Waldon Make Herald Cup History: Local Football Round-Up Part 3/3
Chris Harrity and Waldon Athletic entered the SDFL history books on Good Friday as a bumper crowd of over 600 turned up at the Rec to see the Clarets win their first ever Herald Cup in the competition’s 86th iteration. The game wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but Harrity’s 10th minute opener had a touch of class about it as he danced into space before slotting in between Buckland Athletic Reserves goalkeeper Jamie Bradley and his post. In a half of few chances, Brook Ward could have made it two, the standout performer firing wide after Brian Doughty’s 28th minute free-kick had come back to him after hitting the wall, while Ryan Harrison-White’s chip, four minutes later was the best Buckland could come up with to find a way back. Waldon continued to defend well after the break, breaking when they could with Ash Harris, who broke his leg in last year’s semi-final, coming close to making it two with a 64th minute lob. Buckland were not their usual selves and offered little in response, their best effort probably Matt Beer’s late free-kick which was expertly saved by Kitson Glanville. Waldon dedicated their win to 82-year old clubman Ron Thomas who has been with the club for 60 years.
A Ryan Bush double and a single by full-back Lewis Woodmore helped Premier leaders Watcombe Wanderers to a 2-1 win at Ivybridge Town Reserves. Second-placed Dartmouth AFC received a blow to their title hopes by having their earlier win against Brixham AFC overturned for fielding an ineligible player. Then their home tie against Kingsteignton Athletic became one of three SDFL matches to be abandoned due to the weather. Brixham were donated a further three points, and move up to fourth, with Stoke Gabriel Reserves unable to field a team. Bottom side Loddiswell stunned Newton Abbot Spurs with a 2-0 home win to reduce the gap between themselves and Upton Athletic to five points. Now unbeaten in three, Kingskerswell & Chelston moved up to tenth with a 3-1 home triumph over East Allington United.
Any one from five could realistically win Division One, and Newton Abbot ’66 signalled their intent with a 2-1 home win over defending champions Buckland Athletic Thirds. Ipplepen Athletic closed the gap to two points as they came from behind at fourth-placed Ashburton to win 3-1 in boggy conditions. A point behind Pens, top scorers Chudleigh Athletic continued to apply the pressure with a fine 6-2 victory over Paignton Villa. Lee Morgan struck another two for Beesands Rovers who enjoyed a 3-1 away at bottom side Kingskerswell & Cheslton Reserves; Finley Bullen also scored for the Bees. Totnes & Dartington Reserves increased their chances of staying in the division with the only goal at home to Bovey Tracey Reserves. Buckland & Milber will be glad to see the end of March after suffering their heaviest league loss of the season at home to Babbacombe Corinthians; Roberts, Crews, Haycox and Heavens managed doubles for Corries with McDonald, Skinner and Howard also on target in an 11-0 hammering.
The league’s last 100 per cent record fell last Saturday, with mid-table Bishopsteignton United edging leaders Roselands 2-1 in the shock of the day. Watcombe Wanderers Reserves moved up to second with three goals and a clean sheet against Newton United, Sean Finch, Dean Swift and Casey Cooper scoring. The Greens replace Buckfastleigh Rangers who took the half-time lead at Harbertonford, but lost out as the Fords turned things around after the break with two early goals. Rangers did manage to level the scores briefly with 20 minutes left, but five minutes later the hosts bagged the clincher. Brixham Town also won 3-2, moving above Teignmouth Reserves with victory at Coombe Valley. Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves put four past Paignton Saints who had their worst day of the season so far. Saints never really got going and were at fault for three of the four goals through errors. To cap off a bad day, they also lost a player due to a suspected broken ankle.
There’s still no stopping Salcombe Town. The Division Three leaders scored another hatful as they beat Harbertonford 6-3 at the Berry. A Mark Sneap double turned defeat into victory for second placed Dartmouth AFC Reserves, who won 2-1 at Ipplepen Athletic Reserves, while Liverton United Reserves thrashed Teign Village 7-0. Upton Athletic Reserves felt they could have scored more than the two they managed, but in the end they had to settle for a point at home to Chudleigh Athletic Reserves. East Allington United Reserves enjoyed a narrow 3-2 win over Waldon Athletic Thirds while Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves v AFC Staverton and Torbay Police v Dittisham United were both abandoned.
In Division Four, Roselands Reserves swept Torquay Town away 8-0 to extend their lead over Barton Athletic to 11 points. Watcombe Wanderers Thirds moved into the top three, Stephen Rohan with all five to condemn Broadmeadow to consecutive heavy defeats. Meadowbrook Athletic started the season with five straight wins, but now they find themselves in the midst of a losing streak which has now reached four games; James Howrihane and Michael Bristow found the net for the hosts, but visiting Riviera United scored three times to take the points. Kingsbridge & Kellaton United picked up their first win of the year, beating Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves 3-2; Corries’ Carl Johnson scored twice but couldn’t affect the result. Ilsington Villa are now unbeaten in three after managing to hold Barton 2-2 at Lewthorne Cross. The other two matches saw Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves win their derby 2-1 at Newton Rovers and Ashburton Reserves overcoming Paington Villa Reserves 4-1 away.
In Division Five, Riviera United moved up to second and within a point of leaders Moretonhampstead with a comprehensive 4-1 win against Paignton Saints Reserves who could have conceded more if their goalkeeper, Josh Blayber, hadn’t pulled off some fine saves; Matt James scored Saints’ consolation. Torbay Police Reserves, in third, netted 14 without reply away at Broadhempston United Reserves. Swann and Winsor scored for Newton United Reserves and Buckland & Milber Reserves respectively in a 1-1 draw between the sides. Malborough United moved off the foot of the table with a 3-2 win at Chudleigh Athletic while goals by Davies and Dyke won Barton Athletic Reserves the points at Watts, Blake & Bearne AFC who now prop up the league.