Friday, 27 May 2011
Time to beat the bounds
ON our Lyme Letters page this week we publish another complaint about dog fouling in Lyme Regis.
We get many similar letters every year which really rankle with the town’s responsible dog owners.
This latest letter calls for the people of Lyme to “unite and keep the town clean”. Lyme did away with its dedicated dog warden (Derek Hallett) in 2008 and replaced him with an enforcement officer who is responsible for policing dog issues but who has other duties.
The writer of the latest missive on Lyme’s dirty streets even went to the trouble of establishing, via the Freedom of Information Act, that only two fixed penalty notices have been issued in the past 18 months for dog fouling, the problem being that there always has to be a witness for a successful prosecution.
There is no doubt there is increasing concern in Lyme over the unkempt state of our streets, and not just from a dog fouling point of view.
It was an issue the old town council failed to crack. Some of our new councillors who, to their credit, attended many council meetings and spoke during the public forum, raised concerns on many occasions.
At a recent town meeting Ken Gollop, tongue in cheek, suggested the council should employ a herd of goats to keep the vegetation springing from our side streets in good order. Well, I think it was tongue in cheek!
Take a stroll around the town (taking in Sherborne Lane and Coombe Street and parts of the estate) and you will see exactly why feelings are running quite high about the untidy state of Lyme.
Our new councillors, refreshingly excited about the challenges before them, want to be seen to be making a difference quickly and not sit back and allow the wheels of local government to grind on slowly with a result coming in two years. The real problem, of course, is that the town council is not the responsible authority for all the grotty areas.
But the man in the street is not intersted in whether it’s the job of the county, district or town council. They just want it sorted.
The new-look council has a great opportinity here to prove that it can bring about change. I would like to see them draw up a hit list of areas that need improving and then work with the appropriate agencies to make sure a solution is found. And then tick them off one by one.
Former councillor Ken Meech on many occasions called for council staff to “walk the manor” on a regular basis to make sure such jobs were noted and then dealt with. I’m not sure that ever happened.
Many parishes have a regular “beating of the bounds”. Perhaps that’s something that would benefit Lyme. If nothing else, it would be good exercise for the councillors.
More plaudits for ‘ultra-stylish Lyme’
THIS week we have taken the unusual step of publishing an article in full from another newspaper.
Under the heading of “Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside...” we reproduce in full a very glowing report on Lyme Regis written by Donata Huggins and printed in CITY A.M., a free business paper distributed in London every weekday morning.
It describes Lyme as “quintessentially English, ultra-stylish and packed full of fantastic places to eat”.
It was so complimentary that I thought the article, so typical of many that appear in the quality press these days, should be seen by local people.
There is no doubt that Lyme has become something of a mecca for foodies and only this week we learn that one of the restaurants mentioned in Ms Huggins’ article, the Tea and Dining Room at the Town Mill, has been adjudged the best restaurant in the South West by the Good Food Guide.
Top job for Daryl
CONGRATULATIONS to Lyme Regis district councillor Daryl Turner. As predicted in last week’s Lyme Matters, our new deputy mayor is climbing the Tory ladder at West Dorset District Council and has been rewarded for his loyalty to the Conservative cause with an important job at High West Street in Dorchester.
Daryl, who abandoned the Liberal Democrats to join the Conservatives mid-way through the last council, disillusioned with Lib Dem policies, has been elected as vice-chairman of WDDC’s Efficiency and Scrutiny Committee, a role that will suit his keen eye for detail when it comes to monitoring procedural matters.
A LITTLE bit of maritime history was made on Sunday morning when the lerret Littlesea was launched off the steep shingle beach at Cobb Gate.
The Littlesea was made by boatbuilder Gail McGarva, an exact replica of the traditional Dorset fishing boat that goes back to the 1600s.
The double ender lerret, ideal for mackerel fishing, was constructed especially to be launched off the steep shingle banks of Chesil Beach and, of course, we now have one of our own at Cobb Gate following the remodelling of the main beach as part of the coastal protection works which is protecting Lyme’s seafront from the ravages of the sea.
