Dunkeswell Rovers Football Club celebrates a very grand opening
PUBLISHED: 11:58 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:58 31 December 2019
Dunkeswell Rovers Football Club head into 2020 still harbouring a huge feel-good factor after the success of their recent grand opening of their new club home ground.
The grand opening was supported by the local parish council, the county football association and players and club officials from past and present, and, once the formalities had been seen to with the official, cutting of a ribbon, a match was played between the current Dunkeswell team and a Dunks' Legends XI.
Dunkeswell secretary Rob Williams spoke of his pride - and delight - after the dust had settled on a very special day for all concerned with the village football club.
He said: "What an incredible day for the club that official opening was! I must first say a massive thank you to everyone that braved the weather to support us on the occasion, be that the players - young and old - current and former, and all the supporters that turned out to celebrate both the official ribbon-cutting ceremony and then took in the action between the two teams."
He continued: "It's also the case that massive thanks must be given to all our volunteers, sponsors, and the Parish Council, without whom, collectively, such a special occasion would never have been possible."
He added: "Thanks also go to John Barrow of the Parish Council for cutting the ribbon, and to 'one of our own' former Dunkeswell Rovers player and not a Devon FA representative, Dudley Frood, for overseeing proceedings.
"It was an incredible day for all, but especially for every person who has gone above and beyond to make getting Dunkeswell Rovers Football Club where it is today. Thank you, one and all."
Fittingly, the game between the current club side and a Dunkeswell 'Legends saw plenty of goals - 11 in all - with the final margin of victory being a single goal in favour of the current Dunks team.
The Legends made the brighter start with Mark Johnson and Sid Berry both testing Dunks' keeper Rob Williams early on, but the goal the Legends clearly deserved for their early endeavours, was not forthcoming.
At the other end of the pitch, Legends glovesman Steve Webber made a number of fine saves before he was finally beaten with Josh Cann making his mark in Dunks history as becoming the first goal scorer at the clubs new home! A second from Cann saw the club side into a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Early in the second half it was 3-0 with Jay Williams scoring a superb goal. The Legends hit back and scored their first goal of the match when Mark Johnson headed home a Sid Berry cross.
Provider then turned scorer as Berry drilled the ball home to make it 3-2 and the comeback was complete when Jason Joslin struck with what was his 138th goal for the club to leave the game well poised at 3-3.
Back came the club XI with Cann completing his hat-trick, but, in keeping with a close contest, an Eric Cligg header from a corner restored parity once more.
It was the superior fitness of the club XI that then kicked in as goals from Jordan Stickland and Max Mckeown fired them into a 6-4 lead.
The Legends had the final say on proceedings with Mark Johnson, who had a fine game, squaring for Joe Cligg to net the games 11th and final goal.
The Man of the Match award went to Legends glovesman Steve Webber who made some memorable saves, none more stunning than the one that denied Dunks skipper Gavin Richards a goal.
The final word on a very special event goes Rob Williams who says: "A huge thank you to referee Chris Palfrey, and his assistants Oscar Berry and Lee Williams, who did a great job and thanks also, again, to all who came out to support the day's events. Last, but certainly not least, well done, to all the guys that pulled on a shirt, especially to those that hadn't done so for a number of years. Oh yes, and a final huge round of thanks to 'Lappo' and 'Netta' for feeding us with an incredible curry back at the Social Club, and to Rosie Palfrey for doing a great job behind the bar."
Dunkeswell Rovers: Rob Williams, Tom Cligg, Louis Grant, Jordan Travers, Jay Williams, Gavin Richards, Jordan Stickland, Steve Curry, Max Mckeown, Josh Cann
Dunkeswell Legends: Steve Webber, Eric Cligg, Matt Woolacott, Joe Cligg, Jay Berry, Phil Paddison, Gavin O'Hara, Jason Joslin, Richard Berry, Mark Joslin, Paul Owens, Owen Cligg, Pete Kittow, Phil Morris