ONE of the most dramatic finishes ever witnessed in the Cornwall Senior Cup Final thanks to a memorable strike by Andy Sargent saw Porthleven win the most coveted trophy in Cornish football for the first time in their history.

St Blazey's Blaise Park was full of emotion and tears when the final whistle went, but five minutes earlier Porthleven appeared to be slipping to defeat, something they had tasted in all four previous finals.

They trailed to a first half penalty, a half in which they looked out of sorts and certainly not at the races, but in the second period they totally dominated the exchanges without ever creating the chance that would rescue the game for them.

When the goal came it arrived with no small measure of good fortune. Simon Webb lofted in a corner, but the wind blowing down the ground made it difficult for defenders and goalkeeper Simon Zinn and it sailed straight into the net under pressure from Ian Rowe who ensured there would be no mistake.

The finale made up for what went before because in the opening half Port found it difficult to play to any pattern or string passes together of any note.

In fact, the best effort of the half came in the ninth minute when Robbie Powell, linking with Lee Ireland, delivered a superbly weighted pass for Ireland to cross and Andy Sargent to connect brilliantly with a bicycle kick that flew just the wrong side of the upright.

Saltash looked the busier side and certainly settled the quicker, but they didn't create their first real opportunity until the 23rd minute when Paul Baker's shot from Mike Roberts' cross was superbly tipped round the post by former Ashes goalkeeper Richard Keith.

His luck, however, was about to run out when the ensuing corner produced a goalmouth scramble and a penalty after a close range shot struck Darren Holsey. Holsey's protestations were in vain and earned a booking. Brian Jefferis took no notice and slammed in the spotkick to put Saltash a goal up.

A minute later a clearance out of defence cannoned straight back and that let Baker in with a great chance as he raced clear, but Keith made a superb save.

A one-two between Roberts and Dennis Mason saw the pair carve open Port's defence, but Roberts' effort curled just the wrong side of the upright.

Saltash had a firm grip on the game as they picked up all the loose pieces and found plenty of space and it needed a clearance off the line to prevent Jefferis from adding to his tally.

Roberts picked up a pass from Blake who did well to hold up play, but Roberts' shot was well saved by Keith.

Porthleven would have to show a big improvement in the second half if they were to stand a chance of getting back into the tie, but that's exactly what they managed to achieve.

Second to the knockdowns in the first half, they were first to them in the second half as Robbie Powell began to dictate the pattern of the game.

His constant probing and getting his toe in for the ball kept Port going forward as Saltash never looked the same threat as they did in the first half.

A long ball over the top almost got Sargent in, but Zinn raced out to clear and good work by Lee Doncaster set up Jamie Bennallick who fired in a shot that was well saved by Zinn.

Simon Webb was also beginning to have an influence on the game and a corner across the face of the goal eluded everyone and Sargent just failed to get enough purchase on a header from another well delivered free kick.

Saltash were under increasing pressure and the outlet of finding Roberts or Blake were fading as the half wore on.

The Fishermen began to ring the changes with Ian Rowe and David Woodfield coming on and a flurry of short passes set up Powell who saw his stinging shot saved by Zinn.

The Fishermen were creating half chances, but were not hitting the target as Saltash gradually began to lose their shape.

It was then in the 86th minute that the drama was about to unfold.

Pressure earned Porthleven a corner and Webb floated over a cross that drifted in with the strong wind. Everyone went up, but under pressure from Ian Rowe, Zinn and his defenders failed to keep the ball out as it dramatically dropped over the line with Rowe ensuring it ended up in the back of the net.

With most supporters relieved to think they had at last earned the replay Port deserved, Sargent almost grabbed a goal with a shot on the turn, but he slightly mishit it and the ball went for a goal kick.

His next strike, however, was not going to be a mishit. Picking up a pass wide on the railway flank from Jamie Ahern, he took on Paul Wilmott and cut inside and with the goal firmly in his sights unleashed a tremendous 25-yard shot that sailed into the roof of the net to give Zinn no chance.

It was an unbelievable finish and if Porthleven had to wait for this first success it could not have happened in a more spectacular way.

Poor Saltash had one hand on the cup then it had ripped away.

Eight-five minutes of football had disappeared into the mists of time, the only memories of this final will be the two goals - both spectacular in their own way - that ended Port's search for the Holy Grail that is the Cornwall Senior Cup.

Porthleven: R Keith, H Morgan, D Holsey, J Ahern, J Bennallick, L Ireland, S Webb, R Powell, A Sargnet, L Doncaster, M Laity. Subs: I Rowe, D Bray, D Woodfield, D Stidwell.

Saltash: S Zinn, D Gill, J Cole, J Evans, P Wilmott, S Murphy, D Mason, B Jefferis, M Roberts, P Blake, M Norman. Subs: A Frampton, K Parker, K McShane, P Sidey, G Jones