Gail’s mentor, Roy Gollop, a member of one of Lyme’s old seafaring families, was present, resplendent in bowler hat, to keep an eye on proceedings and Sue Beckers sang the sea shanty especially written when Littlesea was launched last year.
This was such a typical Lyme event, witnessed as always by a large crowd, and a firm reminder that Lyme’s history is instrically linked to the sea.
The Littlesea was rowed across the bay to the harbour where an exhibition on the lerret was held featuring the lerret Vera, built in 1923, much to the fore.
The exhibition now leaves for a tour of the Jurassic Coast, Eton College and the Beal Park Wooden Boat Show on The Thames, rereturning to Lyme in September, a project sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund which will provide Lyme with more excellent publicity.
Leg drenching on market day
IT was heartening to see this week that Axminster Young Farmers are still going strong and taking part in their traditional livestock shows.
Working for Pulman’s Weekly News in the 1970s I covered all the agriculural events in the district, although I knew precious little about farming or country life.
One of the first jobs I ever covered as a young reporter was a ploughing match at Colaton Raleigh, a great day out for the farming community with a well stocked beer tent thrown in as there always was with farmers around.
These were the days, of course, when the cattle markets in Axminster and Honiton, were in their prime with the farming community coming into town to sell and buy their stock and then enjoying each other’s company for the rest of the day. For many it was their only social contact of the week.
Some later appeared at our local magistrates’ court for being caught drinking and driving on the way home. It was before all-day opening but there were extended drinking hours on market days.
My favourite event was the Axminstrer Christmas Fatstock Show, which signalled the start of the festive season, followed by the annual dinner of the Axminster Agriculural Society, now sadly defunct.
I have one particular memory of the fatstock show. I had to clamber into the main ring when the best in show had been selected to interview the farmer with the winning beast. As I did so the champion proceeded to urinate down my leg. The farmer, of course, did not turn a hair and carried on answering my questions as if nothing had happened.
I had to make a quick dash back to the show office (now Cinnamons, the Indian restaurant) to dry out my trousers on the paraffin stove. Auctionneer Frank Rowe never let me forget the incident and often mentioned it whenever we met.
There were many other agriculutral events we used to cover in those days, including Honiton Show, the National Farmers’ Union and YFC dinners, frequented and supported by all the local farming families.
When I returned from London to take over running Pulman’s in the mid-1990s I recall how disappointed I was the cattle markets were in decline and of course foot and mouth finally put them out of business. I don’t think Axminster has been quite the same since.
But at least the young farmers’ movement are keeping up some of the traditions by continuing to stage their own livestock shows.
Not quite the end for theatre group?
HAVE we seen the last of the Alternative Company Theatre Unlimited, the Axminster stage group who have entertained so many people over the years?
I ask the question after attending their “celebration” night at Axminster Conservative Club on Saturday when the theatre group presented cheques totalling £6,000 to local worthy causes.
With no show being staged by the ACT Unlimited since 2009, and with its driving force, Michael Steer, not being in the best of health in recent years, I assumed the gathering represented a final curtain for the group.
But Michael is looking much perkier these days and he hinted that he and the company might just return to the stage again in the future, but with a little less ambitious show than their previous productions.
Over the years the ACT Unlimited raised thousands of pounds for charity, despite the increasing costs of staging theatre shows in recent years.
I’ve known Michael all my adult life and he is just as enthusaistic about all things Axminster now as he ever was.
There are many who would like to see him and his troupers back on the Guildhall stage.
I’ll keep you posted.
WHAT do you call a person from Axminster (polite answers only please)? Honitonian, Colytonian and Seatonian all roll off the tongue. One of my reporters this week came up with Axminstarian. Mind you he does come from Norfolk!
I’ve never come across this before but none of us in the office could come up with anything better so I kept it in the story.
If any of you locals out there have any alternatives, please let me know.
Insurance for cyclists might be a good idea
CYCLISTS are multiplying at an impressive rate, so I suppose it was inevitable that there have been growing calls for them to have compulsory insurance.
Some riders already do including many of those who compete in time trials on the road for instance, but the general pedaller doesn’t. It may soon change.
