Phoenix Overcome Tamar to Win Sunday Senior Cup

Phoenix won the all Plymouth battle on Sunday to win the Devon Sunday Senior Cup Final.

Stitch 3 Sixty Devon Sunday Senior Cup Final

Plymouth Phoenix 2 – 1 Tamar View  

Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot  07/04/2024

Phoenix kicked off and were soon onto the attack. In the fourth minute Colin Pritchard had a good chance but his strike at the near post found the side netting. A minute later it was Owen Pritchard drawing a good save from Steve Smout in the Tamar goal. There was no denying Phoenix however as, in the sixth minute, an unmarked Bailey Gamble pounced on a loose ball and passed it unchallenged into the back of the net – Phoenix one; Tamar View nil.

Tamar were consistently trying to play out from the back, and, in the fourteenth minute, Lloyd Quinlan got on the end of a cross only to see his header just clear the crossbar.

Phoenix were soon back on the front foot and should have scored a second in the eighteenth minute. A corner from the right was headed on by Taylor Owen to Owen Pritchard who headed over from close in. Four minutes later another good chance went begging for Phoenix, David Moore, clean through on goal, slicing his finish wide of the near post.

In the twenty-sixth minute Tamar passed their way through the Phoenix defence only for Lee Phillips to head the resulting left wing cross from Charles Callman wide. Three minutes later Owen Pritchard was found on the right, raced past Callman to draw a tremendous save from Smout, who pushed the shot from close range onto the bar and then safely caught the rebound.

On the half hour, Gamble pounced on a deflected clearance which he controlled and passed on to Owen Pritchard who was taken down by Callman just outside the penalty area. Referee Wilcox, after a consultation with his assistant, duly produced the obligatory red card and Tamar were down to ten. Tamar didn’t seem unduly phased by this and continued with their passing game for the remainder of the half.

Phoenix had a good chance to double their lead in the added time at the end of the half but Gamble, getting on the end of a cross from Moore, saw his header well saved. The half time break came with Phoenix leading by one goal to nil.

The second half began with Tamar still confident they could get back into the game and, in the fifty-sixth minute, Kieran Bond put a good chance into the side netting. Two minutes later Gamble burst through onto a ball from Owen Pritchard only to see his strike well saved. Phoenix were not making the most of their opportunities and it seemed also that they were unable to make use of the extra man advantage, whilst Tamar were steadily breaking up play looking for an opportunity themselves.

That opportunity came on the hour mark when Joseph Barwell sent a floating pass into the Phoenix penalty area. The ball was played back to Lewis Young, on for the second half, who was unceremoniously taken down from behind by Carlton Allen. Phoenix lined up a five man wall, but they were powerless as Young dusted himself down to arrow a left foot strike over the defence into the bottom right corner, giving Ashley White, the Phoenix custodian no chance.

The remainder of the half was all Phoenix as they sought to make their superior numbers count, but they struggled for a clear opportunity as Tamar dug in. Keeper Smout was having a quiet time as shots from Owen Pritchard twice, Taylor Owen and substitute Mitch Medlin all flew wide of the target.

The defining moment came in the  seventy-eighth when Gamble had a shot from inside the box blocked by the arm of Quinlan who was shown the red card, leaving Tamar with nine men for the remainder of the match. Gamble stepped up to place the resulting penalty kick into the corner only to see Smout dive full length to make the save.

Tamar’s nine men were able to keep the Phoenix attack at bay until added time when Taylor Scarff, coming through from the back, saw his thirty yard effort crash off the crossbar and away. Phoenix kept pegging away whilst Tamar tried to run the clock down and, in the fourth minute of added time, Gamble was found by Owen Prichard just inside the box and he calmly placed his shot into the back of net to clinch the game for Phoenix. 

Player of the Match -  Taylor Scarff (Plymouth Phoenix)

Written by Dennis Smith
Devon County FA.