DORSET & Wilts U20s started their Championship campaign in disappointing fashion with a 24-7 defeat on the road against Hampshire at Overton RFC.

The visitors started well, putting good phases together to get the first points.

Possession was shifted wide to Noah Cannon, who used his pace to beat two defenders before placing a chip over the Hampshire full-back. Hamish Janes was the quickest to the loose ball and dived over for a try converted by Harry Bazalgette.

With their tails up, Dorset & Wilts began to exert more pressure but the end product was lacking.

Hampshire were fortunate not to find themselves further behind but soon upped the tempo. Despite some valiant Dorset & Wilts defence, the hosts finally broke the line to score an unconverted try.

The visitors were then hit by a sucker-punch with a few minutes of the first half remaining as a mistake was capitalised on by Hampshire to run in another try under the posts and take a 12-7 lead.

Dorset & Wiltshire had the benefit of playing with the slope in their favour in the second half and began to exert more pressure on the Hampshire defence.

After repeat infringements at the set-piece, the home side found themselves a man down when a player was sent to the sin-bin but the visitors could not find a way through in the face of resilient Hampshire defending.

The away side’s relentless effort without reward began to take its toll and Hampshire took advantage of tiring legs by scoring two further tries – one of them converted – to seal the win.