HARWICH & Dovercourt skipper Sean Mills hailed the “exceptional” kicking of team-mate Sam Male after his side’s hard-fought victory against Mersea Island.

The Wick Lane team battled to a 26-21 success in their Eastern Counties League division one derby on Saturday.

Male was the difference between the sides, helping the team bounce back from the previous week’s 35-20 defeat at Wymondham.

“Sam was on song with his kicking,” said Mills.

“And knowing that was the case gave us so much confidence.

“In the first half, especially, the forwards worked hard and forced Mersea into penalties, knowing he’d kick the points.

“In total, he was successful with six of his seven attempts – having missed the first – and it was great to see him back to his best.

“There aren’t many kickers in this division who are as good as him.

“He’s been in decent form all season but he was exceptional and, without doubt, the difference between the sides on Saturday.”