WILLAND Rovers’ ruthless cup kings denied Barnstaple Town a Toolstation Western League double.
The First Division champions were beaten 3-0 by their Premier Division opponents in the Les Phillips Cup final at Bridport this afternoon.
Willand, who reached fourth round qualifying in this season’s FA Cup, withstood pressure in the opening half an hour before changing the course of the game with goals either side of half-time by James Blake and Lee Smythe.
Willand grew stronger through the second half while Barnstaple faded out of the game and Blake effectively killed off their challenge with his second goal in the 64th minute.
Barnstaple made a bright start but found Willand’s former Ilfracombe Town goalkeeper Kurtis Parkin in good form as he repeatedly cut out their crosses and set-pieces.
There was a warning for Barum on 15 minutes when Blake got on the end of a Smythe free-kick but his goal was disallowed for offside.
Jed Harper-Penman nearly curled a corner straight in and Dave Pearse had a powerful shot saved by Parkin.
When Pearse was denied at the near post from Steve Holland’s cross, Aaron Harper-Penman headed the resulting corner just wide.
Willand came more into the game after the half-hour and Barnstaple twice needed interventions from Harper-Penman and James Mayne.
A minute after Ryan Turner flashed a bicycle kick just wide for Barnstaple, Willand took the lead. From a right-wing cross, Blake escaped Mayne and headed past Jimmy Thorne.
It was 2-0 just three minutes into the second half as the ball broke to the impressive Smythe just outside the area and his snapshot beat Thorne at his near post.
Barnstaple sent on striker Will Nicholls for left-back Ross Jones but they found openings even harder to come by.
Willand had one hand on the cup by the 64th minute when, with Aaron Harper-Penman off the field having a head wound bandaged, the menacing Blake again made the most of space in the area to head in from Luke Alden’s cross.
As Barnstaple committed men forward, Willand might have added to their lead but Alden shot wide and substitute Luke Durham had a 90th-minute goal ruled out for offside.
Barnstaple Town (4-4-2): Jimmy Thorne; Scott Huxtable, Aaron Harper-Penman, James Mayne, Ross Jones; Steve Holland, Jack Jenkins, Lee Francis, Jed Harper-Penman, Ryan Turner, Dave Pearse. Subs: Josh Phillips, Will Nicholls, Kieran Jewell, Shaun Copp, Ryan Draper.
Willand Rovers (5-4-1): Kurtis Parkin; Mike Mullen, Kai Fisher, Kevin Hill, Simon Hill, Steve Orchard; Lee Smythe, Brett Worbey, Scott Rogers, Luke Alden; James Blake. Subs: David Steele, Roger Ingham, Tom Bath, Luke Durham, Danny Jee.