A growing number of incidents where the cyclist caused the accident has created a demand that they take responsibility for their actions with insurance in the same way that car drivers, motorcyclists and moped riders have to do.
But at what age should any future such legislation come in to force?
Drivers face age restrictions but children as young as two or three are common sights riding along pavements, sometimes at speed.
I saw one incident last week where a boy aged about ten rode downhill straight at traffic coming up hill along a one way street before darting away down a side road.
Not unnaturally the driver closest to him blew his horn. And the boy’s response? Well he failed to slow down and simply turned in his saddle to look back and deliver a few contrite words thanking the driver for his warning… or not as the case may be.
What got me was not the danger of the first manoeuvre where he could at least look where he was going but the acute danger of the second where the boy’s angry retort was actually fired off while looking in the opposite direction to where he was careering.
Insurance for cyclists suddenly doesn’t look such a bad idea when drivers and pedestrians risk being faced with riding like that.
. . . When I’m cleanin’ windows
ANYONE following recent housing developments in Weymouth and Portland will be aware of the growing trend for blocks of flats.
Old businesses or large perfectly sound family homes in their own grounds are being demolished to make way for this type of accommodation.
If you buy such a home on the ground floor then cleaning windows is not a problem but first floor homes require a decent ladder and second floor flats are really dodgy if you don’t like heights.
So how do you clean homes on the fifth floor if you don’t have swivel windows? I came across the answer the other day when, from a distance, I saw what looked like a man trying to push a building over with a stick.
Closer inspection revealed him to be a window cleaner and he was working 40ft up the side of one block… all while stood comfortably on the ground.
The state of the art rod he was using transported water up to a brush which he was working back and forth across each window to clean it.
He was quite cheery about what he was doing and said he hadn’t fully extended his equipment and still had several feet in reserve.
Then he made passers-by smile and me chuckle by adding: “You know, you’re not the first person to talk to me about the size of my pole!”
Back to nature
EMBANKMENT sides were cleared during preliminary work ahead of a new bridge being built to link up two sections of the Rodwell Trail in Weymouth.
It will prevent walkers and cyclists from having to descend a steep uneven path, cross a busy road and then climb an equally steep and narrow path on the other side to get back on the trail.
The old railway bridge across Newstead Road was removed years ago and vegetation quickly choked the scar, so it was only natural to clear it away ahead of the new bridge being built.
That was all well and good… but no one told the vegetation it wasn’t welcome any more. Brambles cut off level with the ground have overcome being cleared by the simple process of growing more than a metre in a remarkably short space of time as brambles do.
The battle for light is fierce and what was virtually bare ground with a light stubble of dried grass is already well greened up and increasingly a barrier threatening to once again confine walkers to the path.
It will be interesting firstly to see how thick it becomes by the time the bridge is in place and secondly how quickly wildlife returns once the existing paths are no longer used and become totally overgrown.
Chips aren’t chips if they’re not frozen
THE boy refused point blank to eat his meal and the argument with his parents gradually filtered out to surrounding tables.
They were coaxing him to get on with it and tried everything including warning him that he wouldn’t get anything extra to eat when they got back home, but nothing worked.
The boy stubbornly gripped his knife and fork but wouldn’t eat, saying what was on his plate wasn’t real food.
To anyone looking at what was in front of him there didn’t seem to be a problem with what looked like chicken nuggets, beans and chips.
Perhaps his food was cold or perhaps he’d been unlucky enough to get a tough piece of chicken, but it was none of that.
The reason behind his refusal was that the home-cooked rough cut chips were the wrong shape when everyone knew chips were crinkly.
I won’t get into an argument about the nutritional benefits of home cooked food versus proprietary oven ready chips but it does speak volumes for modern society that increasing numbers of children are unaware that some food doesn’t always come out of a bag.
CHRIS Topp, 20, has recently moved to Dorset having grown up in Watford, North London. After a decade spent holidaying at Highlands End Holiday Park in Eype, Chris moved to Bridport with his parents last year. Chris is currently working as a café assistant at Wood Farm Caravan and Camping Park in Charmouth, but this week will start his new role as a pool attendant. Chris is a big sports fan, following Chelsea FC and Saracens Rugby Club. He represents The Clock House Inn, Chideock in the local darts leagues and later this year hopes to join a local football team.
