Match Reports

Kendall Wanderers 0ver 30s B 2 - 2 Norfolk FC

Match Statistics

OTHSL Division Five South
Norfolk, MA
Kickoff Time:
Pitch Conditions:
Team Lineup:
Lar Barden, Andy Scheufle, Gary Quinn, Tom, Igor, Tim, Dennis Cunningham, Omar
Team Formation:
Goal Scorer:
Dennis Cunningham (2)
Man of the Match:

Tricked by the management of the Over-30s ‘B’ into believing we’d be more, seven naïve men drove an hour in lashing rain to a southerly locale where the grass was lush and foreign-sounding birds chirped from the dense wooded apron. Norfolk the opposition were waiting, all 19 of them, portly and grizzled (some looked like they’d done bird), and many brought children to impress. The rain stopped minutes before the scheduled start. There you have the setting.

I wouldn’t say sheepish, nor would I use the term ‘sense of hopelessness’ but when Kendall tipped off there was a palpable concern that sooner or later anger would be needed to salve the indignity we were about to endure. The Grecian girth of the advancing Norfolk players contributed the net equivalent – in space/mass - of approximately 2 extra players making our 7 seem even more beleaguered.

The best thing to do, perhaps, in such situations is give away the ball early and get the measure of the opponents menace/ability in a rope-a-dope manner. And so it efficiently was. But with the hurly-burly puff-chested zeal of adult children in sudden motion Norfolk lost it back in short order to Igor the no-nonsense cool-headed Russian rationalist of St. Petersburg, renowned for its long winters, Nevsky Prospekt and sturgeon caviar, who treated them to a balletic whirr of his feet before sending the ball square as one might perhaps stroke a sable-pelt, to Dennis awaiting on nimble toes.

It’s happened before, as you all know, and are sick to death of hearing (especially if you weren’t in that Kendall team of 2001) so it shouldn’t have been so surprising to me. But half asleep and with my left eye weak from pulling hundreds of nails out of a deck, the sight of Dennis gathering the ball and smartly scoring from the centre spot was. Very.

All plots to string up the over-30s ‘B’ bureau were suddenly put on ice with a 1-0 lead now to be defended. There seemed to be three at the back: Andy, Gary, Tom; and three in midfield: Igor, Tim, Dennis. But shortly after Kendall’s goal a striker, Omar, showed up and I daren’t to think about what if he hadn’t.

He didn’t score when he came on but to use a phrase I haven’t heard or found so appropriate in a long time, Omar ‘ran rings around them’. Here was the formula: large kick-outs from Lar the goalie straight for Omar that he only rarely failed to seize. He also passed well and opened up some fluent play among Tim, Dennis and Igor, now they had a common target. Despite the en masse but disorganized attacks by Norfolk (that were worrying until the third or fourth) it looked like Kendall were going to stretch their lead. And when a spooked Norfolk defender handled a corner in the box, Dennis was alive to the possibility of a hatrick trotting back after dispatching the penalty. 2-0.

The raccoon pooh I had to shovel off my bulkhead threshold recently flashed to mind as the ball, en route to Lar’s arms from another hectic Norfolk attack, took a deflection and bobbled unkindly against the crossbar. Lar is no giant, I then realized, and with the ball free and so close to the Kendall net, he was swamped by opponents, one of which poked home an important goal for them. (The children on the sideline stamped out their cigarette ends and regarded one another suspiciously.) The half ended, however, with Norfolk on the back foot again and glee bursting from the hearts of the now eight Kendall players.

“Don’t try passing it. Take it around them instead, it will tire them out,” came the surreal instructions from Dennis at half time. It was not only Omar but Tim too attacking in the second half. For a period of 15 minutes he ran at the goal and came close to scoring but you could notice the tiredness as it began to set in. Igor was waning, and Dennis was covering less ground now. Only Andy and Tom seemed to keep up the earlier pace. But Kendall won a number of corners and free kicks well in range, one free kick from Omar spilled from the keeper’s arms and could have been a goal (if we had more players).

Naturally Norfolk could attack in waves more easily now and I think it is remarkable that they only managed to get one more goal: a miscontrolled ball beat Gary and then the miskicked shot beat Lar to leave Kendall miffed but c’est la vie muchachos. Yet even when Omar pulled his hamstring, it was clear we would not allow Norfolk to win this game, and during the last few minutes the ball was controlled by Andy and Igor with Tom who had pushed forward to replace Omar. And then like a dream it was all over, as if it had never happened. 2-2. A bravura performance from only 8 Kendall players.

Qary Quinn

In this section

Our sponsors

Currently looking for new sponsors.

Join us

Are you interested in playing for Kendall Wanderers FC? We'd be happy to hear from you, email us at

Kendall Fleeces for Sale!

Kendall Wanderers fleeces available, in all sizes, with full zip or half zip. Prices $25 each, or 2 for $40. Email Donal or see him at training.

See fleeces here!

Join the KWFC mailing list