MERLEY Cobham Sports came out on top 2-0 against Hamworthy Recreation as two of Dorset’s leading lights contested a superb Dorset Senior Trophy final.

A very good Merley side, bossed at the back by ex-Rec favourite, Jamie Moores, were good value for their win.

The game was played at a fast pace throughout, however, Rec never really settled into their normal game, finding themselves two down at the interval as Merley’s Matt Groves scored twice.

Despite a better showing in the second half Rec rarely troubled the Merley goalkeeper as the eventual winners looked comfortable throughout despite a spell of late pressure.

The game started in lively fashion, with a good break by Merley but Josh Buck saw his effort drift wide while Rec witnessed Ash Boyt’s low shot from a corner cleared.

Merley were slowly getting on top and after a succession of corners went ahead on 19 minutes when Groves, who had scored four times in the previous meeting between the clubs, outmuscled the defence on the edge of the area and looped his shot over Jack Martin.

Rec looked to get back on level terms and Brad Hill’s dangerous cross was thumped clear before a free-kick flew over the bar.

There were more scares for Rec when Merley had a header from Asa Phillips hit the bar after a long throw-in caused problems in the Rec defence.

The warning signs were there and right on the break it was 2-0 to Merley when Rec failed to clear another long throw and Groves was in the right place again to get the final touch before half-time.

Rec started the second half in livelier mood, forcing two early corners, before Chris Long broke on the left but was blocked by a defender.

Josh Pratt’s powerful drive was well saved by Harrison Bruton in the Merley goal, before Martin in the Rec goal did equally well to deny Merley a third when Buck sprinted through and got a clean shot away.

As time ticked away Rec were desperate for a goal and Hill’s free-kick was punched away and John Webb’s shot deflected for a corner. The closest they came was a header by Boyt, inches over the bar.

Meanwhile, Merley’s Phillips saw a quick turn and shot go narrowly over as Merley looked to extend their lead.

However, back came Rec and in stoppage-time Jordan Basing burst down the middle and lobbed the keeper but again, agonisingly, his shot cruised just over.

Merley saw out the remaining minutes with little fuss to deservedly win the silverware.