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Rugby: Ritchings runs riot as Blandford battle back
TOM Ritchings bagged a hat-trick as table-topping Blandford eventually came from behind to beat plucky strugglers Bridport 22-15 at East Road.
While title rivals Oakmeadians were cruising to a 64-7 win over Warminster, Blandford were forced to battle back from a half-time deficit to maintain their six-point cushion at the Dorset & Wilts One South summit.
The hosts struggled in a scrappy contest and gave away a series of penalties, and while Ritchings bagged Blandford’s first try before the break, a successful kick gave the visitors a 10-5 lead at the break.
Chris Curtis and Andrew Williamson rallied the troops during the interval and their stern words had the desired effect as James Burry burst through under the posts and Kieran Mitchell added the conversion.
Ritchings then scored his second of the afternoon before Luke Stacey, making his debut from the bench, had an instant impact, helping Ritchings to complete his hat-trick and snare a maximum haul for his side.
Elsewhere, Lytchett Minster kept their Dorset & Wilts Two South title hopes alive |by sweeping aside Weymouth II 32-0.
Jack Baker scored a swift break away try which was converted by Lewis Mitchell as Minster went on to dominate the first half.
Daryl Cormack forced his way over the line before Mitchell burst from the pack himself to score and convert the third.
Lytchett continued to boss proceedings after the restart with Mitchell registering a penalty before Cormack completed his brace with a push-over try.
A forward drive by Wayne Hansell completed the scoring to keep Minster on top, however, Dorset Dockers maintained their 100 per cent winning record with a 49-14 success at New Milton II.
Dockers remain five points behind Lytchett with three games in hand.