The 45+ Super Vets (or Lions Legends as they prefer to be called) made up for the disappointment of losing the league play-off on penalties at the weekend by gaining revenge on Brady with victory in the Henry Swerner Cup Final at Kingsbury last night.
It was definitely the over-rubberised recently renovated surface rather than the average age that made the pace of the game seem slow, as almost from the off both teams set out to impose themselves physically. No challenge was pulled out of, the referee’s patience tested by both sides. Even the poor linesmen was involved, Lazarus’ sliding follow through saw him take out the poor official in one of the first half’s most notable highlights. The game itself was scrappy and a battle, but having been outfought at the weekend Lions will have been happy going in at the break knowing they’d achieved the bare minimum of competing. Chances had been at a premium, Lotzoff denied by Racke in the Lions goal about the closest either side came.
With confidence in the solid platform – Kyte, Lazard, skipper Barr and Steinberg all having fine matches – Lions were able to up the tempo in the second period. In front of them Schindler won everything in air, Temple everything on the ground; from the off the action was all in the Brady half. But is was the energy of Abraham right up at the top of the pitch that was creating the most problems, his non-stop willingness to chase and harry forced Brady into rushed clearances, Lions picking up the pieces and starting to ask questions. The opening goal was thoroughly deserved, although came in slightly bizarre circumstances. A long diagonal ball seemed destined to go out of play, but Reuben chased the seemingly lost cause and was rewarded when he not only kept the ball alive but played it off the Brady defender to win Lions a corner. The Alice banded
model forward delivered the ball himself, the flat flight drilled just under the bar where, under pressure, the ball was fumbled over the line and the eagle eyed assistant signalled GOAL!
Brady tried to respond, but with Halperin, Temple and Abrahams snapping away it really was Lions who looked the more likely. Halperin won another challenge and fed Temple who burst towards goal. Just outside the box he was bundled over, the referee awarding a free kick 20 yards from goal. Lazarus, who’d had a quiet game by his standards, needed no second invitation to do what he’s done 486 times before in Lions colours and that’s fire in a simply unstoppable free kick into the top corner. 2-0 was a nice cushion.
Brady tried to play – a fine move down their right ended with Yam firing over from the edge of the box while one superb run from Levene ended with the Brady hitman striking the bar with his effort. Perhaps had one of those gone in it would have made for a nervy finish, but in reality Lions probably looked the more likely and they saw out the game and with it get their name etched on the trophy again.
Great effort from all involved over another great season. All were quick to acknowledge those that didn’t play as much last night but who, over the course of the season, had contributed so much to another enjoyable campaign well managed as ever by Arthur.
Lions Squad: Trevor Racke, David Kyte, Jon Steinberg, Pete Lazard, Simon Barr (c), Danny Schindler, James Temple, Dan Reuben, Ori Halperin, Bradley Lazarus, Michael Abraham, Simon Davidson, Jason Harris, Phil Smith, David Pollock. Plus the injured Paul Buxton, Craig Henry, Adam Brand.
Peter Moss Man of the Match: Pete Lazard
Lions Supporters Trust Man of the Match: Michael Abraham