WHAT do you like most about living in West Dorset?
It’s a lot quieter than North London for a start. As soon as I came down here I settled in quite well because I had been coming to Highlands End Holiday Park at Eype for about ten years. Because of that I knew the area and have settled in really well. I’ve got some really good mates here now.
WHAT would you like to change about the area?
The amount of jobs that are on offer here. In North London there were so many more job opportunities than we have down here. Here you don’t have many options and you mainly find tourism jobs.
WHAT would be your ideal job?
Plumbing probably, I’ve been looking into it quite a bit and was going to write to all the plumbers around here to try and get an apprenticeship. I’m not sure why that appeals to me, I think I just want to get a career rather than a job.
HOW does life here compare to North London?
It’s a lot more relaxed. You don’t have to watch your back all the time here, you did in Watford because of the crime. Where I lived then and where I live now are just completely different places.
WHAT do you think of the facilities for young people in the area?
It seems that you have to travel far to do something fun. For example, if you want to go bowling or Laser Quest then you have to go to Bournemouth, Weymouth or Dorchester. There is nothing around Bridport like that.
WHAT is your favourite sport?
My massive passion is rugby. When I lived in Watford I followed Saracens and have done since I was about eight-years-old. I’m going to the final of the Premiership at Twickenham on Saturday. Hopefully we’ll win it this time, which will be a better result than last year.
WHAT was the last film you watched, book you read and CD you listened to?
The last film I watched was Attack the Block; it was good, quite funny actually. The way they speak is so irritating though, because I used to hear it all the time back in Watford. 'Bravo Two Zero' was the last book I read, that was good. I don’t really listen to CDs anymore but the last song I had on in my car was 'Love Goes Down' by Plan B, remixed by Doctor P.
WHAT do you like about working at Wood Farm?
Well at the moment it is quiet, but apparently in the summer it does get really hectic in the cafe. That’s fine with me though because I will be at the pool by then. It’s quite laid back, the hours are good and it’s always nice to get a suntan while you’re working as well.
HOW did your darts team do last season?
We finished third from bottom. I came in to the team halfway through the season, we won a couple and lost a couple but didn’t get any trophies. Hopefully we can change that this year though.
DO you plan to join any sports teams in the future?
Hopefully, me and a mate are thinking of joining Charmouth Football Club, I just want to get more active. I went down for one training session at Bridport Rugby Club and it killed me so I didn’t go back.
Friday, 20 May 2011
Millwey rise to the challenge
ONE of the best goals I ever scored in a rather undistinguished career in local football was at Millwey Rise - a hopeful lob from the halfway line, playing up the notorious slope.
I’m not sure whether I intended it to be a shot on goal but, of course, I claimed I did. But those who have played on the Millwey pitch over the years will appreciate scoring from such a distance playing uphill was a rare occurrence.
Millwey Rise Football Club, formed in 1958, played their last game on their famous pitch on April 30th. In many ways that was a sad occasion, summed up in a special poem, entitled “Obituary”, written by former player Dick Sturch and reproduced on page four of this week’s Weekender which concluded: “So much emotion you evoke, you very famous Millwey slope”.
Back in 2008 I was privileged to have been asked to act as master of ceremonies at Millwey’s 50th anniversary. I’ve been to many sporting dinners over the years but this was one of the most enjoyable. The one factor that stood out for me was the total respect the younger players gave to the Millwey veterans, people like Dick Sturch and Brian Downton. Not all football club anniversaries are so polite, believe me.
Millwey have lived in the shadows of their bigger neighbours at Sector Lane for many years. But that’s about to change with Rise moving to better facilities at nearby Cloakham Lawn.
The Millwey players and officials are quite excited by the move and this was much in evidence when I popped down to Cloakham on Saturday morning to have a chat with committee man Ian Hall about their plans.
