DORSET & Wilts comfortably dispatched Durham 37-15 in the Bill Beaumont Division Two County Championship final to be named champions of tier two for the first time, reports Idris Martin.

The Twin Counties took a six-point lead into the break thanks to the boot of Royal Wootton Bassett fly-half Sam Baker, his clinical conversions the difference after both sides had crossed the whitewash three times apiece.

After the break Dorset & Wilts took control and never relaxed their grip until the final whistle to emerge deserved victors of the competition at the first time of asking. 

Two-time finalists and 2018 champions Durham took the lead in the eighth minute with a try, but four minutes later and on their first sortie into the Durham half Chippenham’s Alafoti Fa’osiliva powered his way over the line to put the Twin Counties into the lead after Baker added the afters.

With 19 minutes on the clock Fa’osilvia’s club teammate Eoin Baker was put clear to touch the ball down for the Counties’ second try.

Durham responded with two tries in seven minutes, handing them a slender one-point advantage as they failed to convert any of their kicks.

On the stroke of half time Bournemouth lock forward Joe Desmond broke clear of the pack to restore the Dorset & Wilts lead with a try.

After the turn around it was mostly one-way traffic, with Durham struggling to clear their own lines and with the sun beating down, both sides began to wilt in the heat. 

Whilst Baker was unable to maintain his 100 per cent conversion record after Salisbury wings Ed Crossley and Henry Toomer grabbed a try each, the fly-half did find success with two penalties for a final contribution of 12 points from his boot.

With sides promoted from the second tier on a two-year basis, the Twin Counties will hope to build on their maiden Division Two campaign next season.