WEYMOUTH Cougars’ annual festival of football took place at the Marsh over the weekend.

The event, which has been a regular part of Weymouth’s sporting calendar since 1992, was attended by mayor Ray Banham and mayoress Pamela Nixon.

More than 80 teams competed in age groups from under-7s to under-15s, with some travelling from as far afield as Bristol, Oxford, Monmouth, Trowbridge, Guernsey, Portsmouth and Tow-cester, as well as the normal array of Dorset and Hampshire-based teams.

Corfe Mullen Juniors showed their strength by winning two of the seven age groups, finishing just ahead of the Cougars in the under-9 age group and beating Portland United in the under-14s.

Portsmouth-based Pickwick Tigers won the under-10s with Guernsey Rangers finishing as runners-up.

The Cougars proved too strong for a gallant Monmouth Town in the under-11s.

The other local winners came in the under-15s where Weymouth Youth overcame a strong challenge from Bridport.

However, the young Bees did not leave empty-handed as their under-12s beat AFC Chesil Vikings in a very closely-fought final.

First-time entrants Castle Carey ran out winners of the under-13s group by beating the Cougars in the final.

The minis age groups proved a huge success with the under-7s and 8s providing a feast of entertaining football.

As the tournament for these age groups is non-competitive all the players taking part received mementos of their day.

Cougars’ spokesman Jim Halls said: “Once again we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those without whose help and support this competition would not be possible.

“Especially to Gary and Chris for the loan of the PAs and Havens Littlesea for the loan of their mobile office for the weekend.

“Thanks also to Sydenhams, Dorset Vehicle Rentals, Brian McKay Engineering and URC Radipole for the loan of their equipment.

“We should also like to thank Bookers, Tesco and Asda for their generous donations.

“As always, we are particularly grateful to our referees, who do an amazing job over two long and hard days, and our many helpers who set up and run the barbecues and refreshment areas, especially those parents and friends that worked so hard to keep us all fed and watered.

“Our thanks also go to Weymouth & Portland Borough Council grounds staff for looking after the pitches and surrounding areas so well for us.

“Finally, to all the players, coaches, mums and dads who attended, we thank you all.”