It was an historic night for Kendall Wanderers last Wednesday as the A team captured the BSSL McKenzie Cup for only the second time in the club’s history.
The previous cup success came in 2001, and Kendall A ensured they would write themselves further into club folklore with a 3-0 victory over The Playwright FC outfit at Pine Banks Park in Melrose.
The Playwright FC enjoyed a bright start to the game, and so it came a little against the run of play when Kendall captain Taylor Gorman gave the men in red the lead after 20 minutes.
The Kendall took that 1-0 advantage into the interval, and within three minutes of the restart they were two to the good courtesy of a deflected shot from Robbie Sabadoz.
Playwright dug in, however, and put Kendall under severe pressure as they tried to drag themselves back into the decider.
Kendall weather the pressure, though, and they made the game safe with 10 minutes remaining when Norbert Guery applied the finishing touch to a trademark passing move by Phil Keane and Fabrice Matichard’s men.
The cup success comes on the back of a BSSL Division 1 title the A side secured in 2013.
It was fitting then that Kendall faced their league-winning successors First Wave in the US Amateur Cup on Saturday.
There is rarely much between the two sides when they meet, and it proved again in Marlborough as First Wave squeezed through after a penalty shootout.
First Wave had an opportunity to take the lead from the spot midway through the first half, but Kendall ‘keeper (and penalty-saving specialist) Evan Weagle denied the taker.
It was only a temporary stay of execution for Kendall, however, as a ball over the top was finished smartly by First Wave to help them into a 1-0 half-time lead.
Kendall came out all guns blazing in the second half and two quick-fire goals had the Wanderers 2-1 in front. Todd Shigo and Francis Mulkern were the men on the scoresheet, but both goals owed much to good work down the left flank by David Sheehan.
It looked for long periods like Kendall would progress, but a 95th minute equaliser by First Wave brought the game to extra time. No goals were scored in those 30 minutes, and it went to penalties were Kendall fell on a 5-3 scoreline.
It was also a bittersweet week for the Over 30 B side as they finished off their regular NEOTHSL Division 5S campaign with a 2-0 victory over Dover-Sherborn Old Boys.
Lar Barden’s charges already had a play-off place secured, but needed Club Recordacoes De Portugal to slip up in their last game. Unfortunately, the league leaders eked out a 1-0 win over Portuguese United and therefore cemented top place and the promotion that goes with it.