Bridport Daggers


The Daggers travelled to 2nd place Blandford for their final game of the season with a depleted squad of 17 players making it difficult for them to regain the momentum of the last few months against a strong Blandford side. After holding them in the 1st half, errors and injuries enabled Blandford to run in 6 unanswered tries for a comfortable 59-13 win.

One of the ever present players was Brett Chant who at the sprightly age of 49 was finally playing his last game for the club. Brett started with the Colts in 1991 and so at a conservative estimate has played between 600 and 700 games in the front row. In recent years he has conserved his energy for the dark art of the scrum rather than concentrating on blistering line breaks!

As they did against Weymouth the Daggers started brightly keeping the Blandford backs at bay and were unfortunate to lose out to a speculative kick and chase by the Blandford backs to go 7-0 down after only 10 minutes. From the kick off good defence by the Daggers kept Blandford out and a good clearing kick earned a line out penalty which Mitch Waters just put wide of the posts. From the drop out the Daggers were back on the attack going through the phases and earning a penalty which Waters quickly took driving into the 22. Blandford did not release and Waters successfully took the 3 points.

Blandford pressure kept the Daggers pinned back in their 22 and only good clearing kicks by Charlie Samways kept the hosts from adding to their score. From one of these kicks the Daggers gained a line out penalty which Waters took quickly again driving into the hosts 22 forcing another penalty. The Daggers went for the corner and took a short line out, Nathan Herbert went close forcing another penalty from which quick ball through the backs enabled Harrison Crane to go over in the corner for an unconverted try.

The Daggers now had their tails up and from the kick off they forced a turn over and a clean break by Andrew Livingston took them over half way and quick ruck ball enabled Samways to throw a pinpoint long pass to Crane who offloaded to Jordan Neil to score in the corner.

Unfortunately, this was to be the last Bridport score of the game with Blandford running in two converted tries the first from a poor clearance kick and the second with a powerful catch and drive to lead 21-13 at half time.

Sadly, in the second half the Daggers could not find any momentum and continuity in their play, not helped by injured players being substituted and then subsequently having to come back on the field to keep the side at 15 players. They had no answer to the powerful running on the hosts forwards and backs and conceded 6 second half tries without reply.

At the end of the match Mitch Waters said for family reasons he was hanging up his boots and with Captain Andrew Livingston moving to the Midlands the Daggers will be looking to recruit new players for next season. Overall, after a poor first half of the season they had a purple patch after Christmas with some excellent results over higher placed sides to secure a 9th place finish in the league.