PAUL OWEN’S reign as Hallen manager came to an anti-climactic end as his side were beaten in the league cup final by Willand Rovers at Cribbs Friends Life.

Despite some people at the club trying to persuade Owen to stay in charge, he is sticking with his decision to step down due to work commitments.

After a long playing career at the club, Owen helped Hallen avoid relegation from the Western League Premier Division after replacing Gary Damone in October 2010 before leading them to fourth and ninth place finishes.

He said: “I’ve had a great time as manager and player over many years for Hallen and I’ll still be very much part of the club, but it’s time to let someone else have a go.

“My job is a demanding one and I cannot give the 100 per cent commitment to the football that players require.”

Willand only took their place in the final as Larkhall Athletic fielded an ineligible player in the semi-final clash between the sides which they won on penalties.

However, the Devon outfit created the better chances in the first half with James Ansell and Lloyd Beech narrowly missing the target with headers before former Forest Green midfielder Scott Rogers shot over the bar.

Willand took the lead ten minutes into the second half when Owen Howe latched onto Steven Orchard’s through ball and fired past goalkeeper Sam Burgess.

Hallen eventually came alive as Aysa Corrick forced Brian Cann into a good save and Tom Collett went close with a header from Ben Willshire’s cross.

Rovers defender Simon Hill was sent off for a second yellow card ten minutes from time to offer Hallen more hope.

However, Andy Cook had an effort cleared off the line following a scramble in the box as Willand hung on.