Dorset and Wilts U20s lose in frenetic encounter against Cornwall

Dorset and Wilts were hoping to finish their season on a high when they hosted Cornwall at
Weymouth and Portland RFC on Sunday.

The game started at a frantic pace, Dorset and Wilts the home side were pinned back deep
in their half with Cornwall putting some good phases of play together with centre Declan
Matthews crossing over to give the visitors an early lead. DW began to get into the game
getting their hands on the ball with Hamish Janes, Conrad Carkeet and Noah Cannon all
looking threatening with ball in the hand. The Green and Whites struck next when a lose
ball was kicked by lock Janes which bounce up into winger Cannon's hands who used his
electric pace to burn past his opposite number and step the back pedalling full back to
score. Centre Harry Bazalgette was able to add the extras to give DW the lead. This gave
DW confidence and they began to dominate the fixture. Fly half James Bagguely and centre
Bazalgette were linking up well together. Janes and Carkeet were also carrying the ball
very well gaining good yardage. The Green and Whites skipper James Hill was the next to
score, from a well worked line out, DW gave Cornwall a taste of their own medicine with a
good catch and driving maul saw Hill dive over the line! Bazalgette couldn't add the
extras on this occasion. Cornwall stuck back straight after a DW error resulted in a break
which saw the ball getting to Cornwall winger Jake Penprase to score in the corner. The
extras were missed. The game now became very open with both teams testing their opposition
defence. Both were holding firm, Flanker Jared Cardew and No.8 Zak Smith were strong in
the contact area with big tackles, Cardew was also making life difficult for Cornwall with
some fantastic jackaling,  Cornwall eventually found themselves with an attacking line out
10 metres away from DWs line. Ollie Andrews was able to copy James Hill with a try off the
back of a good maul. Fly half Rueben Edwards converted the difficult extras! Cornwall were
back in the lead. Just before half time DW were able to score again when Flanker Jared
Cardew was able to crash over from another set piece move off the line out. Bazalgette re
found his kicking boots as he converted the difficult extras to give DW a slender 2 point
lead. However there was still time for Cornwall to score before the half was over, a
moment of dropped concentration saw Cornwall strike back immediately, after a Cornwall
knock on with DW scrum Cornwall were awarded a penalty which resulted with a kick to the
corner deep in DW territory, a line out, catch and driving maul saw Tiaan Clark dive over.
Edwards missed the conversion and then blew the half time whistle. Cornwall were leading
19-22.

The second half started, and Cornwall came out throwing everything at the DW defence, but
Serge Griffiths, Carkeet and Janes were making big strong hits which was as topping the
Cornish efforts. After some good defensive work, DW made Cornwall infringe conceding a
penalty for holding on to the ball. Bazalgette was able to convert the penalty from a long
distance to make it 22-22. That was as good as it got for DW in the second half. Cornwall
began to dominate the game, the scrum was very strong and causing a whole lot of trouble
for the green and whites. Repeated penalties gave Cornwall good territory and keeping the
pressure on the home side. The Green and Whites defence was dogged and determined and was
appearing to stop everything Cornwall threw at them, until 70 minutes when Cornwall
finally broke the defence down with a Connor Gilbert and Brandan Rowley were able to cross
the line, replacement James Tucker converted 1 of the 2 conversions. DW managed to get
very little of the ball in an attacking position, Cannon when had the ball was a treat,
replacement and debutant Harrison Colton was able to make a break which saw the Green and
Whites in almost certain scoring opportunity but the offload went to a back pedalling
defender. The final whistle blew, and DW were defeated!

'It's been a tough season for us' stated Team Manager Richard Rees. 'We were promoted to
top tier of the competition and the group we were in was a very difficult one. We have put
a lot of effort into our season and all the games we have played in have been defeats but
close game. No team has had an easy game against us!' As the season closes the U20s will
look to rest in the off season and then begin to rebuild ready for next season challenge.
The team will no doubt set their eyes of silverware next year as they will move down to
the second tier of the competition as they narrowly finish bottom of this years pool
group.

About the Author

By JonesChris / Subscriber, bbp_participant, author on Mar 27, 2018