Monday, April 21st, 2014

Weekend Summary: Round 3

Kendall A 3-1 The Playwright FC: After a disappointing 4-2 loss against First Wave last weekend, Kendall A were eager to produce a more worthy performance on Saturday against The Playwright FC at Madison Park High School in Roxbury. The As were anticipating a difficult encounter as Playwright were the last team to beat them during the 2013 season. The loss to Playwright came in early September before Kendall won their last eight games on the way to claiming the BSSL Division 1 title. All this games goals came in the first half, with Kendall taking an early 2-0 lead courtesy of Taylor Gorman and Dave Sheehan. Playwwright reduced the deficit, but Declan Hunter responded to make it 3-1 to Phil Keanes charges. With the wind at their backs in the second half, Kendall created a number of scoring chances. However, they couldnt add to their tally.

Kendall B 2-2 Cambridge Arsenal: Kendall B came within a whisker of notching their second win of the BSSL Division 2 season but had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Cambridge Arsenal. The Kendall started well out at Danehy Park and were looking dangerous without creating any clear-cut opportunities. Midway through the half, however, Tyler Cox stole the ball off a centre-back and ran through on goal. His initial effort was well saved but Tyler managed to cross the rebound into the box for Phil O'Driscoll. With the goal gaping, Phil somehow put the ball over the bar. Cambridge Arsenal seemed to grab the initiative as the half progressed, and they took the lead with a well-taken breakaway goal after Kendall lost the ball in midfield. It remained 1-0 at the break, but Kendall started brightly in the second half and pressed Cambridge Arsenal into the mistake that led to the equaliser. The CA defender left a back pass short after being pressurised by O'Driscoll and Phil latched on to the ball to poke home past the advancing keeper. Kendall continued to play well with Hicham Boulam and Pierre Dyer in impressive form. Hicham then won a penalty for Kendall after beating several players while running into the box. O'Driscoll duly slotted home the spot kick to give Kendall the lead. Unfortunately, Kendall could not hold onto the lead. A last-minute long throw-in was not fully cleared by Kendall, and the CA attacker found the corner of the net for his second of the game. A disappointing end, but much encouragement for the games ahead.

Greater Lowell United 1-0 Kendall C:The only blip of the weekend befell the Kendall C side as they slipped to their first league defeat of the season when they went down 1-0 to Greater Lowell United at Chelmsford High School. It was a harsh loss for Nathan Lees troops, as they were more than deserving of at least a point from what was an entertaining clash. The key moment came seconds after the interval when Kendall lost concentration on a set piece and allowed a Lowell player enough room to curl a marvellous shot into the top corner. That setback stunned Kendall for a few minutes, but they slowly took control of proceedings and dominated the final half hour. Lowell were put under incessant pressure, and they needed their goalkeeper to produce heroics to keep Kendall at bay. Carl Ashley went very close to equalising from both a free-kick and open play, and Jarrod Burton brought the best out of the Lowell stopper when the Kendall wingers point-blank effort was somehow repelled.

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Weekend Summary: Round 2

After a good win against Blackbeard FC in their BSSL Division 1 opener a week ago, defending champions Kendall A were undone by First Wave in Marlborough on Saturday. The first half was an even enough affair. First Wave, who finished runners-up in the league last season, opened the scoring after half an hour, but Dave Sheehan responded less than a minute later. Kendall struggled after the break, as they failed to perform with their usual pace and guile. They conceded twice before Tim Prior responded to make it 3-2. First Wave defended deeper to protect their narrow lead, but still managed to hit the Kendall net once more before the final whistle. A disappointing day for Kendalls best, but they will have the chance to bounce back next week against Playwright FC.

Kendall B started the game well and looked to be in control of proceedings of this BSSL Division 2 clash. New players Hicham Boualam and Pierre Dyer were settling in nicely as Kendall looked to create chances for Jonah Fontela up front. A spanner was thrown into the works though when Chris Scearbo was given a straight red card for a tackle deemed reckless and over the top. Despite the sending off, Kendall continued to control the game. Mark Cotton had the best effort on goal, his long range shot was saved awkwardly by the Gunners goalkeeper. The only chance for Gunners was when a sloppy pass from the otherwise excellent Colm Caffrey was latched onto by the Gunners forward and only a great save from Evan Weagle in goal kept the game scoreless. The second half didn't start well as a through ball from Gunners caused confusion between Kendall defenders and Weagle in goal. The Gunners striker was able to reach the ball first and slam home to give Gunners the lead. Kendall chased the game and came close to an equaliser on several occasions. Jonah and Pierre had the best chances, but it wasn't to be for the Bs.

