Biggest day ever for Beer Albion
The Fishermen armada prepare for their biggest catch
The barmy army from Beer will be flocking down to Coach Road Newton Abbot on saturday hoping to cheer their heroes to Devon Premier cup glory. The final has to rank as the biggest in the Albions 102 year history and If they pull it off Beer will become the first Devon & Exeter League side to claim the crown for 32 years.
North Molton Social club from the Devon League stand in the fishermens way, having been re-instated after losing to Alphington in the semis, and the North Devon side are also expected to bring major support. For both clubs this County final is a first at any level so a massive day for them both to contemplate.
Until the Devon Premier cup was first introduced in the 1969/70 season teams at this level competed in the Devon Senior cup which is the County’s oldest grassroots competition first won by Tavistock in 1890. There were 70 Senior cup finals completed until the changes were rung but few winners from this area since the days of Friernhay.
The Exeter & District League as it was then had the distinction of one of its teams being the first ever winners of the new cup when in 1970 Dawlish Town defeated Holsworthy 2-1 in front of an 1800+ crowd at St James Park. Dawlish not only won the Countys new pride and joy but were also D & E Premier league champions and East Devon Senior cup winners.
The following year 1971 Exmouth Town claimed the cup for the League again, in an all E & D final, beating Heavitree United 3-1, and then two years later in 1973 Dawlish were triumphant again 1-0 against Woodlands, the same year we evolved as the Devon & Exeter Football League.
After the Dawlish success the League had to wait another 16 years until 1989 when Newton St Cyres became our 4th winners beating Upton Athletic 1-0. Twelve months later Chelston defeated STC Paignton 1-0 in the final and that was the last time a D & E League team lifted the trophy. As a point of interest the referee that day was Nigel Gooding, and the linesmen were Dudley Frood and Dave Pointing and both will be at this saturdays final.
Since that fifth success with Chelston the Premier crown has eluded all Devon & Exeter teams so the Albion have every incentive to put that right, maybe as a parting gift before they move on to join North Molton in the Devon League next season.
Also only Budleigh Salterton in 1995 who lost 2-1 to the Devon & Cornwall Police and Bampton in 2020 beaten 10-9 on pens after a goalless draw have reached the final since.
Friday 27th May 2022