East Dorset 24 - 7 Frome II
East play the conditions well to secure a home win against a fine Frome side brimming with grit and determination.
East have given their season a positive push forward with a hard earned victory at Iford Lane. Conditions dictated that running rugby was always going to take second place to a battle of grunt - and battle the two sides did.
East fielded a side with a brace of new players having come up through the youth ranks; both George (wing) and Greg (no.6) impressing everyone with first time senior performances that confirmed every bit of potential seen in training. The teenage element continued into the centres, with young Sean Chippie partnering Matt Sadler to great effect; a partnership that shows real promise. A welcome return as well for utility forward Mike Smith, who made a significant impact off the bench.
Choosing to play with the strong wind behind them first half, East played a tight and secure game that enabled the accurate and well chased half back kicks to continually put Frome under pressure. Whilst both sides were very even across the park, it was perhaps the extra weight and experience in the pack that proved most telling - East soon converting that pressure into 3 tries, all coming from a dominant scrum. Wing Tom Robinson, had another fine day with the boot, kicking all conversions and a penalty to put East well ahead at half time. East had played a solid forty minutes, keeping possession well through good support, discipline and getting the basics right - it was now up to Frome to make the most of the wind and come back.
Frome did just that - attacking with real ferocity through the pack, combined with strong running from an excellent centre who went on to score their only try. Frome kicked well but equally, Richard Thaine at fullback read those kicks beautifully and made a number of breaks from inside his own 22, providing East with enough ground for Frome never to secure enough possession to dominate things in the way East had in the first half.
East kept playing but tiring legs and lack of numbers to breakdown enabled the hard working Frome pack to gain a series of turnovers which snuffed out a number of East Dorset attacks. But nobody could fault Easts defensive effort over the last quarter; Frome throwing everything at the East Dorset line which refused to budge. Both Corin Leadbitter (9) and Paul Evans (8) capping off a great shift by guarding and sending back a number of Frome pick and go drives and keep Frome to a single score.
Massive hand to Frome; a great bunch of lads who played every minute in the true spirit of the game and went on to be the first side to christen the new club house floor with post match beer regurgitation.