The Kendall C side got their BSSL Division 3 campaign off to a positive start by overcoming PAC Lawrence 2-1 in a BSSL Division 3 clash in Roxbury on Saturday afternoon. Nathan Lees troops fell behind midway through the first half, but crucially levelled matters on the stroke of half-time. Shea Leonards low free-kick was flicked on at the front post by player/manager Lee and centre-back Justin MacFarlane was on hand at the back stick to apply a decisive finish. Despite playing with the wind at their backs, Kendall struggled after the break and had to rely on a number of superb saves from Steve Gage, who not only looks like a youthful Gianluigi Buffon but can perform like the Italian goalkeeper as well, to stay on level terms. The turning point in the game came with just under 20 minutes remaining when Kendall winger Javier Arnez was put through on goal only to be upended by a PAC Lawrence defender. The referee had no hesitation in issuing a straight red card for the denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity. And the visitors were hit with a double whammy when left-back Darren Skehan unleashed a thunderbolt of a free-kick into the top corner to give the Kendall the lead. There hasnt been a strike like it seen since John Arne Riise was in his pomp, PAC Lawrence went in search of an equaliser but couldnt find a way through a Kendall side who enjoyed fine performances from Arnez, Abdullah Dow and Alex Mazzotta. The Kendall side displayed excellent discipline against their aggressive opponents. That aggression led to frustration in the closing stages as a second PAC Lawrence player was dismissed - this time for lashing out at Kendall right-back Josh Higgins.

Kendalls Over 30 B side suffered their first defeat of the OTHSL Division 4(S) season as they went down 6-1 to Peru Sport in Stoughton. Lar Bardens charges were slow to come out of the blocks and paid the price for some indecisive defending when Peru Sport took the lead midway through the first half after the ball had pinballed around the Kendall box before it was stuck in the net. The Kendall responded well, however, and dominated the last 10 minutes of the first half. That dominance was not converted into goals, despite the best efforts of Tim Boomer who hit the crossbar, and Kendall were guilty of some more sloppy defending in the lead-up to Perus second goal shortly after the interval. Kendall pulled one back almost immediately from the restart when new recruit Chris Pearces driven effort from 25 yards could only be parried by the Peru goalkeeper and Steve Wallace raced in to lash the rebound into the roof of the net. Peru restored their two goal advantage shortly afterwards with a vicious shot to the top corner that left Kendall stopper Fred Barney with virtually no chance of stopping it. Kendall rallied again, however, and both Wallace and Pearce hit the woodwork before striker Johnny Kilpatrick almost pulled one back when he met a terrific cross from Boomer at the far post. It just wasnt to be the Kendalls day and as they chased a goal they left themselves exposed at the back and Peru hit the back of the net three times in the closing stages. 6-1 was certainly not a fair reflection of the balance of play, however, and Bardens men will be looking to make amends when they host Medfield in Roxbury next weekend.

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Weekend Summary: Round 1

Kendall A started the 2014 season with a 3-0 win over Blackbeard FC. Taylor Gorman opened the scoring after 16 minutes with a cool side-footed finish from close range after a nice passing move also involving Todd, Francis and David Taylor. Kendall doubled their lead after 60 minutes when a wicked left-foot delivery by Taylor from a free-kick was met at the back post by Todd Shigo. Phil Keane got the third goal racing onto a nice through ball to lob the advancing goalkeeper. For the second season in a row the gaffer got his annual goal out of the way early having scored the winner in the same fixture last season. There was plenty of early season rust on show but Kendall worked hard throughout and took their chances well when they arrived. Kendall had good debuts from Chris Stoker, Sean McGrath, Francis Mulkern and David Taylor.

Not to be outdone, Kendall B also got their season off to a great start with a very hard-fought 2-1 win over a good Milford Lusitanos FC team. Playing against the wind in the first half, Kendall created a few very good chances with Richard Mulo and Jonah Fontela going very close. The opening goal deseveredly arrived when a Jonah corner was prodded home at the near post by Colm Caffrey and the score remained 1-0 to The Kendall at the half. With the wind at their backs in the second half, Kendall strayed a little from the passing football they played in the first half and Milford started to get on top before deservedly equalizing with 25 minutes remaining. Kendall fought back though and dominated the last 15 minutes of the game. Milford always looked very dangerous on the break though and it took an outstanding flying save from Evan Weagle in the Kendall goals with five minutes to go to prevent what looked like being a certain winning goal for Milford. Just when it looked like the game would end in a draw, a stray pass in the Midford defense saw Jonah through on goal. Jonah rounded the advancing keeper only to be pulled down for what was an obvious penalty. It was a day for managers called Phil as up stepped gaffer Phil O'Driscoll to cooly dispatch a great penalty and seal the win for the Bs. After a very slow start in 2013, it was a great win for the Bs to get off to a better start in 2014 and there were excellent performances throughout the entire team.

