Match Reports

Kendall Wanderers 3 - 2 Harvard

Match Statistics

Competition:
BSSL Cup Final
Venue:
Wayland, MA
Date:
11/10/2001
Kickoff Time:
N/A
Weather:
N/A
Pitch Conditions:
N/A
Team Lineup:
Sam Cohen, Dennis Cunningham, Gerry Daly, Brian Dana, Tom Esch, Colin Hamell, George Langendorf, Mike McCormack, John Mcelroy, Shane Mcelwee, Vinny Mcelwee, John O' Toole, Frank Pluck(Captain), Gary Quinn, Jonah Rockoff, Mike Tallon, Declan White
Subs:
N/A
Team Formation:
4-4-2
Goal Scorers:
Assists:
Man of the Match:
Jonah, Matt Armstrong, Ian and Kieran
Ref:
Snr Pecadillo
Bookings:
None
None

Kendall Wanderers defeat Bay State League Cup defending champions Harvard FC 3-2 in Cup Final Thrilla
Kendall Wanderers turned out at Wayland high school for the Bay State League Cup Final against defending champions Harvard FC on Saturday, November 10th, with arguably their strongest side of the season. Only defender Ben Christian was absent from the squad, due to a heart and lung transplant operation, and Gary Quinn was available for the first time in six weeks following a hamstring injury. Gerry Daly, Mike McCormack and Vinny McElwee were all revived after recent bouts of the flu while Vinny's elder brother Shane made sure his recent neck strain wouldn't trouble him by investing in a $70 massage. Kendall's pre-final preparations were rigorously planned by manager Donal Keane who was determined to leave nothing in the lap of the Gods, taking players through their paces throughout the week, each player polishing their set pieces, passing drills and goalmouthmanship.

With the defense marshaled by Brian Dana, who in typical fashion frustrated Harvard strikers with his fluent distribution to both wings and precisely timed tackles, the job of neutralizing possibly Harvard's most dangerous player (in fact the 'best player on the pitch' according to the impartial and corpulent referee, Snr. Peccadillo from Columbia) fell to the very capable Gerry Daly. A barrage of pressure from Kendall in the first 20 minutes saw the midfield duelists Vinny and Langer linking up deftly with the wide men, Dennis and Tom. When a mesmeric run climaxed in a 20 yarder hammering the underside of the Harvard crossbar, Langer had sounded the Kendall war cry, and 2 minutes later when he floated a ball from the right wing to John McElroy, the 'quiet man' fulfilled his pre-match promise to manager Donal and bagged the first goal of the final.



Harvard's experience as cup final veterans showed as they refused to drop heads and, when they forced a rare mistake in the Kendall defense, a clumsy back pass brought Christmas early to a Harvard striker.1-1.

A strategic substitution replaced the indomitable captain Frank Pluck who had been covering a lot of ground haranguing Harvard defenders, with Jonah Rockoff. Instantly Jonahs speed and touch started creating nightmares for Harvard on our left wing, testing the cinematography skills of Kendall's media agent, Leah. Twisting and turning as if pursued by a swarm of bees, Jonah fired a left wing cross to pick out Shane arriving at the back post from a 60 yard run. With the timing of a Tokyo commuter train the Donegal crooner used his head like a precision instrument to slam a power header into the bottom corner of the net in what was simply a beautiful goal and Kendall went into the half time break with the advantage.



Within 10 minutes of the restart a Harvard corner landed in the goal mouth and in the ensuing melee, during which Gary Quinn was mugged by an unscrupulous Harvardonian determined to make Quinner's no. 2 jersey a few sizes larger, the referee flipped another mental silver dollar and awarded the equalizer instead of a free out. 2-2.The second half evolved into a tight contest as the pressure escalated. This was bread and butter for Kendall, whose reputation for composure under pressure is becoming legendary. Stalwart defender Mike McCormack showed his relish for the big occasion, ambushing Harvard's left wing attackers, while Sam Cohen put in one of his most solid performances to date in the left-back position.

Kendall, ever keen (Keane) to lift the game and entertain our caravan of loyal supporters, mixed things up using our ample reserves of talent on the bench. Declan White, Mike Tallon and Colin Hamill all imposed themselves on the game in the second half, but it was big John McElroy who came closest to claiming the winning goal with two low strikes that, on another day, would surely have left the ball tangled in hemp rather than autumn leaves. 2-2 at full time in this competition meant golden goal and a glance around the Harvard camp indicated they didn't relish the prospect.

With the phenomenal support of Wanderers' second team players, family and friends, Kendall started brightly and, five minutes on, as a number of substitutes awaited the next stoppage to return to the action, the ball fell to the mercurial Declan White or 'Pecker' as his is affectionately known to his teammates and wife. From 10 yards inside the Harvard half, Peck spotted the keeper inspecting the lime on the penalty spot, and with nothing less than an act of sorcery send the ball some 40 yards over the keepers finger tips into the right hand corner of the goal where the camera is normally located. Never has a goal been more golden. Kendall Wanderers, worthy winners of the Bay State League Cup for the 1st time in the club's 25 year history, beat a spirited Harvard FC team 3-2, in a manner of style and sportsmanship that Wall Street economists have dubbed 'unique'.

By Gary Quinn

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