Devon 27 Lancashire 6
South African Regardt Van Eyk scored 17 points as Devon stormed to their third County Championship title in only four years with a superb victory at Twickenham.
The Plymouth Albion fly-half deserved his man-of-the-match accolade, but it was a fine all-round team effort that saw Devon lift the Bill Beaumont Cup.
Graham Dawe's side largely dominated the match from start to finish against a surprisingly ineffective Lancashire outfit, who went into the match as possibly the slight favourites.
|Devon's Regardt Van Eyk in action (Getty)|
Devon were in the lead after only four minutes when Van Eyk slotted a relatively simple penalty after a late tackle on Cornish All Blacks full-back Jon Fabian.
Former Albion back Fabian, who ran Van Eyk close for man-of-the-match honours, was involved again 10 minutes later. Temporary replacement Pat Sykes pounced on a mistake by Lancashire full-back Neil Hunter and popped the ball up for Fabian to score, with Van Eyk adding the extras.
It was almost game over after 22 minutes when Devon crossed for their second try, with Cornish All Blacks flanker Dave Kimberley finishing off a rolling maul on the Lancashire line, and Van Eyk again improving the score to make it 17-0.
Lancashire got their first points on the board on the stroke of half-time when Waterloo fly-half Steve Nutt slotted a penalty, but there was still time before the break for Van Eyk to add another three-pointer himself to make it 20-3 at the interval.
|Devon's Paul Scheres makes a run (Getty)|
Nutt made a real mess of a simple penalty just after the resumption that would have lifted his side. And even though he did eventually find the target again in the 61st minute to reduce the deficit to 14 points, time was running out for the defending champions.
Devon put the seal on victory in the 73rd minute, when another fine forward effort close to Lancashire's line saw replacement scrum-half Richard Bolt pop the ball up for Van Eyk to cross near the posts, and his simple conversion made it 27-6.
Not long after, the final whistle blew to signal a victory for Devon that avenged their 32-26 defeat by Lancashire in last year's final, and saw beaming captain Chris Lowrie lift the trophy for a remarkable third time in four years.
Devon head coach Graham Dawe said: "We never expected to win by this sort of margin.
"We managed it because we played the conditions well, stuck to our game plan and were very disciplined in the first 25 minutes. That set us up for the rest of the game.
"This is a young team, made up predominately of development players, but they came up trumps today.
"We are delighted to have won back the title and to win it so convincingly is great to see."
Devon (Plymouth Albion unless stated):
J Fabian (Cornish All Blacks), P Scheres (Barnstaple), A Cruickshanks, R Allan, T Bedford (Exeter), R Van Eyk, M Newman, T Mathias, J Owen, W Reed (Cornish All Blacks), B Luxton (Cornish All Blacks), E King, K Marriott (Lydney), D Kimberley (Cornish All Blacks), C Lowrie (capt). Replacements: G Evans, B-J Chapman (Cornish All Blacks), B Rowntree, R Bolt (Cornish Pirates), P Sykes (Canterbury), D Ritchie. Not used: G Dawe.
Lancashire (Waterloo unless stated):
N Hunter, N Royle (Fylde), C Briers (Sedgley Park), J Duffy (Sedgley Park), N Kerfoot, S Nutt, D McCormack (Bradford & Bingley, capt), M Halsall (Sedgley Park), P Ince, P Du Plessis (Sedgley Park), L McGowan (Rotherham), G Rawlings (Manchester), G Dewhurst (Preston Gr), D Wilks (Nottingham), J Crous (Preston Gr). Replacements: N Flynn (Manchester), T Lavelle (Fylde), C Planchent, D Palmer, D Wilson (Preston Gr), F Payne, P Bailey (Preston Gr).
Referee: Mark Wilson (RFU).