The O30Bs began the season in confident mood on the back of winning promotion in the fall and a solid pre-season outing last week. The opposition, United International, had steamrollered us in 2011 on their way up the league but we are a much stronger team in 2014. Despite this we started slowly and looked particularly vulnerable to balls in behind the defense and it was not a surprise when United International converted one such chance after 10 minutes. However, like Liverpool going behind at Cardiff, we didn't panic and started to assert ourselves in midfield through skipper Gary Beatty along with Steve Wallace, Tomislav Zovko and Lar Barden. Dennis Cunningham teed up Justin Teman with a peach of a cross but the header went over the bar. However the same duo made amends with the last kick of the half when a first time ball from Cunningham set up Teman to skilfully lob the keeper and level the score. New manager Lar Barden exhorted the troops to continue to play triangles in midfield and stay tight at the back and the second half was a procession as United International got increasingly sloppy at the back. The chances game thick and fast. Tim Boomer hit the woodwork for the second time, debutant Daniel Clydesdale-Cotter tested the keeper from distance and other good chances fell to Steve Wallace, Johnny Kilpatrick and Tomislav Zovko. Justin Teman however was more clinical and tucked away a couple of straightforward opportunities to wrap things up. A hat-trick for last season's top scorer and 3 points in the bag. An excellent start to life in Div. 4!

In other results, Kendall Over 30 A's went down 5-1 to Kel Kau in their first game back in Division 2 while the C's lost 2-1 against Inter Boston.

Saturday, Feb 15th, 2014

Messrs Congeniality: Kendalls 2014 AGM

Sixteen hardy souls made their way to Dorchester on a seasonally cold February afternoon last Sunday for Kendall Wanderers 2014 Annual General Meeting.

The atmosphere in the upstairs bar at The Banshee was congenial. It was small wonder after a highly successful year in 2013 that saw the A team secure the BSSL Division 1 title and the O30 B side crowned OTHSL Fall Division 5 (South) champions.

Both the B and C teams finished third in BSSL Divisions 2 and 3 respectively, with the only blot on the copybook coming when the O30 A side was relegated from OTHSL Division 1 (South) in the Fall. The relegation came after a solid third place finish in the Spring in their first (but hopefully not last) crack at the top flight.

The reports were read and made for pleasant listening. It was, however, pointed out by John OToole (outgoing President) and Brian McCormack (outgoing Treasurer) that the clubs income had fallen below outgoings last year, and there was a general consensus that an increase in dues and/or a more creative approach to fundraising was needed to address that imbalance.

Outgoing PRO Aido Finnans Public Relations report outlined how the clubs Facebook page had become increasingly popular and pivotal over the previous 12 months, and that the Kendall had a very strong presence in The Irish Emigrant newspaper throughout the year. It was noted that the Facebook pages rise coincided with the fall of the clubs website, and that was an issue that needed to be dealt with.

After the dissolution of the 2013 Committee and a brief watering break, it was decided that Aido should chair the meeting. The Cabra natives efficient monitoring of proceedings would have put a German CEO to shame.

Once the election of club officers began, John OToole was unanimously elected to his third consecutive term as President. He insisted this will be his final year at the helm. Whoever takes over the reins in 2015 will certainly have big shoes to fill. The next vote was for the position of Vice President/Secretary, with Fabrice Matichard getting the nod.

There was role reversal on the bookkeeping front. Jarod Burton was elected Treasurer after cutting his teeth as assistant last year, while Brian McCormack will don the Assistant Treasurers visor after his spell in the senior position. Seamus Leonard was elected as Public Relations Officer, with James Canny taking on the role of Assistant PRO/Fundraising Officer. Eamonn Fitzgerald was voted in as Fundraising/Development Officer, with Darren Skehans installment as Fields & Equipment Officer completing the make-up of the new board.

There was appreciation shown towards those who stepped up to fill the board positions, and a special word of thanks for those who had taken on the demanding work of team management in 2013. As President Johno remarked in his report, that remains the toughest job in the club.

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