Moore’s merrier as he basks in Wray of sunshine

Dragon's red-hot striker Tom Wray. Picture: Mick Young
Dragon's red-hot striker Tom Wray. Picture: Mick Young
Craig McAllister. Picture: Keith Woodland

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T hey are not the preferred choice of many Sunday league footballers.

Nor, indeed, is a cold, wet morning in Farlington the ideal place for a spot of sunbathing.

But no-one told Dragon centre-back Jamie Moore, who donned some fancy board shorts for his side’s clash with Saturn Royale last weekend.

Was this beachwear a fashion statement?

No. According to Moore, it’s due to his ill-fitting kit.

You’d be forgiven for thinking he was basking in Dragon’s own Wray of sunshine, though.

Tom Wray has embarked on a remarkable hot streak this season.

And his 38 goals – in just 10 games this season – have fired Dragon into the Portsmouth Sunday League division three promotion picture.

The hot-shot striker showed no signs of cooling down last weekend.

He provided the firepower, running rings around Saturn with four goals in a 6-1 triumph.

‘I got seven goals in one game on this same pitch a few months ago’ beamed Wray afterwards,

‘And in the next match, I got another seven.

‘There’s not been a game I haven’t scored in.’

Dave Palmer was the Saturn goalkeeper who found Wray too hot to handle.

The Saturn player manager, who is also the secretary of the club and the league, has been in charge for a whopping 27 years.

And while he has vowed to keep going until his side win a trophy, Palmer admits age may getting the better of him first.

‘I’ve always said that to the lads but if we don’t win anything soon I may be forced to retire’ he said.

‘I’m not getting any younger.

‘You get all the younger guys running past you and you know it’s got to end sometime.

‘I’m nearing 600 games for just one club, though, which is pretty special.’

Wray took full advantage of another veteran on Sunday – centre-back Dave Smith.

Known as ‘Fireman Dave’, the hose-wielding emergency serviceman failed to extinguish the on-fire centre forward.

Dragon’s top scorer didn’t grab the first goal, though.

Instead it was mid-table Saturn who broke the deadlock within the first five minutes, as winger James Gabriele slotted home after great work from Colin Marsh.

But the lead didn’t last for long.

Wray’s run down the right and shot resulted in an easy tap-in for midfielder Dean Hewitt.

And from then on the striker stole the show.

The forward tore through the Saturn’s defence and fired Dragon into the lead.

He notched his personal double minutes later, cutting inside before drilling in at the near-post.

The front-man would have sealed a first-half hat-trick but his cool finish minutes before the interval was ruled out for offside.

He didn’t have to wait too long for his deserved treble, though, striking in identical fashion to his second on 65 minutes.

Any chance of a Saturn comeback went up in smoke with that strike.

Shortly afterwards Wray slotted in his fourth before 48 year-old Don Shaw completed the rout.

The wide-man showed the athleticism of a player half his age to turn in a Leroy Rudd cross with a spectacular diving header.

For Saturn, the match started out as a blazing inferno but soon fizzled out.

Palmer won’t be hanging up his gloves any time soon if his side continue to ship six goals each game.

However, Dragon’s flames continue to burn brightly.

And if Wray’s form remains red hot, the promotion contenders could find themselves playing in division two next season.

It would certainly be a good excuse to celebrate, maybe a trip to somewhere sunny?

No doubt Moore would fancy it, shorts and all.