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Rugby: Twin Counties edge closer to Twickenham final
DORSET & Wilts remained on course for a memorable County Championship Shield hat-trick as a strong Bournemouth contingent helped them reach the knockout stages.
The defending champions closed in on a third consecutive Twickenham final appearance by thumping Berkshire 67-22 at Chapel Gate yesterday.
Twin Counties lost their opening Pool Three clash in Oxfordshire but after Berkshire subsequently defeated Oxon, the big win at Bournemouth proved enough to book a semi-final clash with Leicestershire.
A revamped Dorset & Wilts XV contained no fewer than nine Lions players – with other likely starters Frazer Wilford and Scott Chislett ruled out through injury.
Bournemouth’s Tony Dunkerley led the way against Berkshire with two tries, while Twin Counties’ other scorers were Charlie Elton, Liam Gilbert (2), Rhys Jones, Karim Lynch, Bobby Lyons, Oliver Pickford, Dan Pollard and Robbie Searle. Lions fly-half Pollard also kicked six conversions.
The Berkshire tries came from Mike Bunn, Sam Hallett, Seb Lear and Andrew Webb.
Dorset & Wilts topped Pool Three on points difference and the Shield holders will now travel to face Leicestershire at a venue to be confirmed.
Dorset & Wilts: Karim Lynch, Robbie Searle (both Bournemouth), Charlie Elton (Bradford-on-Avon), Oliver Pickford (Salisbury), Ben Stewart, Dan Pollard, Sam Hardcastle, Richard Carrel (all Bournemouth), Gareth Blackborrow (Salisbury), Steve Bailey (Corsham), Chris Hughes (Bournemouth), Rhys Jones (Corsham), Liam Gilbert (Chinnor), Tony Dunkerley, Gavin Hart (both Bournemouth). Replacements: John Warren (Dorchester), Alan Low (Swindon), Bobby Lyons (Chippenham), Alex Bradley (BWS), Rob Luckham (Salisbury), Tim Berry (Swindon), Tom Pottage (Salisbury).