WAREHAM Rangers Veterans claimed a 2-1 victory over Poole Bay Veterans to seal the Veterans West Division championship in their title-deciding battle.

Prior to the match, both sides had 36 points, with Poole slightly ahead on goal difference, and the match represented the last of the season for both sides.

Poole started the game aggressively, but this would ultimately prove to be their downfall.

The Wareham defence at this point with David Elm and Christopher Oram, were doing well to keep the Poole attack in check.

After several good passages of play between the industrious Wareham midfield of Richie Best, Tony Marney and Steve Gwillim, it was talisman Gaz Taylor who broke the deadlock from the penalty spot.

After a set piece from Marney, the Poole bay defenders hauled Taylor to the ground giving the referee an easy decision.

Unnecessary hands to Taylor’s throat from the Poole Bay captain after the incident resulted in a yellow card.

After a lengthy delay, Taylor kept his cool and slotted home from the spot.

Soon after, Poole Bay’s over zealousness resulted in a second yellow for their captain after he again raised his hands to Taylor’s throat and consequently, he was giving his marching orders.

Wareham dominated the match after that incident.

New Wareham signing Alex Counter was causing problems for the Poole Bay defence, and after Taylor slotted him through Counter made no mistake to double Wareham’s lead.

With captain Mike White alongside Terry Peterson backed up by the huge presence of goalkeeper Andrew Bartlett, Wareham comfortably saw out the half.

Poole Bay managed to apply some pressure with one player less.

However, Wareham always had the pace of wingers Steven Gwillim and Paul Wytch to provide an outlet. Poole did manage to pull one goal back which made for a nervy final 10 minutes.

Taylor almost made it three, only to see his shot ricochet off the post and his strike partner Counter sprinted through on goal only be taken out by the last defender who was extremely lucky to get away with nothing more than a free-kick.

However, with the fresh legs of Jason Sheath and Matthew Elwood being introduced to the game, there was only ever going to be one result.

After the game, Paul Clementi, Wareham manager, said “It’s a great achievement for us to win the championship this year.

“The boys have had to work hard this year and dig deep in many games.

“It was our overall quality, desire to win and discipline which got us over the line.

“I am very proud of them all and look forward to a deserved break before next season.”


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