Dorchester RFC 1st 17 - 21 Frome RFC 1st
By Matt Warnock
Frome RFC 1st travelled to Dorset on Saturday to face an always tough battle arb Dorchester....
The Frome RFC 1st travelled to the Dorset County Town determined to maintain their good form and hold onto the 2nd place spot against a side in the bottom half of the league.
However the home side, with a large crowd including their VP’s came out firing and after an early Scrum worked through the phases to put their Winger away in the corner, the conversion going wide.
Frome were dealt a blow when Winger Ali Frost was shown a yellow although Frome soon found their stride and dominated proceedings for much of the first half.
They were reward for their endeavours when after a number of dominating Scrums close to the Dorchester line, the Frome pack carried hard and Flanker Robert James crashed over from close range for a try, duly converted by James Howard. Half time come with Frome leading 7-5.
Half Time Score: Dorchester RFC 1st 5 - 7 Frome RFC 1st
Frome started strongly in the second half and with the introduction of Man of the Match replacement Hooker Geoff Taylor carrying hard into Dorchester territory with the pressure eventually paying off when Winger Calum Bonallo, now playing at Outside Centre, crossed over from 20 metres out, the extras being added by Howard.
Dorchester reduced the deficit when they spun the ball wide from a Scrum and created an opening for there Back Row to crash over.
The home side briefly took the lead when Frome dropped the ball in midfield and the Flyhalf collected the ball to release the Outside Centre who went to score a converted try.
Frome pressed from the restart and after a line out on the 10 metre line built the phases with Props George Benstead and Elliott Bowler carrying strongly. This created the chance for Robert James to cross over for his second try of the day, the kick being added by Howard.
Frome saw the last few minutes out with some great defence and possession to complete another hard fought victory against a side which played well above what there position in the league would suggest.
Final Score: Dorchester RFC 1st 17 - 21 Frome RFC 1st
Head Coach Toby Culff commented "The rivalry between Frome and Dorchester, Somerset and Dorset, has been a hard-fought one throughout my 20 years with the senior section. I was not at all surprised, therefore, to find a physical, motivated and aggressive side waiting for us. This was a very different Dorchester starting 15 to the one we encountered earlier in the season, and they got off to a flying start with a try in the first 5 minutes. Once again, we were sluggish in the early phases and careless in defence. Their try woke us up, however, and we gradually found our rhythm.
Dorchester's stout defence kept us at bay for long spells but we deserved to be ahead at half-time, albeit by the slim margin of 5-7.
Our general play was much better in the 2nd half, with powerful and persistent carrying from our Forwards. Our replacement Hooker and eventual Man of the Match, Geoff Taylor, was especially prominent. However, we continued to make frustrating and unforced errors, two of which resulted in Dorchester tries. These ensured a nail biting last ten minutes but, with typical determination, the players eventually found a crucial score to deliver another away win.
The players acknowledge that there's still much to work on before our key home fixture next weekend against Yeovil, but we're delighted, and a little relieved, to come away with the victory. Please come to support us next week if you can."
This Saturday the Frome RFC 1st XV welcome 3rd lace Yeovil RFC 1st to Gypsy Lane.