John Heveran scored twice as Torpoint Athletic defeated St Blazey 3-1 to lift the Walter C Parson League Cup for the first time ever, writes Matt Friday.
After a goalless first 45 minutes at Launceston’s Pennygillam ground, Torpoint skipper Heveran struck twice in the second half to secure a memorable league and cup double, with Dean Cardew’s side having been crowned South West Peninsula League Premier East champions nine days earlier.
Ryan Richards broke the deadlock five minutes into the second stanza before Point skipper Heveran doubled his side’s lead a matter of minutes later in front of a packed crowd of 523 at Pennygillam.
Olly Brokenshire halved the Green and Blacks’ deficit from the spot to set up an interesting final quarter, but Heveran promptly headed home his second of the day to make sure of the trophy and round off an unforgettable afternoon for the east Cornwall outfit.
Although they came into the tie as slight underdogs, St Blazey enjoyed the better of the first 25 minutes and instantly put pressure on Point custodian Jason Peters. Martin Giles tested the goalkeeper with an early header before Rio Ward went down under Peters’ challenge inside the box, with merry whistleblower Tom Anstice-Mitchell waving away the green-shirted appeals.
Peters’ heart would have been in his mouth again soon after when he spilled Neil Slateford’s fierce strike, but recovered quickly to scoop the loose ball up before Marks could profit, with the Torpoint gloveman then on hand to claim Will Tinsley’s goal-bound header.
The Green and Blacks would live to regret not making the most of their dominant spell as the SWPL Premier East champions soon gained a foothold in the match. Moments after seeing his crossbar shake following a corner, St Blazey gloveman Jason Chapman had to race out of goal to shepherd Richards wide after the lethal goalgetter broke free of the defence.
Peters pulled off a fine save to deny Marks at the other end before Torpoint passed up a gilt-edged chance to take the lead. Giles’ weakpass was seized upon by Lewis Pacey who promptly squared it to Gary Hird, who, with the goal at his mercy, scuffed his strike with Tinsley able to mop up and clear the danger.
With half-time nearing, Pacey found the car park with his strike from distance before Richards’ dangerous, low cross was booted away by a green shirt as Torpoint looked to translate their advantage onto the scoreboard before the interval.
But it took fewer than five minutes after the turnaround for the deadlock to be broken, with Richards firing Torpoint in front with his 43rd goal of a stellar season. Hird was thwarted by a strong challenge from Jordan Dingle with the ball running through to Richards, who smashed it past Chapman from eight yards.
All of a sudden the Point were two goals to the good with virtually their next attack. A cross from the left flank evaded everyone and ricocheted off the back post, with Heveran on hand to rifle the loose ball into the net to send the Torpoint faithful into dreamland.
It could have been game over just after the hour when Hird received the ball from Richards and laid it off to Pacey on the edge of the box, with the midfielder’s strike rolling agonisingly wide of the left post.
That could have proved to be a turning point in the tie with St Blazey receiving the chance to reduce their arrears from the penalty spot only four minutes later. Slateford fell to the turf under Sam Hillson’s challenge, with Brokenshire arrowing the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner to give his side a lifeline.
It turned out that the Green and Blacks were back in the tie for all of two minutes, with Torpoint almost instantly restoring their two-goal advantage. Richards’ strike was deflected over the bar for a corner, with Darren Hicks delivering the ball to the back post where Heveran was waiting to nod home his second of the game.
Having already done it once, Lafferty’s charges now had the unenviable task of picking themselves up off the floor for a second time, and it proved to be a step too far for the Blaise Park outfit. Marks and Brokenshire both put efforts wide as the Green and Blacks desperately tried to find a way back, but it was not to be as Torpoint held on for a historic triumph.
Torpoint: J Peters, J Forrest, C O’Brien, O Haslam, S Hillson, J Heveran, C Thompson, L Pacey (C Holder 80), G Hird, R Richards (L Kershaw 90+2), D Hicks. Subs (unused): M Lucas, J Robins, R Brown.
St Blazey: J Chapman, I Burdon (O Rosevear 78), J Smale, J Dingle, M Giles, W Tinsley, O Brokenshire, N Slateford, K Marks, C McGhee (C Kenny 60), R Ward (A Williams 89). Subs (unused): L Turner.
Referee: Tom Anstice-Mitchell
[Featured image: Matt Friday / Cornwall Sports Media]