Match Reports

Kendall Wanderers 0ver 30s A 5 - 0 Crafty Veterans

Match Statistics

OTHSL Division 2 South
Moakley Park (Grass Field)
Kickoff Time:
Nippy Enough
Pitch Conditions:
Dry, hard, uneven and covered in twigs and leaves
Team Lineup:
John O'Toole, Mike McCormack, Kenny McCarthy, Barry Roche, James Canny, Barry McNulty, Shane McElwee, Aidan Finnan (Capt), Uarlington Almeida, Jonah Fontella and Jesse Brown
Darren Skehan, Nick Sze, Ronan Kilbride, Paul Garvey, Dave Power, Derrick James, Kieran Lowe, Achraf Hosny and Ben Sprayregen
Team Formation:
Goal Scorers:
Ben, Derrick, Garvey, Jonah (2)
Man of the Match:
The author doesn't believe in it

As the sun rose on a crisp November Sunday, the final day of the league, Kendall Wanders found themselves with destiny in their own hands. All of the season’s great work had led to this, from the terrific Fall opener, a 6 -0 mauling of Concord, to the skin-of-the-teeth 1-0 victory at Holliston in the penultimate game the previous week. And all stops in between. Undefeated in nine games, and in the great position of needing a win against the already relegated Crafty Veterans on home turf to secure the title. What could go wrong?

Likely anxious but quietly confident each team member made their way towards ….


And so to kickoff.

The wind whistled in, cold and unrelenting from South Boston out to the Atlantic Ocean, taking in Joe Moakley field on its way. Only a short distance from our usual home at Madison High but a far cry from it’s billiard table smoothness this was not going to be conducive to the quick passing and moving game we had honed over the season.

Sparsely grassed, heavily weeded and bald where neither, Joe Moakley field was more Maasai than Messi. A pre game walk over it’s hard and angular ground gave the impression of land which the great nomadic herdsman had taken all they could from before it’s tribal elders packed up their tents and herd and headed for lusher pastures. But it had lines, goals and nets, so we were on.

Daz pulled us together and laid out what was in front of us. Beat these boys and we win the league and reach the promised land of Division 1. Fail to, and spend another off-season whinging and bemoaning our luck. Lets go, C’mon the fucking Kendall.

Johno in goal started behind a back four of Mike Mc, Kenny, Barry and Jim Canny. In midfield Shane and Aido took the center spots with Uarlington and Barry on the left and right respectively. Jeesie and Jonah up top rounded out the starting 11. A plethora of subs, Ben, Paul, Mike, Nick, Ronan, Dave, Derek, Kieran and Ash pulled their heads into their sweaters against the cold wind and waited their turn.

After what seemed like an age, suddenly it was go time. Crafty tipped off and we were on. The ball bobbled and hopped on the hard surface and flew in the wind when off the ground. But we weren’t at the races. Pick up your fucking man, release it quicker, hold it longer, get back, get out, my ball, your ball, pick up your FUCKING man..!

Truly it was awful We played with the anxiety of a teenager, on the promise of a first ride, fingering the sugar barleys and lemsips in the local chemist till he could pluck up the courage to grab a box of Durex and run to his mot’s gaff before her auld pair got back from Benediction.

They had the wind at their back and big men up front. The lads at the back are always up for a battle though and high balls and runners were met with hefty challenges and lunging interceptions.

Still passes were hard to take, a ball rolling toward an awaiting foot would hit a divot hidden beneath the crabgrass and hop unexpectedly towards the knee, last minute failed adjustments leaving the opening stages of the game looking like a looped reel from Americas Funniest Home Videos.

Midway through the half Daz rang in the changes, amongst them Derek and Dave brought a steelier bite to the middle and Ben who gave a weightier presence up front. Ben broke the seal around the 30 min mark and opened the scoring with a smashing strike after a run which saw him holding onto the ball for almost as long as one of his own warm ups before finally pulling the trigger.

That settled things and soon after Derek doubled the lead with wonderfully executed lob from the left looping high over the Crafty keeper and into the goal. Here we go, G’WAN THE KENDALL. Shortly before the half the ever-industrious Jonah bagged a third and we were on our bike.

At the half Daz called for calm, job’s not one yet but in truth we all knew it was. Just keep calm and focused. Crafty always threatened from set pieces but Johno was plucking corner balls and free kicks out of the air like a kid nicking apples from a low hung tree. All over the field Kendall could sense the victory and smell the title. Paul Garvey grabbed the fourth and Jonah the fifth and Crafty were beaten.

There were incidents in the second half, Aido had a tussle, Jessie got hauled to the ground, Uarlington was upended, Ash was magnificent, Ronan wanted 10 yards, Paul Garvey had a perfectly good goal written off for God knows what , Roachy wanted to hit the frees, but it was over, 5-0. We were CHAMPIONS and Division 1 beckons in the spring. A great season, a great bunch, a great result, a terrible game.

And then back to Shenanigans for a celebratory pint. And what shenanigans, what a mad morning what a .. ENTER EDITOR….Snip.

‘Wan go the Kendall.

By: Aidan "Aido" Finnan

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