From playing on a pitch with the biggest slope in local football the Millwey teams will be able to enjoy some of the best facilities in the area and are looking forward to having a flat surface.
They will be playing on part of the second cricket pitch that has been created at Cloakham with much work having gone into additional drainage.
As I chatted to Ian the club’s development officer Nick Tregale, former pick of the Perry Street league goalkeeper and an excellent coach, was supervising a coaching taster session with over 40 kids taking part. Helping him was daughter Jade, who holds a UEFA 2 coaching certificate, and assistant coaches Sam Dibling, one of the most talented players in the area, and Dan Murnane.
It was great to see so many boys and girls being coached so well in such a safe enviroment, getting a taste of the “beautiful game”.
As well as running their two senior teams in the Perry Street League, next season Millwey will also be fielding two youth teams at under 8 and under 13 level.
At one time it was thought that Axminster Town FC would be moving to Cloakham but that did not work out and it is rumoured that the Tigers will be getting a new home over the fence from Cloakham in Chard Road.
Millwey have grabbed the opportunity with both hands and I wish them every success in their new home. Their presence will certainly help to cement Cloakham’s position as one of the best sports complexes in Devon.
MY congratulations to Andrew Moulding on his election as mayor of his home town of Axminster.
It’s always good when a local boy gets the top job.
Andrew, of course, has enjoyed a high profile in Axminster for many years, having served on the town council, East Devon District Council and Devon County Council.
Born and educated in the town, Andrew ran the famiy building firm for 24 years before finding his dream job at Somerset County Cricket Club from where he retires in three weeks.
Andrew has also been one of the driving forces behind the development of the Cloakham Lawn sports complexes which I consider to be one of Axminster’s biggest assets.
Andrew attended his first engagement as mayor on Wednesday evening when he opened the flower festival at The Minster and was clearly proud to be wearing the mayoral chains.
A FEW weeks ago I wrote in this column about my first job in journalism with the Express and Echo in Honiton and how I lodged for a short time with David and Olga Haydon in Church Hill.
David was the senior reporter for the Echo in Honiton.
In that article I made an ungallant reference to the Haydon’s step-daughter Gina. I wish to make it clear that no impropriety occurred and that the Haydon family treated with me with great kindness.
My sincere apologies if my inappropriate and unnecessary words caused any offence or distress to the family.
A few surprises at first meeting
ALTHOUGH the election of Sally Holman as mayor and Mark Gage as chairman of the top committee was the worst kept secret in Lyme Regis last week, the first meeting of the new-look town council in Lyme Regis was not quite the complete stitch-up everyone expected and there were a couple of surprises.
The first was the elevation of Daryl Turner to deputy mayor, an interesting choice as Daryl has gone on record as saying that he believes the role of mayor should be downgraded to a ceremonial one only and that a leader should be appointed to chair the council.
I had to change my column at the eleventh hour last week as I quite expected Lucy Campbell, who topped the town council poll, to be elected deputy mayor. But she declined the invitation, as did two other candidates, before Daryl took his place alongside the mayor.
They looked an incongruous couple – burly Daryl and diminutive Sal. But they could prove to be a formidable team. What is it they say about opposites? I doubt whether Daryl expected to get (or even wanted) the number two position on the council with his duties as a district councillor and the expectation that he will be rewarded with a post (perhaps a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship) at High West Street in Dorchester for topping the poll for the Tories in the Lyme district council election.
With Sally in the chair for two years, it is unlikely that the status of the mayoralty will come up during her term but I am sure it will become an issue during the tenure of the new council.
The other surprise was the appointment of Lorna Jenkin as chairman of two committees – tourism and advertising and community plan implementation. Whilst Lorna is an experienced and hard-working councillor, especially behind the scenes on unglamorous subjects like bus shelters and public footpaths, she has never been one to hog the limelight but created a little bit of history by taking the two roles, the first councillor ever to do so.
Rikey Austin was proposed for the tourism chairmanship but declined the offer, so Lorna remained the only nomination having already accepted the chairmanship of the community plan implementation committee. She’s going to be a very busy lady.
