After an unbeaten season on the pitch, Docker’s 5th XI were crowned league champions following their final league game of the season vs Isca!
The background to the game is key to understand the significance of situation that unfurled in Cullompton on Saturday. In January, with the league title within grasp and the team 11 points ahead of the field, the 5ths found themselves forfeiting 9 points for two unfulfilled fixtures – due to player shortages across the Club. The challenge that faced them was that if they’d to lost their opponents, who were now sitting just 2 points behind them in 2nd, Isca would jump above them for the first time this season to win the league. No pressure!
The game proved to be a nail biting affair with Sidmouth & Ottery conceding a scrambled goal just 15 mins in following their opponent’s flying start. Docker’s men kept their heads and played their way back into the game with increasing confidence to force several several penalty corners (PC) and had a number of efforts well saved by the Isca goalkeeper. Fittingly, it was Dockers, playing his final game as captain, who scooped in from short distance to level. The rest of the game was a nip and tuck affair. Isca came closest at a PC with a low hard shot that Keith Brown skilfully deflected outside the left post. After that both teams had their moments but, neither team really threatened and the result deservedly went Sidmouth & Ottery’s way.
Immediately after their game, Dockers awarded 17 year old Matt Sheridan the team’s “Most Improved” player and veteran defender Keith Brown, the Team’s “Player of the Season”. Many congratulations to all, young and older, who have played 5ths this year. It has been a fantastic season!