The St Luke's Gospel

WITH Argyle’s first Devon St Luke’s Cup final for eight years looming, Sam Barker looks back on the club’s recent history in the competition...

Despite being one of the three professional clubs in the county, Argyle’s record in the Devon Bowl in recent times is not as glamorous as you might imagine.

In fact, their appearance in the final this year, secured with a 1-0 victory over Exeter City at Home Park, is their first since 2005.

Ten seasons ago, the Pilgrims’ progress in the competition was halted in the second round as Tiverton Town defeated Argyle 3-2 at Home Park.

One year later Argyle dropped out at the same stage, this time losing 1-0 at Ilfracombe Town.

The next campaign bought a better run in the competition as Argyle made it all the way to the final.

Typically it was our fierce rivals Exeter City that defeated us at the last hurdle, beating the Pilgrims 2-0 at the Theatre of Greens.

Argyle’s time in the cup was short lived in the next season as they crashed to a 3-2 defeat to Ilfracombe at Home Park in the first round.

The 2006-07 season saw the Greens reach the semi-final stage, only to be knocked out by eventual winners Torquay due to a last gasp winner for the Gulls at Home Park.

The quarter-finals were the stopping point for Argyle in the next season as they were emphatically sent out by Dawlish Town who won the game 4-1 and, eventually, the competition.

In 2008/09, the competition proved even less successful for the Pilgrims, who were dumped out of the competition by Barnstaple Town in the second round.

In the following season, Argyle returned to the semi-final stage only to be beaten by Bideford Town who knocked out all three of Devon’s professional clubs on their way to winning the trophy that campaign.

The semi-final stage proved one hurdle too many for Argyle in the following two seasons also, as they were knocked out by Buckland Athletic in 2010/11 and Tiverton Town in 2011/12.

Argyle have not won the Devon Cup since 1999, when they beat Exeter 1-0 in the final. Now only Torquay stand in their way of winning the county’s domestic cup for the first time in 14 years.