Champions Bowl win crowns off ‘epic season’, says Davis

Falmouth Town coach Charlie Davis said his side’s Champions Bowl victory over Torpoint Athletic on Saturday completed ‘an epic season’.

A pair of goals from each of Jack Bray-Evans and Luke Brabyn ensured Town ran out 4-2 winners at Bodmin Town’s Priory Park as Andrew Westgarth’s side became the first team to etch their name onto the Champions Bowl, which pits the two South West Peninsula League divisional champions against each other.

The inaugural Bowl was guaranteed to produce a treble-winning side, with Town having won the SWPL Premier West and Cornwall Senior Cup already this season, while Torpoint had lifted the SWPL Premier East and Walter C Parson League Cup.

And it was Town who would go on to achieve the treble, with two first-half goals from Bray-Evans, who received the west division golden boot award before kick-off, and two late penalties from Brabyn securing a 4-2 win over Dean Cardew’s side, who had responded through a brace from Ryan Richards.

“It’s always enjoyable to win any cup final and get any trophy, so we’ll enjoy this the same as any other,” Davis said. “I guess it was a bit of a strange build-up to this as a cup final or as an event because both teams are the same – you work really hard throughout the year and get a showpiece event on top of winning your respective leagues as well. 

“It was really enjoyable in that aspect and it’s just crowned off an epic season, it’s been so enjoyable, the boys have been fantastic and the support that we receive off the pitch it’s just been something that I don’t think any of us as a whole group or a club will forget for a long time.

“Also, I think we spoke about this inside our group, but you never know when you’re going to get your next taste of something nice and something special or winning something, so it’s something to savour.”

With Town dropping just five points all season and Torpoint racking up 150 goals across their 38 matches, both sides have proved to be a cut above the rest in their respective divisions this season.

But this match was much more of an even affair and could have gone either way, with Town dominating the first half before the east Cornwall outfit enjoyed the better of the second stanza.

While Town were the ones who ultimately came out on top, Davis reserved plenty of praise for the beaten side, who will join them in the Western League next season.

“They’ve got quality all over the pitch,” Davis said. “I thought their back three dealt with the majority of what we threw at them if you take the penalties away. We had a few chances but I thought they were great, all across the pitch really. 

“Their front two are very lively and really combined well and in the second half showed that off probably more than the first half and put us under pressure and brought it back from 0-2 and arguably they might well be disappointed that they hit the crossbar and didn’t finish it off themselves. 

“[It was a] massive taste of what’s to come next year. I’ve got no doubts that they’ll have a very good season for sure.”

With the match seemingly set to go to penalties, a foul on Luke Barner inside the box in the 88th presented Town with the chance to win it there and then. The man tasked with achieving that was Brabyn, who kept his cool to fire the spot-kick into the corner despite Torpoint gloveman Jason Peters guessing the right way.

Then, a minute into stoppage time, Callum O’Brien’s foul on substitute Jack Bowyer handed another spot-kick to the Falmouth man, with Brabyn keeping his cool once again to confirm victory.

Those goals took his tally to 30 for the season in all competitions, and Davis reserved special praise for a man who has gone slightly under the radar this year after vacating the centre-forward role to accommodate top-scorer Bray-Evans.

“I don’t think he gets enough praise sometimes, Luke,” Davis said. “He’s been brilliant all season and what people tend to forget is he ran the line for us so well in that first period of the season, which feels ages ago now. 

“Jack’s come in and rightly so he’s got his certain amount of headlines and accolades and that’s great, but the pair of them have been superb all year.

“To step up in the last minute to score the first penalty is mega for us and that shows what sort of character he is and what he’s all about, and then to step up five minutes later and do the same again in front of a decent crowd in a big game, fair play to him.”