A hungry wolf is a dangerous creature and so too can be a Wolfe. Take That and Cool It lifted their second straight Fishing Pond ‘Big 8’ title on Saturday, coming back from the death in a nail-biting final against Boys Town to win on penalties after the game had ended 3-3.
Boys Town, who now have lost three Fishing Pond finals in a row (2013, 2016 and 2017), only had themselves to blame this time, gifting their rivals their first two goals. Boys Town, despite their self inflicted wounds, still found a way to snatch the lead through the brilliant Dorean “Bunny” Robinson who combined with their other scorer Marcus Chandoo to bag his second of the match and crucially put his team ahead 3-2 with about 10 minutes to go.
With the clock ticking down, Boys Town’s defenders seemed to have gone into celebration mode as they were caught napping on a hopeful long pass to Anthony Wolfe who ghosted between their two stagnant centre-backs to collect and hit into the back of the net to level the score mere moments before the final whistle.
With kicks from the penalty spot needed to decide the 2017 champion, ‘Cool It’ held their nerve against their frustrated opponents to win 4-3.
After the match, ‘Cool It’ manager Sherwin “Pigeon” Joseph, acknowledged his team were not at their best for the majority of the encounter but paid tribute to their strength of character to eke out the win.
“I guaranteed it (the victory). I could have put my life on it. The game wasn’t what I expected, I expected a one-sided game but they (Boys Town) showed up and they played (good). But at the end of the day we got the victory. So I giving them props too because they played. I looking forward to next year. I don’t count what in the bag, I count what’s outside the bag,” he said.
With $30,000 up for grabs, the final started at a frenetic pace with ‘Cool It’ midfielder Ryan “Frye” Stewart belting a screamer from long range that just missed the left post. At the other end, hesitancy between the Cool It goalie and his defenders saw “Bunny” pounce on the loose ball and lash in a low drive from a tight angle that deflected for a corner.
But out of nothing, Boys Town were trailing through an indirect free-kick from “Frye” just outside the penalty area. An eagle-eyed linesman, to the dismay and anger of Boys Town’s supporters, spotted the Boys Town goalie had wandered slightly outside the penalty box while throwing the ball to launch a counter and flagged for an infringement. Despite an eight-man wall, Frye found a crevice of space to smash the ball in courtesy a slight deflection.
‘Cool It’ had little time to enjoy that goal as Boys Town were back on level terms a minute later. A quick combination play saw the ball slipped through to “Bunny”, who took one touch before lashing it with the outside of his boot to the right of the diving goalie as the half ended 1-1.
‘Cool It’ came out looking for blood after the interval and “Frye” saw his shot tipped around the post for a corner while 2006 World Cup player Colin Samuel showed his experience with two exquisite free kicks that tested the Boys Town goalie’s reach.
But Boys Town would snatch the lead through a free kick of their own close to the left corner flag, the ball was fired in low across the six yard box where Chandoo showed great composure to trap the ball in traffic and back heel into the back of the net. But five minutes later, Boys Town handed ‘Cool It’ a lifeline, a corner from the right was handled in the area and the referee had no option but to point to the spot. “Frye” would make no mistake, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way to knot the scores.
With penalty kicks looming, Boys Town regained the lead in style with “Bunny” on target again for his league-leading 14th goal of the season. A long pass from defence to Chandoo on the right wing, and the tricky winger turned inside his marker to release “Bunny” who held off one defender before lifting the ball over the advancing goalie and into the far post to spark wild celebrations and a temporary pitch invasion.
With victory in sight, though, the Boys Town defence switched off for a second and was punished. Wolfe, who played in the back-line for the majority of the game to keep an eye on “Bunny”, pushed forward and snatched the equaliser as well as the hearts of the Boys Town players and supporters.
A hopeful ball into the area was not dealt with by the Boys Town defence and Wolfe showed more hunger for the ball, darting between the centre-backs to chest the ball down and hit past the goalie to make it 3-3 and send the match into penalties.