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RUGBY: Wells come through another tough contest in Dorset as Swanage & Wareham are beaten

By GeraintTucker  |  Posted: December 08, 2013

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MATCH REPORT: Swanage & Wareham 22 Wells 29

For Wells, this was their second visit to deepest Dorset in a fortnight and, just like last time at Wimborne, it was another marathon.

Both halves ran for 52 minutes and the game had a nail-biting finish, with Wells clinging onto their seven-point lead as Swanage & Wareham desperately fought to snatch a draw.

Wells were again forced to make changes to the starting line-up, with Sean Heggarty starting at tighthead and Ben Knight returning, although unusually at scrum-half, while his brother Jake partnered the other brother, Alex, in the centre.

Ash Hill, normally a hooker, started at blindside flanker, with Jed Symes in the front row instead. Colt Will Greenham started on the bench but played the whole of the second half.

Unfortunately, he had little opportunity to show his attacking prowess as Wells were on the defensive for most of that time.

After conceding two early turnovers, then pinching two of the home side's lineouts, Wells settled down and scored three tries in six minutes midway through the half.

The home team had been reduced to 14 men, with Joe Desmond in the sin-bin, and Wells took full advantage.

The first try would have been a commentator's nightmare - Knight to Knight to Knight as the three brothers handled, Alex completing the score.

It was Alex Knight again who got the second after some deft handling and a couple of minutes later Ash Hill also crossed.

John Branch converted twice to give Wells a 19-point lead, which they held until the 45th minute when Dan Collins emerged from the bottom of a ruck and was awarded the try for Swanage.

In the second period, Wells were outscored by three tries to one as Swanage controlled the play for long periods.

The large crowd, containing a substantial contingent from Wells, were given plenty to shout about. There were too many penalties to make the game a classic, but the excitement grew as the half progressed.

Left winger Karl Barton got two tries for the hosts, both converted, while Branch kicked a penalty for Wells.

The game's defining moment came after 62 minutes when the outstanding player on the day, Gavin Foster, took a quick penalty and raced away to score. With Branch temporally off the field after a yellow card, Jake Knight stepped up to convert.

Swanage grabbed another pushover score in the 75th minute when Wells were again down to 14, this time Foster for a technical offence.

Incredibly play went on for another 17 minutes. The home team hammered away at the Wells line and, just like a fortnight ago, the defence somehow held.

Wells will look to continue their unbeaten league season when they host Frome on Saturday (2.15pm). The match will be sponsored by Old Mill Accountants.

Meanwhile, Wells 2nd XV entertain Midsomer Norton (2.15pm).

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