Gloucester Premier

Dursley 7 Southmead 15

DURSLEY'S chances of retaining their Gloucester Premier look slim after they lost to bottom side Southmead.

Both teams made a scrappy start and for the first five minutes most of the play was inside the Dursley 22.

Dursley set up a good defence but eventually Southmead broke through to claim the first points of the game with an unconverted try having hit the upright with the conversion attempt.

The hosts battled strongly from the restart and good driving from the front five of Andy Plumridge, Simon Camm, George Salter, Scott Udal and Sam Porter set Dursley up for an attacking lineout on the Southmead five metre line.

With 13 minutes gone Dursley's efforts were rewarded after several controlled phases when captain Udal drove for the line to score with the successful conversion by fly half Grant Boucher adding the extra two points to put Dursley in the lead 7-5.

Minutes later Porter was out of the game with a shoulder injury and replaced by Tony Niblett.

Centres AJ Caddick and Jack Rowe, and No 8 Jake Martin made some hard yards in the middle of the park and support from wingers James Sheldon and Dan Brooks kept Dursley on the front foot.

With the Dursley line out working better than of late, jumpers Udal and Niblett worked well to secure possession with scrum half Joe McCough getting the ball away quickly.

With 25 minutes gone Southmead won a penalty inside the 22 from an easily kickable position in front of the posts to re-take the lead.

The last 15 minutes of the first half saw some excellent breaks from full back Tom Broomfield but handling errors along the line in the final five metres left Dursley coming away without points.

Dursley scrabbled to the line in the final few minutes but the try was not awarded due to a previous offside infringement.

The start of the second half saw hooker Camm leave the field after an arm injury with Salter moving into hooker, Jake Martin to prop and Rich Brooks into second row.

Southmead lost their scrum half for 10 minutes following a further infringement at the breakdown and flankers Jack Robson and Ollie Steel worked hard around the fringes to retain possession.

With nine minutes gone Dursley were awarded a penalty just outside the 22 in front of the posts but Boucher was unlucky to skim wide.

This seemed to change to tempo of the game and, with Southmead back to full strength, they added a converted try midway through the half to extend their lead to 15-7.

Aaron Lennard replaced McCough and in the final 20 minutes the odds seemed stacked against Dursley as they battled to reduce the two-score deficit but to no avail.