Bridport drove the coast road on a beautiful spring afternoon reasonably confident of a close game against a Weymouth side and realistically hoping for a win following their successes over recent months.
The kick off was due at 2.00pm but the referee phoned in to inform the club that he had Covid. A local referee stepped in and the game started 45 minutes later.
Weymouth kicked off and a high ball was confidently taken cleanly by Toby James who passed the ball out and Bridport’s backs spun the ball along the line to Sam Petchey who found touch within the Weymouth 22 metre line. A crooked feed in the line out resulted in a scrum to the Daggers which they won. Following a storming run by Mitch Waters – who was tackled just short – the hosts came offside at the breakdown and a penalty was awarded to Bridport. A quick tap penalty by Waters enabled him to force his way over the try line missing the conversion.
From the kick off the ball was taken by Dan Butler, fed out to Daragh McLoughlin and Waters who, in turn, slipped it out to Jed Gravelle who scored in the corner. Waters missing the conversion, so 0-10 to the Daggers.
At the kick off – which was gathered by Bridport – a penalty for a high tackle allowed Waters the chance to penetrate again into the Weymouth 22. A series of unforced errors by both teams resulted in the inevitable scrum after scrum, the latter won by Bridport which gave Waters the opportunity to make a charging run, stopped by strong tackling from the Weymouth centres. However, in the ruck they were deemed to be off their feet, penalty. Petchey made touch, line out won by the visitors and another scintillating run by Gravelle put the Daggers ahead by 0-15. Sadly, Waters was off target again with the conversion.
From the kick off there was a period of scrappy play by both sides and in a clean but fierce tackle Toby James took a knock and was replaced by Bridport’s veteran player Brett Chant. With only about five minutes until half time Bridport were off guard and a quick ball from a Weymouth line out spun along their backs resulted in an easy run in as they had a three man overlap. Conversion missed. 5-15.
Two chances for scoring before half time, a penalty to Bridport missed and a splendid line out by Weymouth allowed their speedy winger to cross the line in front of the posts with a successful conversion leaving the score a tight 12-15 at half time.
The half time huddle seemed to work for Weymouth but not for the visitors. Weymouth read the game and played to their strengths. If you have a huge pack of forwards use them and keep the ball tight and do not allow the Bridport backs any possession. Within a minute of the second half kick off Weymouth won a line out, kicked for the corner and as their line out jumper was winning almost every ball, a clean catch allowed their forwards drive over for a converted score giving them the lead for the first time.
Bridport were within touching distance but their heads and confidence seem to drop. The kick off did not go 10 metres resulting in another scrum which Weymouth won enabling them to pin Bridport back near their try line. Another driving maul sent Yogi, their prop forward over the line. With a successful conversion Weymouth extended their lead to 26-18.
That try gave the hosts the confidence to step up a gear as they were dominating not only the line outs but were driving forward in the Bridport scrums. The Daggers rallied and fought hard and a kick ahead nearly resulted in a Bridport try under the posts but the ball bounced unkindly for them.
In the dying minutes a penalty to Weymouth gave them the opportunity of kicking for touch, line out won and a scrappy ruck enabled the hosts to score another converted try. Final score, 33–18 to Weymouth.