IF it was hot in the stands, it was even hotter on the touchline for Appledore Reserves and Shamwickshire managers Graham Hills and Gary Ford. And on the Vicarage Road pitch at Torrington, the action simply sizzled in a Brayford Cup final to remember on S
IF it was hot in the stands, it was even hotter on the touchline for Appledore Reserves and Shamwickshire managers Graham Hills and Gary Ford.And on the Vicarage Road pitch at Torrington, the action simply sizzled in a Brayford Cup final to remember on Saturday.Despite the heat, this season's Premier League Cup climax lived up to all expectations, with the local Torridge rivals producing a nine-goal riot of end-to-end football.Shammy's Danny Brown opened the scoring with only 10 minutes on the clock before the Fishermen hit back through Matt Bolton's "exceptional" 25-yard top corner strike to make it all level going into the break.After the re-start, Bolton gave his side the lead with a stunning individual effort, skipping into the box to unleash his strike.Gary Suggate then put Shammy back on level terms from the penalty spot - and in what was becoming an end-to-end game, the East-the-Water men then went ahead through Neil Armstrong's header from Will Nicholls' corner.The Sham were unable to stem the tide at 3-2, the marauding Bolton firing in from the penalty spot to grab his hat-trick, a feat he also achieved in Appledore's semi-final match against Georgeham.And after Shaun Copp cut back on himself on the edge of the box to lob the keeper for the Fishermen's fourth, they looked to be over the line. But with seconds on the clock, any premature thoughts of cup-lifting were shattered as Nicholls floated in a 40-yard free-kick to send the Shammy crowd delirious and into a further nail-biting 30 minutes of extra time. In the end, with the game ebbing, flowing and heading into a penalty shootout, left sided forward Sam Grimley scored the winner to make it 5-4 to Appledore. The win followed up a 2-I victory for the Fishermen against the same opposition the previous Wednesday night."It was a fantastic game, you couldn't have had a better cup final," Appledore's Graham Hills told the Gazette."We've got a young side - and they kept plugging away and probably just had the legs to win it in the end."Sam Grimley worked tirelessly all game for us - he really deserved to score the winner. Our full-backs Ben Boswell and Ben Cobbett also had strong games."It could have gone either way - full marks to Shammy for helping make it such an exciting game. You really didn't know what was going to happen next."Mr Hills admitted that there had been a number of new faces in the side this season and the team had made a "dodgy" start to their league season."We were rockin' and rollin' a little before Christmas but captain Gareth Avery and Sam Grimley are great motivators and have pulled the team together well."My assistant Kevin Fishwick has put in a lot of work behind the scenes also, and in the last four or five months, we have been a match for most teams."Shamwickshire's Nick Braunton said it was a final to remember for a long time."What a cracking cup final - possibly the most entertaining Brayford Cup final seen in many-a-year," he said."Unfortunately one of the teams had to lose but we couldn't have asked for any more from our lads as they played their hearts out to entertain the very large crowd at Torrington."Shamwickshire Rovers are going on an end of season day at the Bratton Down point to point races on Saturday," he added."There are still a few seats available at £15 and anyone interested can contact me on (01237) 473899."Back in the league - and in an end-of-season game full of goals - the battle between the Premier division's sixth placed Putford and seventh placed Georgeham finished in a 4-4 draw.Gary Woods and Ross Maynard put Georgeham 2-0 ahead before goals from Dave Richardson and James Ashton levelled the scores.Maynard scored his second of the game to put Georgeham back in front but Putford fought back and Ashton scored his second to pull the score back to 3-3.Jamie Pallister's late strike looked to have sealed the win for Georgeham but Wayne Pomeroy netted the equaliser with only seconds left on the clock.In the battle of the bottom of the table clubs, Kilkhampton emerged victorious beating Northam Lions 5-3.After a season of highs and lows, the Intermediate One division faces a nail biting climax. Only one point separates Combe Martin Reserves and Shebbear United with one match remaining. Both teams now face twelfth placed Grosvenor/Lovacott Reserves away from home this week. Combe know they need a win to put the title out of Shebbear's reach, but a draw or defeat could result in a huge upset as Shebbear have a superior goal difference. Both teams enter the last week of the season full of confidence after 4-1 wins at home.Combe Martin Reserves beat third placed Georgeham Reserves in a surprisingly comfortable fixture for the division leaders. Graham Coomber (2) and Joe Seldon (2) scored for Combe Martin in their last home game of the season. Sean Creely was Georgeham's only scorer. Reflecting on the season Georgeham's Simon Clerk said: "We've done okay this season - it started badly but we ended it well to finish third."Shebbear United also had an easy win against thirteenth placed Hartland Reserves. James Vanstone (2) and Danny Gray (2) scored the all-important goals for the home side. Richard Bisset was the only goal scorer for Hartland, who now face an anxious wait to see if they will still be playing Intermediate One football next season.Grosvenor/Lovacott Reserves are all that stand in the way of Combe Martin or Shebbear winning the title - and after an impressive 5-1 victory away from home against seventh placed Bude Town they could still cause an upset.A screamer from Joe Gillard opened the scoring for the away side but Bude equalised to level the score before half-time.In the second half, the visitors found their winning form, Gillard completing a hat-trick and Steve Marlow netting a brace thanks to tireless work on the flanks by Alex Boreham and Andrew James. North Molton Reserves were lucky in their narrow 2-1 win at home against Woolsery to finish the season in sixth place. Rupert Smith and Matthew Yates scored for the home side, while Jamie Robertson was Woolsery's only goal scorer. "We probably finished where we should have done," said North Molton's Adam Gazeley.Struggling Lynton finished the season with a disappointing defeat. The relegated club lost 4-2 away from home against fifth placed Torrington Admirals. Pilton Academicals Reserves could still move up to 12th in the Intermediate Two division after a 4-3 win against Chittlehampton Reserves gave the bottom of the table club a lifeline.Liam Craze, Guy Williams and Jeff Henry were the goal scorers for Chittlehampton.Pilton now face South Molton Reserves in the last game of the season.In only their second season, Park United finished in third place after a 6-1 victory against Putford Reserves. The home side were always in control, and a penalty from 46-year-old Julian Fay completed the celebrations - the team's 100th league goal. Other scorers for Park were James Lee (2), Bob Ashton, Roberto Ousley and Mark Newman.Park United's Pete Yard said: "To finish third in only our second season is a good result."Fifth-placed Mortehoe finished the season in style beating fourth placed Buckland Brewer 3-2. Liam Dyer (2) and Andrew Lay scored the goals for the home side, while Brewer's top scorers Vincent Bott and Simon Leach netted for the away team. The win leaves Mortehoe in good form ahead of their cup final tonight (Wednesday) against Anchor at Rocksfield, North Molton.