DORSET and Wiltshire battled manfully against their more experienced Berkshire counterparts but were ultimately undone in Saturday’s 37-18 County Championship Shield defeat played at Wootton Bassett.

Having opened up an early eight-point lead through Chris Laidler’s penalty and a try from prop James Baker, the visitors generally kept their noses in front and dominated the closing stages to complete a comfortable victory.

Devizes duo Rory Brow and Lewis Paget levelled the score for the Twin Counties but Arron Hopkins crossed the line with Laidler converting for Berkshire before the break.

James Kaminski kept Dorset & Wilts in touch before Nico Maybury responded with by crashing over at the other end.

Wootton Bassett’s David Hogg, playing on his home club’s ground, brought the home side to within four points again but further efforts from Baker and Hopkins opened up the decisive gap.

Dorset & Wilts coach Don Parsons said: “We had a young side out, most of their players came from clubs that compete at level five, while our lads play mostly at levels six and seven so we were always going to find it tough against a more experienced side.

“We gave away too many penalties and surrendered too much field position which meant they could put our scrum under heavy pressure.”

The Twin Counties travel to Witney to play Oxfordshire in their second and final Pool Three match on Saturday, May 17 (3pm).