DORCHESTER Town’s Magpies Football Festival produced record-breaking numbers after the biggest-ever edition of the popular event.

Some 595 fixtures were played, featuring 203 teams overseen by 20 referees and 32 volunteers to help the festival run smoothly.

There were 12 categories in all, beginning with the mixed under-sevens as Dexters Lions claimed maximum points in the final group to earn victory.

Westland Sports Comets were 1-0 winners over AFC Chesil Comets to take the under-eight mixed title.

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In a thrilling under-nine mixed final, Holt United Youth edged Ilchester Predators 5-4 before their clubmates Holt Athletic clinched the under-10 final, seeing off home club Dorchester Town (TC).

Redlands Rebels were 1-0 winners over Universal FC in the mixed under-11s, while Fairwarp defeated Merriott Rhinos 2-0 in the under-12 mixed class.

Holt secured their third piece of silverware in the under-13s mixed, narrowly beating Broadstone 1-0.

Poole Town Wessex Colts completed the mixed class winners with a 1-0 success over Ridgeway A in the under-14s.

In the under-nine girls’ league, Merley were 2-0 winners in the final against Dexters Sports Youth.

Sherborne Town upset home hopes Dorchester Town A to win the girls’ under-11 title, while Harvesters enjoyed a perfect record to seal the under-13s’ crown.

The Magpies finally had some success to shout about in the under-15s category as their Dorchester Town A (SG) side finished top.

Speaking to Echosport, Dorchester vice-chairman Cameron Dabbs emphasised the work of a loyal band of volunteers in helping to deliver the festival.

“It’s been another fantastic event,” he said.

“A record number of teams and girls’ teams in the tournament.

“What needs to be pointed out is that it’s not been my event.

“I’ve done all the prep work but as soon as that whistle blows at nine o’clock in the morning, it’s down to the referees we’ve got, a lot of them junior and aspiring, the volunteers marking scores and the five tea bar staff that keep everyone warm, the car-park staff, the volunteers that scrub the toilets.

“It’s their event and they’re probably more proud of it than I am now, because they’ve taken a lot more ownership.

“We’ve had good feedback and a couple of emails have come in already.

“A lot of managers have said it a well-run tournament and they’re surprised it runs on time every year, so I don’t know what other tournaments are doing.”

Looking ahead to 2025, Dabbs added: “I don’t know how we can get it any bigger, but with Shaun (Hearn, chairman) coming in, he has a great belief in ability football.

“We’ve tried to include it before but maybe next year that might be the next string to our bow.”