Lions boss joins the Kew to praise new four-way tournament

It was not quite the way Pagham envisaged the inaugural Dave Kew Memorial Cup.

Boss Kerry Hardwell said Pagham's clash with Worthing was a very useful exercise / Picture: Roger Smith
Boss Kerry Hardwell said Pagham's clash with Worthing was a very useful exercise / Picture: Roger Smith

But the feedback from the first tournament in memory of the Nyetimber Lane legend who died last year has been hailed a great success.

For three of the sides who played – the hosts, Chichester City and Selsey – it gave them a chance to test themselves pre-season against a team from a higher league.

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Worthing came out as cup winners, beating Pagham 6-4 in the final, after Chichester City beat Selsey 5-0 in the third-fourth play-off, boith games able to be played with fans in the ground.

Action from the Pagham-Worthing final / Picture: Roger Smith

That came a fornight after Pagham beat Selsey and Worthing beat City in beghind-closed-doors semi-finals.

Now it’s hoped it will be an annual tournament at Pagham – and next time, all; being well, fans will be able to watch the lot.

Pagham manager Kerry Hardwell was praiseworthy of the tournament, and delighted his team had been tested by Worthing, who play two divisions higher than the Lions.

He told the Observer: “It was a fantastic experience for the lads stepping up and facing Worthing, who are a real class outfit.

“The boys needed this game after two relatively easy games and no doubt we’ll have learnt more in this game than we did in the other two.

“It was more minutes for the boys and it was pleasing for me to see fitness levels from everyone late on in the game were high.

“Being the management team’s first pre-season at the club, we’ve looked to put our stamp on the style of play we want this year and against Worthing we asked the boys to continue that.

“We took positives and negatives from the game – we made mistakes and got punished by a great side but it was good for us to see the boys continuing to try to play throughout the 90.”

While Pagham continue their pre-season with a trip to Fareham Town on Saturday, other sides involved in the Dave Kew Cup are also reflecting on useful workouts.

Chichester were pleased to finish third by beating Selsey 5-0 in Saturday’s semi-final, continuing their fine build-up to the new Isthmian south east division season.