and appeared to have comfortably sealed the win.

However, Crewkerne’s players showed great fight, firing back with three quick-fire tries to bring the game back within one score and the possibility of a drawn game seemed very realistic.

Thankfully for Daggers, a spilled ball in the closing stages of the match led to the end of the game and a final win to end the season.

With the season now concluded, the next event will be the end-of-season dinner and awards ceremony on Saturday, May 4 with guest speaker Mark Regan, part of the England 2003 World Cup-winning team. All details can be found on the club’s Facebook page.