Married Vs Singles 2007

December 1st, 2007 - East Boston Stadium

The annual Kendall Marrieds vs Singles took place Saturday last and it more than lived up to the hype in an action and controversy packed encounter. Although still in its infancy the post season showdown has become a prestige event and the trophy is coveted on the mantelpiece of every Wanderer, who would probably admit victory lies third in their list of footballing priorities after a League Championship and Fat Sacks League Championship. It was a testament to the significance of the event that 40 lads dragged themselves out of bed and into the arctic conditions. There was lots of huddling in cars as the organization of the event was being fine tuned retrieving balls and jerseys from unpunctual members of the married team. While some members of the singles team were guilty of the same offense at least they had the perfectly valid excuse that they just woke up in some birds house in Davis Sq and would be in need of boots, shorts, a lift and a shitload of coffee please. No such colorful stories were forthcoming from the tardy marrieds, probably something about raking leaves or changing nappies. Some futile warming up was indulged in in the interim. The athmosphere was light hearted and the banter was flying and the whole occasion had the air of an over 30s game although that was mostly because Joe was still sloshed.

The managers of the respective teams for the day were the waning-ly single Noel Coffey managing the singles team and the recently married Matt Scheufele managing the married team. Noel gathered his spousless horde of 24 to deliver an attempt at an inspirational team talk while Matt took his men down the other end to deliver his and in that minute or so speaking more to anyone than he had in the previous 3 years playing for the club or so I'm guessing anyway as this writer was only present at the singles team talk which while obviously had the greatest intentions at inspiring his team was far from Churchillian. "Brevity is the soul of wit" is a point which was lost on Mr Coffey as his poor charges had to endure what seemed like an eternity of rambling nonsense and witless cliches like - Get stuck in, Gimme 100 per cent - and other gems that Steven Gerrard would have been ashamed of. Mercifully the referee stepped in to save the day before everyone followed Gerry Dalys lead and just walked away.

Both teams lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Despite several attempted voodoo curses John O'Toole was between the sticks to thwart the singles again behind a defense consisting of Rochey, Mike Mac and Newcastle Uniteds Steve Taylor who after 2 years of covering for Titus Bramble would have all the experience needed to partner Rochey. Their opposite numbers were Lar, Gerry, Seamus and Nick Sze playing behind Captain fantastic Vinny Rodgers. Nick would only last 15 mins or so before pulling up claiming injury and retiring to the warmth of his car. In his defense he outlasted Joe by... well a full 15 mins, the sub-zero temperatures proving too much for the sensitive ex-president.

Despite the conditions the game started with some nice football being played by both teams. The singles were playing a fluent passing game and looked very comfortable on the ball and threatening the marrieds on the wings especially where James Canny and Gavin were finding acres of space. A goal eventually arrived. Considering the singles momentum it was definitely not unexpected although the source was unexpected arriving from the often redundant right boot of the Kendall president. It was a fine strike which shook the cobwebs off the Monopods standing leg.

The singles tried hard to press home their advantage. However the final ball was too often disappointing and on the occasion where the singles breached a stout married defense they couldn't find a way past John O'Tooles various appendages.

However he could do nothing about Gavins wicked corner a little while later. Wind assisted and viciously curling it found its way directly into the net. As the singles celebrated wildly they looked off to the horizon where the 100 year old referee stood tethered to the halfway line. No confirmation was forthcoming and the singles were denied a perfectly good goal.

Worse was to follow good work from the married team down the left flank resulted in a high looping cross which the wind took hold off deceiving Tim in goal for the singles. Paul outjumped Seamus on the line to put the marrieds ahead. Poor Seamus had to endure the Vinny Rodgers hair dryer treatment in what was the start of a bad week for Seamus and his dry cleaner.

The half would not end in the tie that the singles richly deserved however as Matt Armstrong produced a clinical finish to send the marrieds in ahead at the break. Thats how the half would end with the marrieds retaining their goal lead to the break despite having to depend on John F&*%ng O Toole for god knows how many one on ones.

The singles half time team talk was notable only for Mike McCormack lurking in the background eavesdropping on it - yes his entire repertoire of black magic would be on display today including impeding singles wingers from his position on the sideline and a blatant handball missed again by Helen bloody Keller. He would overhear manager Coffey imploring his players to "just lift the fuckin ball over johnno".

The second half started and the singles were hungry to get back in the game. Oscar in particular was in sublime form confounding both the opposition and his own teammates in one incident he ripped the knickers off half the married team dribbling from his own half and unselfishly squared to Lar in the box who watching on admiringly didn't anticipate the mercurial wingers pass in time to beat John O Toole to the ball. It would be one of Lars many forays forward in what would be his own re-interpretation of the role of a center half. But sure as long as he was enjoying himself what harm if we were leaking goals. And so the singles would concede the killer third goal to another Matt Armstrong finishing underlining the coolness in the final third that would prove the difference between the two teams.

The singles were made of sterner stuff though and with battlers like Vinny and Chopper leading by example they mounted a fightback. Rewarded by the only refereeing decision that went their way the whole game. Vinny chasing down a long ball wee-man-ed a showboating Rochey on the byline and although the ball was a yard out playing to the whistle he pulled the ball back for Tony to slot home. The respite was short lived though as some indulgent defending by Gerry gifted the marrieds the ball and Matt Scheufele doing his best Kenny Dalglish hammered home the final nail in the singles coffin.

So congrats to the married lads. It was a well fought match with both teams playing good football, some solid defending from Rochey and Steve at the back and clinical finishing from the Matts made the difference in overcoming the callowness of youth, although it helps to have fucking John O Toole in your team. See ya next year.

Epilogue:

After defrosting over pizza and pints in officially the WORST pub in Boston - I'd recommend the Corona with floating toilet paper - the festivities continued long into the AM on the annual 12 pubs of Christmas. The highlights of the evening were Rocheys Brokeback Mountain hat and outfit (sorry Mike I guess that makes you the Jake Gyllenhall character) and whomever shat themselves in John Harvards..... Oh I'm only kidding, what I meant to say was that they shat AND vomited on themselves in John Harvards. I've launched an inquiry this week and am seeking any Wanderers help in identifying the culprit. At the far right end of the bar in John Harvards there lingered the nauseating stench of faeces and vomit I haven't experienced since UL Rag Week 99. I spent 20 mins downing a Corona with my hand on my nose. I have ruled out both Lar Barden and Vincent Rodgers who can both vouch for the other having taken a dump in Daedulus (don't ask). The rest of you remain suspects. Any information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. Oh and one more thing. Tony for some reason I thought it would be hilarious to nick your Liverpool scarf from the Hong Kong. My apologies and it will be returned promptly.

Written by Noel Coffey

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