Bill Beaumont RFU County Championship Semi Final: Dorset & Wilts 47 pts v East Midlands 24. At Dorchester RFC.
Despite leaving the East Midlands at 7 00am the visitors were caught up in the Bank Holiday traffic and did not arrive at Coburg Road until 15 minutes before the scheduled kick off.
A meeting with the management of both teams along with the referee was quickly established and an agreement to delay the kick until 3 45 was the outcome.
The visitors were quickly on the attack and for most of the first quarter Dorset & Wilts were defending inside their own 22, however their first sorte into the Midland’s half resulted in a try from Gus O’Connor, converted by Sam Baker.
The lead only lasted 8 minutes before Tom Lewis touched down for the Midlands with Tom Harlfhide adding the extras to level the scores.
In the 22nd minute O’Connor crossed again for Dorset & Wilts with Baker adding the conversion to restore the Dorset and Wilts lead.
Josh MCafferty was next to score for Dorset & Wilts touching down beneath the Midland’s posts with Baker bisecting the uprights with the conversion.
In the 35th minute Harlfhide kicked a penalty for the Midlands then on the stroke of half time Logan McCabe crossed the whitewash for the visitors with Harlfhide converting from the touchline to make the score at the break Dorset & Wilts 21 points East Midlands 17.
Within a minute of the restart and already a man on a yellow card Dorset & Wilts were soon down to 13 players on the park when they received a second yellow.
The visitors began to make the most of their 2 man advantage and in the 49th minute Lewis grabbed his second try of the afternoon with Harlfhide again adding the extras to put the East Midlands into a 24 points to 21 lead.
The Dorset sun began to take its toll on both sides, but it was more notable on the Midland’s players who began to wilt allowing Dorset & Wilts to take control of the play running in 4 more tries with no reply from their guests, 1 try each from Alafoti Fa’osiliva, Ed Crossley, Michael Pope and Henry Toomer with Baker converting all 4 touchdowns to end the scoring and bring proceedings to a close.
Dorset & Wilts were tested fully by the East Midlands who in the first half had much the better of the play and could consider themselves unlucky to turn around at half time 21 points to 17 down, but as the game progressed Dorset and Wilts took control and deserved to go into next week’s final at Ealing against Durham who beat North Midlands by 22 points to 17 in the second semi final.
Dorset League Cricket:
Premier League: Dorchester beat Blandford by 5 wickets, Martinstown lost at home to Bere Regis by 6 wickets and Cattistock and Symene by went down at Poole also by 6 wickets.
Division1: Puddletown won away at Hamworthy by 6 wickets and Portland Red Triangle beat Poole second team by 70 runs at St George’s.
Division 2: Cerne Valley won at home against Sturminster and Hinton by 8 wickets, Charlton Down won away at Marnhull by 61 runs and Weymouth beat Parley away by 201 runs.
Division 3: Abbotsbury lost at home against Dorchester second team by 95 runs.
Weymouth Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of striker Dan Roberts after his release from fellow National League South team Dartford, and becomes managers Bobby Wilkinson’s tenth permanent summer signing ahead of the 23/24 season.