Mark Gage, one of Lyme’s newly-elected representatives, and a member of the so-called “Gang of Five”, four of whom were elected, also wrote himself into the record books by becoming the first new member to be given the chairmanship of the the council’s most influential committee – strategy and policy, formerly held by Owen Lovell.
It was common knowledge in the town that the role would go to Mark and that Owen would not get any of the top jobs as part of the agenda for change which the newcomers promised.
Mark demonstrated his chairmanship skills when he led a public meeting last year on the row over the sale of the former club for young people in Church Street, now renamed The Hub.
According to the election address he shared with four other candidates, he’s had previous local government experience before moving to Lyme so will not be fazed by the job.
Another newcomer, Anita Williams, not a “Five” member, was elected chairman of the planning committee.
So no top jobs for last year’s mayor, Michaela Ellis, or Owen Lovell, now the council’s most experienced member but clearly not the most popular among the new councillors. It was no less than Owen expected, especially after his pre-election comments about Lyme Regis Development Trust, possibly why he chose to go on holiday before the council’s annual meeting.
But I am sure he will return with fire in his belly to keep the new members on their toes.
With the election of mayor and the various committee chairman done with, the rest of the inaugural meeting of the new council was conducted in a friendly and respectful manner, although there was a slight kerfuffle in the public gallery when some of those present declined to stand, as is customary, when the pre-meeting prayer was delivered.
Whilst on the election, a few voters have expressed concerns to me about the influence the now “Gang of Four” will have on future council matters associated with the running of The Hub as all are closely connected with the new youth club.
As they clearly have the majority, concerns have been expressed that they will have too much influence especially with regard to future funding of the facility.
Such fears, I believe, are unfounded because the four will have to declare an interest when such matters are discussed and are unlikely to be able to vote.
EVENT OF THE WEEK
I HAVE written many times in this column about how lucky we are to have so much stage talent in Lyme Regis with our three main theatre groups - the operatic, dramatic and pantomime societies - producing shows of a consistently high standard.
But last week’s production of 'Me And My Girl' by Lyme Regis Operatic Society raised the bar to even gidier heights; it was simply the best amateur show I have ever seen.
Not all reporters enjoy covering local shows, but I have written critiques on amateur productions throughout my 45 years in journalism, in Lyme, across the border in Devon and also in London.
On this occasion, I left the review to our regular theatre critic Keith Jenkin (see pages 6 and 7) and Jackie and I went along to the Marine Theatre as paying members of the audience. I’m glad he took on the task because I am not sure I could have found the words to have done the show justice.
I’ve always been a big fan of Lyme Operatic Society but 'Me And My Girl' rose well above the level expected of amateur performers. One of our readers, Helen Case wrote to us this week saying it was as good as any West End production. That was no exaggeration.
The ten leading players were all fantastic, with some memorable portrayals that had the audience calling for more.
Five-goal Axmouth United hammer home promotion aim
WHAT a difference a year makes for a football club.
Last year Axmouth United just avoided relegation for a second successive year but this season have completely turned themselves around and have secured promotion by winning their last game to cap a fantastic season.
Glenn Gould (2), Christian Burridge, Charlie Clarke and Tiago Braga scored the goals in a crucial victroy over Hatherleigth Reserves last Saturday.
The three points earned were enough finally see off the challenge of Culm United Reserves and guarantee the happy Hammers a place in Division Five of the Devon & Exeter League next season.
Manager Laurie Forino summed-up his side’s triumphant campaign to Weekender Sport: “We started the season in great style winning seven of their opening eight matches. Reece Hales was in imperious form only to suffer a horrendous injury which ended his season and looked to have cast a major shadow over Axmouth’s start.
“However, the squad this year is full of commitment and spirit and were determined to not waste the opportunity and continued in fine form despite further injury problems throughout the season to several key players.
“Others stepped in to fill the void and maintain the promotion push. A slight wobble mid-season, when injuries and absence were at their worst, resulted in five defeats in eight games and could have led to a drop in spirit.
“But the team were not about to let themselves be removed from the top three spot they had held all season.
“A storming finish of eight wins and a draw from our final 11 games sealed a top three spot and promotion to the delight of everyone involved.
