DEVON BOWL FINAL: Buckland Athletic 4-0 Tiverton Town
HOLDERS Buckland turned in a scintillating first half performance last night to keep the Buddens Westinsure St Luke's Challenge Bowl in the Homers Heath trophy cabinet.
Last year the final between these same two clubs was settled by a penalty shoot-out. This time there was never any doubt about where the silverware was going.
The home side were in front in little more than the time it takes to say the name of the competition, and they were four goals to the good before the break.
Shell-shocked Tiverton were much better in the second half, but the game was far beyond their reach by then and Buckland were in no mood to loosen their grip.
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The match was played on a pitch that was heavy through the middle, but it was testament to the hard work of the Buckland groundsman that it went ahead at all after the weekend's downpours.
Buckland's crisp passing through midfield saw them using the flanks at every opportunity and getting men in behind a Tiverton defence that was slow to turn.
The opening goal came after Danny Gaze and Liam Moseley had unlocked the Tivvy defence and Chris Wright scored from close range.
Wright made it 2-0 with a glancing header from a Danny Lewis cross after 11 minutes, and Moseley made it three after 20 when he rounded Tivvy keeper Ryan Draper to score.
Wright's second on the stroke of half time was a shot from a narrow angle.
Tiverton brought on former Torquay United favourite Kevin Hill at the break, and were much better organized.
Jules Emati-Emati and Tom Tricker both had chances, and home keeper Kenny Griffiths pulled off two great saves from Emati-Emati and Michael Nardiello.
Determined to keep a clean sheet, the home side saw out the final minutes and could have scored more if they had taken some good late chances.