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HOCKEY: West Dorset Hawks seal league title
WEST DORSET HAWKS 5 TAUNTON VALE 1
WEST Dorset Hawks have clinched the South East Division One title in style after winning their final league game.
The hosts suffered a few jitters at the start and went a goal down, but they then began to find the form they have shown all season.
And this was despite striker Russell Coombes suffering from a recurring hamstring problem moments after the start.
The midfield duo of Dan Wyatt and Rick Dormor started to dominate with some good passing while they were constantly hassling any attacks that Taunton could muster.
Steve Mearing, who played up front with the injured Coombes, made several threatening runs, but he was not able to convert any of them as shots were either saved or went past the post.
The pressure was building on Taunton and the first goal eventually came when right-half Rick Steele smashed an excellent ball towards the visitors’ penalty spot which was deflected in by Mearing.
During the second half, Alex Davis continued his dominance over his opposite number and always looked a threat down the left.
His effort was rewarded when, from a shot corner,he converted using an old, but well-drilled, routine.
West Dorset continued to apply the pressure and defenders Julian May, Charlie Davis, Lee Connally and Robin Goodfellow kept any Taunton threat at bay with some excellent tackling and great anticipation of the game.
After the third quarter the visitors started to crack when, within 15 minutes, Wyatt scored a great goal with a shot into the roof of the net, and Mearing dribbled past three defenders to slide the ball past the keeper for his second.
Finally, Coombes’ efforts up front were rewarded with a superbly taken deflection into the back of the net.
A Hawks club spokesman said: “Special thanks need to go to our keeper Tom Lowe who has had his best ever season, and to several players that could not make the game but have been influential in West Dorset’s success this season.
“They are Gavin Brooking, Mike Thompson, Jim Bowditch, Simon Wakely, Richard Pewsey, Matt Caton and George Baker.
“West Dorset has had an excellent season and will look forward to building on this year’s success in the Southern Two League.”
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