There was high drama to end the Sunday League season last weekend as the league’s top two teams fought out a thrilling CML Cup final.
It was a fitting finale to round off a fantastic season. The match went to a penalty shoot-out after cup holders Harry’s and league winners Triple Crown Wanderers were tied at 1-1 at full time.
With no extra time in the competition the tie moved straight to penalties where Wanderers’ Derron Campbell emerged as his side’s hero with his spot-kick to add the CML Cup to their championship win.
The teams were evenly balanced and it took a wonderful first goal to separate them.
A long ball down the left to Harry’s winger Dan Stuber did not look particularly dangerous but he hit a wonderful shot to leave Wanderers keeper Jan Juschtzak helpless.
It was a fantastic individual goal worthy of any cup final.
After the break Harry’s soaked up the pressure. Then with only five minutes left, and Harry’s looking like they were going to hang on for victory, Wanderers were thrown a lifeline when the referee blew for a debatable penalty when a cross stuck the arm of a Harry’s defender.
It was a harsh decision and Harry’s players understandably complained long and hard but to no avail.
Gav Kane was entrusted with the job and under extreme pressure he showed why he is the Wanderers’ player-of-the-year by firing in his spot kick to equalise.
No extra time was played in the blazing mid-morning sun so it went straight to the penalty shoot-out.
Harry’s Ric Agrella was first and he fired home.
Wanderers’ hero Kane was next but this time Brigend in the Harry’s goal guessed right and saved it.
Then Wanderers’ keeper Juschtzak made an outstanding save, throwing himself low to his left to push away Phil Griffiths’ spot kick.
Under pressure Nick Anderson, the Wanderers full back, swung his left foot to bring his side level at 1-1.
There was even more jumping around from the Wanderers players when Juschtzak made his second save, this time from Mark Ingle.
Then Emmanuel Ricoh Brown, the Wanderers’ regular penalty kicker, was ever reliable to make it 2-1 after three kicks each.
Harry’s captain Chris Fenn and Kiegel “Stamma” Atkinson exchanged successful penalties to make it 3-2 to the Wanderers with only one kick left for each side.
Harry’s Floyd “Irons” McKenzie made no mistake which left Derron Campbell the task of winning the cup for the Wanderers and he initiated a mass celebration by sending Brigend the wrong way to round off a memorable final.
Harry’s had contributed so much to the game and it is tough justice that they left empty handed, but the unstinting attitude of the Wanderers summed up their season as they completed the coveted double.
In his last game with the Wanderers before his pending free transfer to Bangkok Wanderers, captain for the day John O’Brien had a memorable ending to his Cayman career as he picked up the coveted trophy.
At least McKenzie took home the Golden Boot for his season’s haul of 29 goals.
With no extra time in the competition the tie moved straight to penalties where Wanderers’ Derrron Campbell emerged as his side’s hero with his spot-kick to add the CML Cup to their championship win.