HOLMANS first appearance in the Cornwall Junior Cup Final ended in disappointment at St Blazey's Blaise Park on Easter Monday when they were beaten 3-1 by Morwenstow.

The East Cornwall side eventually deserved their victory, but for long periods of the game Holmans looked much the better side and appeared capable of upsetting the competition favourites.

Looking the better balanced outfit in the first half, they had the lion's share of the first 45 minutes and were still in with a shout after equalising on the hour, but Morwenstow's greater strength and fitness saw them to victory as Holmans faded in the final 25 minutes.

Holmans quickly settled and with Carl Paparone looking sharp provided the Morwenstow defence with some anxious moments, but Holmans could never quite create the clear-cut opening and as such Ben Purcell was largely untroubled.

Ironically, it was from a rare attack by Morwenstow that they nearly opened the scoring when Adam Tape's cross was headed back across the goal for Alex Boardman to head just over the bar.

Minutes later Tom Hogarth's cracking pass found Paparone out wide and after his pace took him past John Tape he cut in but saw his shot drift the wrong side of the upright.

Morwenstow were restricted to breakaways, but it needed a timely clearance off the line by Kym Doe to deny Matt Gilbert's well-struck shot.

A poor clearance by Brendan Davey almost let in Neil Bousahla, but Allan Buckley was quick to race out and clear the danger.

Minutes later Davey made amends when he managed to thwart a dangerous Morwenstow attack at the expense of a corner.

Eight minutes before half-time Ian Goodyear delivered a tantalising cross into the box, but despite launching themselves at the ball neither Paparone nor Luke Heelan could get the touch needed to put the ball into the net.

Buckley saved well from Djamel Bousahla's shot on the turn, but right on half-time Doe's free kick from a dangerous position on the side of the box swerved several ways before going out for a throw-in.

Holmans never had the same grip on the match in the second half as they did in the first as Morwenstow came more into the picture and started to stretch Holmans across the back.

It needed a great save by Buckley at the feet of Neil Bousahla in the 54th minute to deny the striker a goal, but two minutes later Morwenstow took the lead when Boardman's cross into the box was met by Djamel Bousahla to drill his shot into the net.

Buckley had to be quick off his line to prevent the same player adding a second, but after 61 minutes Holmans got the perfect lift when Simon Lavis outjumped everyone to head in Jason Buckley's corner.

Holmans contributed to some of their problems with sloppy play and they had a let-off when Neil Bousahla made a determined run and crossed for Boardman to miss a golden opportunity with the goal beckoning.

Seven minutes after the equaliser Holmans fell behind again when Neil Bousahla, who was exerting an increasing influence on the game, made another fine run and laid the ball back for Mark Jenkin to crack his shot past Buckley.

Morwenstow were now beginning to boss the game and when Davey misjudged a bouncing ball Buckley was on hand to save Djamel Bousahla's snap shot from outside the box.

Holmans' threat up front had lost its bite, but Simon Lavis almost came to the rescue when his header from Keith Rule's cross went just over the bar.

Right on time Ben Purcell pulled off the save of the game for his side with a terrific stop, again from Lavis.

Two minutes into injury time the result was put beyond Holmans when Neil Bousahla's shot thumped against the crossbar and before the defenders could react he had pounced to knock the rebound into the net.

For Holmans it was so near yet so far, but nonetheless it was a well contested final played in a good spirit with the result in doubt until almost the final whistle.

Holmans: A Buckley, I Goodyear, K Doe, D Buckley, B Davey, T Hogarth, S Lavis,K Rule, J Buckley, L Heelan, C Paparone. Subs: L Medlin, A Reynolds, M Trestrail, N Pugliese, D Mitchell.