Dunkeswell Rovers all set for last game title decider at home to Bravehearts

PUBLISHED: 08:29 10 May 2019

Ref mhsp 14 17TI 0258. Picture: Terry Ife

Ref mhsp 14 17TI 0258. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Dunkeswell Rovers are just a couple of hours of football action away from a league and cup double after a superb midweek evening win at Exmouth that takes the Dunks to within one more win of being crowned Macron League Division Five champions.

The Dunks journeyed to Exmouth Spartans knowing that anything but a win would gift the divisional top honour to the hosts.

However, goals from Jacob Cobb White and Tom Cligg, in what was another terrific all-round display, saw the Dunks to a richly deserved 2-0 success and a win - any win - in their final home game on Saturday (May 11), when they host a Bravehearts team they thrashed 10-2 at their Willand home just 21 days ago, will see the Dunks top the table by a single point from Spartans to be crowned champions.

Mind you, the win at Exmouth came at a cost, and a heavy one for one of the Dunks players!

Josh Cann suffered a nasty double fracture of his arm early in the contest and that's a real blow for the young man, who is also a very fine cricketer and was all set to turn out once again in the Seaton 1st XI who ply their cricketing skills in the third tier of the Tolchards Devon League. Sadly, it seems that young Cann - who was subjected to a lengthy spell in the operating theatre to put his arm right, may not be putting on his whites until much later in the cricket season - if at all in 2019!

Back to the football, and that win at Exmouth. Dunks joint-boss Brian Cann, father of the unfortunate Josh, said: "It was another terrific all-round performance and one that seemed to take things up a gear or three after the injury to Josh.

"A stunning win, tactically, physically superior performance against a very good side, a proper game of football played in a great spirit, and considering what was at stake, a real pleasure to be involved in..... sort off (the latter in obvious reference to the injury suffered by his son!)."

Cann, himself a former goalkeeper of real talent - he played over 800 games as a number one in the Western League with Willand Rovers - had high praise for Dunks' glovesman Chris Palfrey, of whom he said: "Chris served up a top, top goalkeeping shift. His handling was good and, when he was called into action, he made some wonderful saves."

Cann continued: "That said, this was another collective 90 minute shift when all the lads delivered. Dan Stapleton was immense at right wing back - and he was playing at centre half come the end of the contest.

"What this team has achieved in the current run is phenomenal (the win at Exmouth Spartans was an eighth straight victory - and all inside 21 days!) The lads have, quite literally, driven themselves into the ground and I couldn't be prouder!"

As for the final game - the home meeting (at Hemyock) against Bravehearts, Cann said: "There will be now letting up. Of course, having beaten this team so handsomely just 21 days ago complacency may well be an issue - but not for us - we will be focussed and, for one last run of 90 minutes put everything on the line to make sure a great season becomes a memorable - and trophy winning - one!"

Since a 1-0 defeat at home to Awliscombe on January 26, the Dunks are unbeaten in 13 Macron League games, winning 11 of them and drawing two. They have scored 43 goals and conceded just 13.

After this final league game the Dunks then still have the not so little matter of a Golesworthy Cup final which sees them take on East Budleigh Reserves at Ottery St Mary FC next Tuesday, May 14 with kick-off at Washbrook Meadows being 7pm.

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