MORE than 170 youth football teams descended on the Avenue Stadium for the Acerbis Magpies Football Festival.

In the biggest-ever running of the event, held across three days for the first time, 172 sides from across the south of England attended.

The middle day was also dedicated entirely to girls’ football as the legacy of the victorious Lionesses in Euro 2022 continues.

Age groups taking part ranged from under-sevens to under-15s in the mixed category and under-eight, under-ten, under-12, under-14 and under-16 girls.

READ MORE: Dorchester Town Under-18s win treble

Winning the under-sevens mixed class was Wimborne-based Pathway Development Centre, while Polonia won the under-eight event.

Ridgeway triumphed in the under-ten class, while there were home wins for Dorchester Town in the under-11 and under-14 competitions.

Pathway also doubled up with victory in the under-13s.

Holt Youth and Holt Youth B then took a club treble with under-nine and under-15 success plus under-12 success respectively.

In the girls’ section, under-eight honours went to Hampshire side Atalanta Sports, while Blandford United claimed under-ten spoils.

St Albans side Harvesters won the under-12 class, with Ridgeway claiming the under-14 title.

And there was a final winner’s medal for Dorchester Town as they became under-16 champions.

Tournament organiser, Cameron Dabbs, said: “They have enjoyed it. It’s about community football here.

“We’ve got some of the best facilities in non-League football in the South West. They’ve come here to play in a stadium of youth football.

“There’s 172 teams, a stupid amount of fixtures, well over 400 medals, 14 trophies, an entire day of girls’ football, it’s just mad.”

And the event could get even bigger, with the possibility of introducing a pan-disability section next season.

“Possibly,” Dabbs added. “I’ll go into hiding for the next couple of months regarding this tournament and we’ll sit down and have those conversations in October and come up with a plan.

“The way we’ve done this weekend validates it. A good portion of the community has turned out to deliver this event.”

Lending his final thoughts on the footballing extravaganza, Dabbs said: “It’s just the teams turning out in their droves.

“The teams coming down from Bristol, from Hertfordshire, that’s credit to how this is growing across the whole south.

“What is also amazing and doesn’t go noticed as much is myself, Keith Legg, the chairman of Dorchester Youth, will get a lot of emails from managers saying: ‘Thank you’.

“The managers appreciate what goes into running these events and we’re delivering a big one for the South West.”