“It could yet get better if Silverton win their last game at home to Hatherleigh and so hand Axmouth the runners-up spot.
“I am absolutely delighted for the players, supporters and everyone at the club. We have made such giant strides this year and strengthened the squad with real quality which in turn has helped everyone raise their game.
“The lads have played entertaining football which has been a joy to watch and be a part of, their commitment, team spirit and belief has been immense and that desire to succeed has been the difference in many games this year.
“I cannot tell you how proud I am to be able say I am the manager of Axmouth Football Club. We have a fantastic pitch and a set-up to rival almost anyone in the whole league. This is testament to all the time and effort that many devote to the club for which I sincerely thank them and am so pleased that we have been able to respond with success on the pitch.
“This is a great local team where everyone is made to feel welcome. I have to give my final thanks to all the players who have done everything, and more, that I have asked this year, and look forward to the exciting challenge next year. Up the Axe!”
BOVEY BLITZ BEAMINSTER
Shepton Beauchamp clinch impressive treble
DAISY HUTCHINGS CUP FINAL
BEAMINSTER RESERVES 3 SOUTH PETHERTON RES 5
at Perry Street, Thursday May 12th
FAVOURITES Beaminster Reserves were blown away by a four goal salvo by livewire South Petherton Reserves’ striker Jody Bovey at Perry Street on Thursday evening.
Beaminster, newly crowned as Division Two Champions, had done the league double over their opponents and, with a potent three-pronged attack of Josh Hunter (33 goals), Ross Pickett (21 goal) and Dan Pyett (24 goals) may have gone into the game thinking they could ‘out-gun’ any team in the competition.
But Bovey had other ideas. The early exchanges did indeed see Hunter, Pyett and winger Dan Tolman all linking well with Pyett firing just wide in the 10th minute.
Two minutes later midfielder Mark Carstairs cracked a 25-yarder that was tipped around the post by Magpies’ ‘keeper Andy Male.
But the balance of the game surprisingly shifted from this juncture. Bovey surged down the right flank before crossing to the impressive Ashley Smith whose header beat the Rainbows’ diminutive gloveman Mark Tozer but was hacked off the line by centre-back Adam Butcher.
Smith went close again in the 20th minute when he weaved in from the angle of the box before unleashing an angled shot that Tozer did well to keep out.
The deadlock was broken five minutes later when the Beaminster defence was guilty of hesitating under a high ball and Bovey nipped-in to slot past the advancing Tozer.
The West Dorset side responded almost immediately. First Mark Woodley’s long free-kick was headed narrowly wide by Ross Pickett.
Then Pickett challenged for a high ball which popped up invitingly for old-fashioned centre-forward but his volley missed the target from just eight yards.
It mattered not. Beaminster were level 10 minutes before the interval when Dan Tolman, who had an impressive first-half, cut-in from his left-wing position before drilling home a low shot across Male and into the far corner.
Tolman almost created a second soon after for Hunter but his header was comfortably saved by Male.
With thoughts turning to the break Pethy stunned their opponents for a second time when Smith’s shot came back off an upright only for Bovey to pounce on the rebound.
The killer third goal arrived in the 53rd minute when referee Simon Salter, who had a fine game, pointed to the spot after Hunter, back defending a corner, had tripped Smith in his own area.
Jary smashed the resulting spot-kick high down the centre of the goal to leave Robin Ormsby’s side with a mountain the climb.
Hunter went close with to low drive that flew just wide on the hour but the result was confirmed 20 minutes from time when the predatory instincts of Bovey came to the fore gain when he jumped on a half-chance and unleashed a volley that gave Tozer no chance and completed his hat-trick.
Ninety seconds later it was 5-1; substitute Mark Padfield played a slide-rule pass into the Beaminster area and Bovey rolled home his fourth goal of the match.
Padfield went close with a fine long-range effort before The Rainbows gave the score line an air of respectability with late consolations from skipper Richie Middleton and Butcher.
