THE first-ever cup game between two local rivals at Starcross Playing Fields was abandoned when one of the players broke his leg, writes Dean Stacey.

Starcross Royals were playing Starcross Generals – ironically, one week after Langdon player-boss Neil Cleave suffered a double break in the Rowdy Blackwell Cup, of which Royals player-manager Richard Morgan is one of the organisers – for the Starcross Cup.

But the game was called to a halt two minutes from time – with Royals 3-2 up – after Royals' midfielder Matt Bearne was brought to ground by an opposition player, which resulted in him breaking his leg.

Morgan, whose side still collected the trophy due to the lateness of the abandonment, said: 'All of the Royals and Generals' players would like to wish Matt, whose nickname is fittingly Sickboy, a speedy recovery.

'He will probably be out until the new year which is a massive blow.'

With regards to the 88 minutes of match action, Generals started the brighter and, with both teams missing players, Royals were finding it hard to create and struggled physically without playmaker Rob Grayshan and skipper Neil Keen respectively.

Against the run of play, Royals took the lead after 25 minutes through Morgan, who latched onto Si Thorne's through ball before driving low past goalkeeper Dan Mallet.

They weren't in front, or even on terms, for long though as Generals hit back with two goals before half-time.

First, they were awarded a disputed penalty – which David O'Brien dispatched – after John Thipthorpe tangled with Rob Joy, before Adam Whitty scored a solo effort.

But Royals upped the pace in the second half with Morgan equalising at the second attempt to make it 2-2 after another assist by Thorne.

The winner came with just five minutes left on the clock. Bearne's free-kick found Finn Graham who lobbed Mallet from the tightest of angles.

Star man: Marcus Staply (Starcross Royals).