Merley Cobham Sports boss Mike Buxton admits reaching the Magna Dorset Premier League Cup Final is a “marvellous achievement” after assembling his side from scratch over the summer.

A brace from James Pinder and one from Martin Warren sealed Sports a shock 3-2 triumph at Westland Sports to book them a final date with Weymouth at Dorchester Town’s Avenue Stadium on April 27.

Buxton took over from the late Tim Balch, who was forced to leave the manager’s post due to ill health.

He admits building his squad during pre-season proved tough following a mass exodus of the 2009/10 team.

So he was delighted to see the club’s efforts rewarded by the chance to win their first trophy since lifting the league cup as Flight Refuelling Football Club in 1991.

Buxton said: “If people realise where we have come from in eight months, it’s an even better achievement.

“I got the appointment last June and I didn’t have a team. I didn’t have one player. None of the first team wanted to know me.

“I sat at the club for three nights, waiting for players to come up, but nobody came out. So I had to go out in June and July, when most people had already signed their players and get a team together.

“I’ve had to gel a group of players together who didn’t know each other, so to get where we are is a marvellous achievement.

“I’ve gone through about 40 players this year because I’ve had to try and constantly improve the squad. So the cherry on the cake was that win at Westland.”

Merley will have to defy the odds once again to lift the trophy against the Terras, who won 6-0 at home to Sherborne to book their place in the Dorchester showdown.

Elsewhere, Hamworthy Recreation went 11 points clear at the DPL summit with a 3-1 win at Blandford United.

Mike Notley opened the scoring for Rec, only for his strike to be cancelled out by Jamie Filkins for the Royals. But Jamie Moores and Kane Daysh struck to seal the points for the visitors.

Sturminster Marshall stay fifth after a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Parley Sports, courtesy of goals from Dan Manuel, Luke Geddes and Joe Wood.

Holt United climbed up to sixth thanks to a Luke Stone hat-trick in their 7-2 triumph at Poole Borough. Sam Purdy bagged a brace for the Bulls and Sam Hollidge and Alex Grimason also got on the scoresheet. Adam Komorowski netted two for the hosts.

Hamworthy United ended a run of nine straight defeats in style by triumphing 6-2 over Swanage Town and Herston at the County Ground.

Jack Foster and Luke Burbidge struck a brace each for the Hammers. Jack Satterley and Sam Lanahan were also on target. Marvin Mutanga and Steve Carpenter scored for Swanage.