Bovey obviously took the Man-of-the Match honours, and looked every inch the Premier Division front man that he was last season, but there were fine performances from Smith and captain Karl Diment who, despite losing out in the height stakes, did a good job in nullifying the ariel threat of Pickett.
For Beaminster, Tolman had a fine first-half as did Mark Carstairs and Hunter had a few half-chances but his frustrations got the better of him.
BEAMINSTER RESERVES: Mark Tozer, Ashley Hall (Pete Stone 46), Mark Woodley, Adam Butcher, Tim Carstairs (Richie Miles 66), Mark Carstairs, Richie Middleton (Captain), Dan Pyett, Dan Tolman, Josh Hunter, Ross Pickett.
Goals: D.Tolman (35), Middleton (86), Butcher (96).
SOUTH PETHERTON RESERVES: Andy Male, Darren Howells (Scott Fowler 81), John Fullerton, Karl Diment (Captain, Sam Coombes 72), Matt Gold, Adrian Farrell, Dave Batstone (Mark Padfield 67), Jody Bovey, Owen Jary, Dan Rogers.
Goals: Bovey (25, 45, 70, 72), Jary (53 pen).
Referee: Simon Salter, assistants; Clive Crabb, Richard Young.
TOMMY TABBERER CUP FINAL
UPLYME 1 SHEPTON BEAUCHAMP 3
at Lyme Regis, Friday May 13th
SHEPTON Beauchamp deservedly lifted the Tommy Tabberer Cup for the first time in their history with a comprehensive 3-1 win over Uplyme at the Davey Fort on Friday evening.
Anthony Smith’s side went into the game as clear favourites having beat the Devonians on three occasions since Christmas and as soon as Dan Smith opened the scoring in the 23rd minute Shepton took control.
Smith had earlier been denied by a stunning save by Uplyme ‘keeper Lloyd Cleal who acrobatically tipped the striker’s goal bound shot onto the crossbar.
But Cleal was powerless to keep out the opener as Smith weaved his way into the box before hammering a shot into the roof of the net.
Cleal was also at his best on the half hour as he stood tall to deny the prolific Sam Murley in a one-on-one chance.
Moments later Murley scythed his way in the area before being tripped by Jack Chapple but referee Andy Dyke dismissed the strong Shepton appeals for a penalty and Uplyme clung on to reach the interval fortunate to be just the one goal behind.
The result was sealed five minutes after the restart when a long throw-in was flicked on to Murley who tapped in his 35th goal of the season.
Two minutes later Cleal made his one mistake in an otherwise Man-of-the Match performance when he flapped at a cross and Smith pounced on the rebound.
It could have got even worse for the Swallows on the hour. Smith was chopped down in the area but Kris Hastings’ spot-kick was poorly placed and Cleal saved well.
Five minutes later the Uplyme gloveman leapt acrobatically to tip a free-kick from Sam Hodkinson around the post.
Finally Rob Coombe’s side began to create some openings. Ryan Prendeville beat two defenders and rolled a shot past Terry Crocker only to see the ball clip the post.
The large Uplyme support was finally given something to cheer 15 minutes from time when a Stuart King’s long throw-in was flicked on to Gavin Fowler who cleverly guided the ball into the corner.
But Shepton thoroughly deserved their win and had star men in Murley Smith and Hodkinson.
Top performers for Uplyme were the outstanding Cleal and wingers Jack Borgeat and Adam Neale.
Manager Coombe had no complaints, he said: “I think the occasion and the big crowd got to some of our players. Our passing was poor and we seemed panicy. All credit to Shepton they thoroughly deserved their win.”
UPLYME: Lloyd Cleal, Greg Matthews, KieranWhite, Paul Sampson, Pip Marchant (captain), Jack Chapple, Stuart King, Adam Neale, Jack Borgeat, Gavin Fowler, James Beddows.
SHEPTON BEAUCHAMP: Terry Crocker, Theo Heath, Andy Moody, Kris Hastings, Rich Pippen, Sam Hodkinson (captain), Jon Spendlow, Sam Hawkins, George Pugson, Sam Murley, Dan Smith.
Referee: Andy Dyke, assistants; Pete Lowe, Bryan Perryman.