REPORT: Teigns end 17-year league title drought

By Kyle Tagg   |   Group Sports Editor   |
Wednesday 4th May 2022 2:54 pm
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Photo: Steve Pope MDA300422C_SP003
Football.  Teignmouth AFC versus Plymstock
Teignmouth players celebrate after clinching the Devon Football League South & West title. (Steve Pope/MDA )

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CELEBRATIONS at Coombe Valley lasted long into Saturday night after Teignmouth romped to their first league title since 2005.

Liam Jones’ men needed a final day win against Plymstock United to clinch the Devon Football League South & West division by one point.

And they showed no signs of any nerves to earn a thumping 8-1 win and end a league title drought spanning nearly two decades.

The Teigns hit the front in the eighth minute. After Sean Ayre had a header well tipped over, the midfielder managed to get his head on the resulting corner to direct it into the bottom corner.

The lead was doubled just before the half-hour mark when Liam Jones latched onto his own rebound and squared to Jack Baxter who side-footed home.

Three minutes later and Ayre was at it again, heading in another corner after Brad Breslan had a shot cleared behind.

Baxter added his second and his side’s fourth barely a minute later, before Ash Donohue fired in a fifth at the near post on the stroke of half-time.

Baxter completed his hat-trick four minutes after the interval when he pounced on Donohue’s rebounded effort.

The visitors got themselves on the scoresheet thanks to Scott Parsons’ well-taken goal, but two more from Donohue to complete a treble of his own made it an emphatic result and sparked joyous celebrations.

‘I’m ecstatic,’ said Teigns boss Jones. ‘I think it’s been long overdue. I’m always about the job in hand and the next game, but this is one you can really enjoy and soak up.

‘The boys were outstanding today. It’s been a long nine or 10 months but we’ve done it. We’ve got ourselves over the line.’

Even with the impressive 5-0 half-time scoreline, the Teignmouth manager couldn’t quite relax until a couple more goals went in.

Jones said: ‘History will tell you that we were three zip up against Mount Gould and they pegged us back. We were 4-0 up at half-time in the cup semi-final and it went to 4-2 very quickly.

‘We reminded the lads to make sure that we were at it because out hard work had got us into that position and we needed to make sure that we maintained that.’

Jones admitted that winning the league was his best managerial achievement to date – but he is hungry for more with two cups still to play for this season.

‘I think it’s right up there, certainly as a manager,’ Jones explained. ‘It’s the first time I’ve won a league title as a manager.

‘We won the Devon Premier Cup, we’re going after the league cup next week and I was lucky enough to do the double twice as a player.

‘This is the one you want as a manager, it’s your bread and butter. You can mention the league and teams pulling out but we’ve probably played in excess of 28 league games, some of them now void. To lose two and to win the rest is a phenomenal effort.

‘I told the lads that I was fortunate to win a couple of titles but I played for 15 years. You may not get another chance, so don’t think that these opportunities come along every season because they certainly don’t.’

And he added: ‘We made a few subs on the hour mark with next week’s final in mind so we were already thinking about it.

‘It’s absolutely key that we allow the players to enjoy tonight, but but eyes are already firmly on next week.

‘And we joke about the Supplementary Cup – we entered it really just to keep the games coming – but again, if we make a final we’ll be gunning for that as well. We want the lot.’

The McDonalds League Cup final between Teignmouth and the University of Exeter will be played at Liverton United’s Halford Ground this Saturday (2.30pm).

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