WEST DORSET 4
SIDMOUTH & OTTERY B 2
WEST Dorset moved to the top of the table in front of a record crowd at Colfox School in Bridport.
Despite the poor weather forecast, spectators came out in their numbers for this big clash and they were treated to a fine match.
Sidmouth & Ottery entered the game as the league leaders but the West Dorset outfit rose to the challenge and never allowed their opponents to settle.
Although tensions rose during the game, the hosts were able to contain their aggression and put in some superb tackles and moves throughout the encounter.
Their back four led by example with Charlie Davies producing some high-class tackling to keep the away side at bay, which then gave the half backs confidence to push up against the their defenders and support the forwards in some great slick moves.
Sidmouth always looked a threat and, while tracking back covering his marker, West Dorset captain Rick Dormor played a ball that was marginally above his head.
That resulted in a yellow card and a 10-minute wait on the sidelines, during which his team-mates battled hard to keep the visitors quiet.
That period made West Dorset dig even deeper with the old guard of Gavin Brooking and Lee Connally putting in some strong challenges alongside the slightly younger Julian May.
After Dormor had served his punishment, George Baker came on to bring some fresh legs to the midfield.
His constant badgering and youthful energy helped the others around him, and the pressure continued to build against the visitors.
May then lifted a great aerial ball down the right flank which was well picked up by Mike Thompson, who then pressured the oppositions’ goal.
After a shot and a few rebounds, the ball fell awkwardly to Russell Coombes who very skilfully found the back of the net with a reverse hit.
That goal gave the home side the lift they deserved after playing some of their best hockey of the season, and with their captain now back on the pitch, allowing Dan Wyatt a rest, they were soon pressing once again.
Wave after wave of attack eventually resulted in another goal from the impressive Alex Davis, who fired home via a defender’s stick.
Sidmouth then pulled one back before the break from a short corner but West Dorset kept their composure and eventually regained their two-goal advantage midway through the second half.
Constant hassling from Rick Steele resulted in a superb tackle, followed by a hit into the D, and there was Dormor to turn the ball home with a risky first- time shot which ricocheted into the goal.
To their credit, Sidmouth never gave up and made it 3-2 shortly after but they then overcommitted, enabling Coombes to poach a fourth for West Dorset at the far post and seal the victory.