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Swans hit back for an opening day victory
SWANAGE & Wareham battled back from an early deficit to complete a successful return to the Southern Counties South with a narrow 27-23 victory at North Dorset.
The contest ebbed and flowed with the lead changing hands no fewer than four times but the visitors’ five try haul secured maximum points for Swans.
Jay Westcar’s penalty was quickly followed by a try from North Dorset full back Jonathan Hooper to hand the hosts an 8-0 advantage.
But Darren Wilcox’s opener reduced to three points the arrears before the interval while Westcar missed the opportunity to extend the home side’s lead at the other end.
That proved to be decisive after the break as Wilcox ran in his second effort of the afternoon with Chris Tomes quickly following up with number three.
Undeterred, North Dorset battled back with two efforts of their own to retake the lead, but with the visitors trailing 18-15, second row Dan Collins bundled the ball over the line to swing the pendulum back in Swans’ favour.
Having secured their bonus point, Charlie Parish ran in what proved to be a crucial fifth effort for the visitors, which Callum Baird converted, prior to a last ditch consolation for the home side which saw North Dorset snatch a bonus point of their own.
Elsewhere in the division, tries from Tom Napier and Richie Brokenshire handed Wimborne a 17-13 victory in a closely contested match with Sherborne.
The Minstermen battled back from a six-point deficit thanks to efforts either side of the interval and the kicking of James Mikolajewski.
Once in front, the Leigh Park outfit successfully snuffed out the visitors’ attack despite seeing hooker Sean Murphy sin-binned late on.
Meanwhile, there were big opening day wins for Oakmedians, who won 67-12 at Swanage & Wareham II’s in Dorest & Wilts One South, and Ellingham & Ringwood, who secured a 57-12 triumph at New Milton & District.
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