In the Sunday afternoon Sunshine, for the first time in six years, Exeter City were crowned Devon County Champions following a hard fought 2-1 victory over near rivals Plymouth Argyle.

    In the Sunday afternoon Sunshine, for the first time in six years, Exeter City were crowned Devon County Champions following a hard fought 2-1 victory over near rivals Plymouth Argyle. There will be post match interviews with Manager Abbie Britton and midfield maestro Steph Beck (the daughter of East Devon Radio presenter Sheila Beck) will be played out this coming Saturday between 2pm and 6pm on the Radio Allsports show.

    In the Sunday afternoon Sunshine, for the first time in six years, Exeter City were crowned Devon County Champions following a hard fought 2-1 victory over near rivals Plymouth Argyle.

    After the opening ceremony had finished and the players introduced, a crowd of nearly 600 were treated to an absorbing contest that glowingly advertised the Women’s game in the South West.

    The game started, much like many Cup Finals, with tackles aplenty and neither side having the time or space to gain any notable territory. The first significant moment arrived when Anthea Kaptein found space in the Argyle penalty area, flicking the ball over the defender’s head, before striking a volley towards goal that was palmed away by Poppy Soper.

    City had started to find their midfield tempo and a corner conceded following good Grecian’s play brought about the opening goal. Zoe Watkins’ cross was not dealt with by the Plymouth defence and the half clearance fell to Esme Kilburn-Thompson who volleyed in to give City the lead.

    Watkins was now breaking from midfield with regularity, causing problems for the Argyle back line, she tricked her way into the penalty area and her low cross was turned home by Kilburn-Thompson for number two. The young City forward is in her first year at Senior level football and, on such a big occasion, was playing a significant role. A ball into the feet of Kilburn-Thompson from central defence saw her shoot on the turn, only the width of the crossbar denying what would have been a sensational hat trick.

    A headed chance for Anthea Kaptein was the best moment created as the first half ended, but City had controlled the game for large parts and held a deserved advantage at the interval.

    The second half began with another surging forward run by Watkins, she again linked with Kilburn-Thompson, although this time Esme’s shot lacked the power to beat Soper in the Argyle goal. City would soon create another opportunity to move further ahead, Kaptein played in Phoebe Baker and her surge into the box forced Soper into a fine save. Kaptein was causing problems for the Plymouth backline, moving into pockets of space between midfield and defence, her latest run looked set to see a shot on goal, but a brilliant last-ditch tackle denied the chance.

    The game became scrappy, with City unable to dominant midfield in the manner they had for the majority of the contest, and Ryan Perks’ Argyle side fighting tirelessly to find a way back into the game. Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley changed a tiring frontline and it nearly brought instant reward, Meg Robinson sped past the last Green’s defender and headed toward goal before being fouled. The contact was just outside the area and the yellow card that followed seemed fortunate given the opportunity that the run-on goal would have provided.

    Robinson and Preston linked well again as City looked to seal the game, a miss kick by the former saw the ball fall to Kaptein who fired high over the bar.

    Plymouth had certainly made it a more even contest in the second half, however the Grecian’s defence had withstood their increased tempo well. Manfy Sharpe and Jaydee Seaman were faultless at the heart of defence, well supported by Toogood and Taylor at full back. Argyle had largely been restricted to long range efforts that had failed to significantly trouble Lightfoot in the City goal, but they were  still to set up a nervy finish. Beth Ireland surged into the City box and drilled home to give her team hope, ninety-three minutes were on the clock and the Grecians would need to see the game out to finally get their hands on the Devon Cup.

    Not fixated on sitting deep, City themselves created the best chance of the remainder of the game. Baker again driving into the box from a wide right position and this time her shot smacked the crossbar. Seconds later the referee blew the whistle and Exeter City Women could celebrate becoming the new County Cup Champions.

    This was a huge moment for the team. Two curtailed seasons and all the disappointment that goes with that felt a distant memory as Manfy Sharpe lifted the Cup in front of her jubilant teammates. Winning is a habit, momentum is key, City seem to have both heading into next season. A restful June will be met by the desire to make 2021/2022 another successful year, for now it is a case of enjoying the moment and basking in the glory of being Devon’s Number One side.

    There will be post match interviews with Manager Abbie Britton and midfield maestro Steph Beck (the daughter of East Devon Radio presenter Sheila Beck will be played out this coming Saturday between 2pm and 6pm on our show, Radio Allsports.

    Well done Abbie, Steph and the whole squad. A well deserved win.

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    Schedule

    Tide Times

    Today's Weather

    • Exmouth

      Heavy Rain

      High: 16°C | Low: 14°C

    • Sidmouth

      Heavy Rain

      High: 16°C | Low: 14°C

    • Exeter

      Heavy Rain

      High: 17°C | Low: 14°C

    • Dawlish

      Heavy Rain

      High: 16°C | Low: 14°C

    What's On

    • Exeter Canal Cruise

      Reminisce as you travel through time along the oldest working ship canal in Europe with a choice of departure from Exmouth or Exeter. Sailing through two working locks and the Countess Wear swing bridge, this cruise presents the perfect opportunity to explore the historic quayside of Exeter and enjoy a spot of lunch at one of the many independent eateries.

      at Exmouth Marina
    • Drowning Prevention Day 10am til 4pm

      The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) is holding a Drowning Prevention Day hosted by Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) and supported by the RNLI at Coastwatch House on Exmouth Sea front. All three organisations will talk about drowning prevention, beach and water safety. There will be free colouring sheets, demonstrations of rescue equipment and quizzes for kids as well as information on local hazards and what to do in an emergency. The Exmouth RNLI Water Safety Team will advise on Lifejackets and show you how to check yours is safe, so bring yours along.

      at The Lookout
    • Bob Crooks - Poetry in Glass Show 10am til 5.30pm

      Steam Gallery is delighted to be hosting an exceptional new show ‘Poetry in Glass’ by Bob Crooks. One of Britain’s most highly recognised glassmakers, Bob is well-known for his original and challenging dynamic forms that exploit the many properties of studio glass. Bob works his glass magic in a studio in deepest Devon, and his output ranges from fine wine glasses to imaginative and elegant sculptural forms. Creating these perfect works requires the highest skill and concentration, especially with the ever-present threat of disaster in this intense complex process! Bob has created a brand-new collection of over 20 unique pieces for this special show. Contact the gallery on 01297 625144 to request a catalogue to be sent to you in advance of the exhibition opening, or request an invite to join for the launch day on Saturday 19 June, when Bob will be present. You can see the pieces online, and all are available to purchase now.

      at Steam Gallery