Young midfielder was too hot to handle in Intermediate Two cup final
Young midfielder Harry Taffs stole the show as Torridgeside Reserves won the first silverware in the second teamâ€™s history on Saturday night.
Taffs powered in a magical long-range goal as Torrie came from behind to beat Fremington 3-1 in the North Devon Journal cup final at Vicarage Fields.
Things started slowly for Mike Gilbertâ€™s side, who deserved to be behind when goalkeeper Darren Redford dropped a corner kick and allowed Matt Pow to poke home a 15th minute opener for Fremmy.
But Torrie reacted by playing good football and better football than the Intermediate Two promotion hopefuls and pulled one back five minutes later with a Gary Hill penalty.
With the scores locked at 1-1 at the break, Torridgeside continued to move through the gears in the second and found the breakthrough on the hour-mark.
Taffs collected the ball in his own half and went on a mazy run before unleashing a blazing shot towards the fire station end of the ground.
â€œFrom where we were in the dug-out, we had a perfect view of it â€“ it flew like an arrow,â€ said manager Gilbert.
â€œHarry made everything tick for us and was particularly lively on the night.
â€œHe and midfielders Adam Isaac and Sean Letheren kept the ball moving all night and helped us retain possession but in fairness every single player played well.â€
The ball-work paid off with 10 minutes to go as substitute Sam Pett secured the win with a far post volley.
Meanwhile, Fremington will have to console themselves with the fact that three wins in their last five games would secure them promotion to Intermediate One. Northside Atlantic have dropped just three points this season â€“ and with only 10 points needed from their remaining six games, the title is theirs to lose.
The divisionâ€™s only other promotion contenders are Barnstaple FC and Anchor Chiefs. The Chiefs still have eight games to play and kept their faint hopes alive with a 6-1 win against South Molton Reserves on Wednesday night, and a 5-1 win against AFC Anchor Reserves on Saturday.
Shaun Hastings (2), Darren Smith (2), Colin Bowden and Joe Barker scored on Wednesday night and Daniel Murch (2), Ali Davidson (2) and Matt Nailor were on target at the weekend. Terry Hollingsworth scored from the spot for AFC Anchor.
On Sunday, Pilton Academicals Reserves climbed into sixth spot with a 2-0 win against Northam Lions Thirds. Dave Coggin retuned from university to score his first for the Accies this season and Dean Stanworth cracked the second in off the crossbar to secure the win.
In Intermediate One, Wrey Arms continued their title quest with a 6-0 win against Sporting Barum. With both teams lacking regulars, it took a freak own goal to start the scoring. The floodgates opened soon after with Joe Gillard (2), Marc Churchill (2) and Craig Smith putting the game beyond doubt.
Four wins from their last eight would guarantee Wrey the title.
Darren Floyde (2), Phil Norman and Andrew Parkhouse scored for Equalizers in a 6-4 defeat at home to Northam Lions Reserves.
There was no let-up for Putford Reserves on Saturday though as Equalizers cruised to an 11-1 win. Wayne Parkhouse scored six, Nico Pfieffer hit three and there was a brace for Phil Norman.
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