By Kevin Harte


BRIDPORT bounced back from defeat last week in the league with closely fought win over Melksham in the Dorset & Wilts Vase.

It was a game where Bridport again gifted a lot of possession to the opposition but as with last week they defended bravely and denied Melksham many realistic scoring opportunities.

The Blues started brightly and after early even exchanges won quality possession and deft handling and support play let Mitch Waters score under the posts, however, the conversion attempt hit a post and bounced out.

Bridport were then on the back foot conceding penalties and poor tactical kicking allowed Melksham territory in the Bridport 22 from which their forwards were able to drive over and score a converted try.

The half continued in similar vein with Bridport conceding penalties but redeeming themselves with stout defence and quality tackling to go in at half-time 7-5 down.

In the second half, the Blues reduced the penalty count and now maintaining possession pressurised Melksham and went into the lead when they forced a penalty, which was well converted by Richard Lozell.

This dominance and pressure continued well into the half with Melksham now the side conceding penalties.

Bridport took full advantage of this field position taking a quick tap penalty and close support play and handling allowed Mike Pibworth to force his way over for a well converted try to lead 15-7.

The lead was extended after a further period of Blues' pressure with Richard Lozell again converting a difficult penalty chance.

Late in the game, the Blues conceded further unforced penalties resulting in a last minute unconverted try to leave a final score of 18-12 to the Blues.

There were several outstanding individual displays but Mike Pibworth deserves special mention for his dominance in the lineouts and for his many line breaks and turnovers.

The Blues now play Lytchett Minster in the quarter-final of the Vase at home Saturday, October 14 and have a local derby league game against Weymouth this Saturday.