SWANAGE & Wareham ensured a winning return to Southern Counties South after a 53-38 success at North Dorset.

After just six minutes, North Dorset took the lead with a forward drive giving them a seven-point lead.

But just two minutes later, Swans’ number eight Joe Desmond broke through to get the visitors on the scoreboard.

North Dorset replied with a penalty but the visitors crossed through scrum-half Chris Tomes touching down after 20 minutes. Steve Woolley converted giving Swans a 12-10 advantage.

Woolley was next to score four minutes later and, despite the hosts levelling up with a converted try, visiting second-row Will Long dived over.

Swans then pressed home their advantage with two converted tries from winger Ice Matagagi before half time.

From the restart, a mistake in the North Dorset defence had Swanage replacement winger Matti Matikibau picking the ball up and scoring in the corner.

Two North Dorset scores reduced the gap but, after they collapsed a maul, Swans were awarded a penalty try to take the score to 48-31.

Long went in for his second try of the game on 65 minutes and despite the hosts scoring once more, Swans stood firm to record a bonus-point victory.

In football, Joe Clark struck a double as Swanage earned a 2-2 draw at Dorset Premier League rivals Sturminster Newton United.