Black Bull Charge to Sunday Intermediate Cup Triumph


The Middlesex Sunday Intermediate Cup final, between Black Bull, who compete in the Premier Division of the Harrow Sunday Challenge League and Jolly Coopers, from the Premier Division of the Chiswick and District Sunday League, was played last Sunday at Preston Park, home of Harefield United FC.

The Black Bull club was established in 2015 and won the Harrow Sunday Challenge League Division 2 title in its first season.    They are unbeaten in the league this season. They had scored 27 goals and conceded 4 in their progress to the final, which included an 11-0 victory over St Georges. Jolly Coopers are currently in their fifth year and last season won their league’s Fair Play Award for the 5th consecutive season. They won 2 penalty shootouts on their way to the final.

Black Bull played excellent controlled football and dominated this final against game and sporting opponents. A long free kick from skipper Tommy Edwards was headed over the top by the energetic central defender, Craig Drew, before they took the lead in the 19th minute. Kieron Gradwell hit the cross-bar from Tommy Edwards’ cross and headed home the rebound.

Craig Drew was just wide with a glancing header from a corner but Black Bull doubled their lead in the 28th minute through Lawrie Shennan, who collected a through ball from Mark Baker and netted under the advancing keeper.

Black Bull kept up the pressure and had several more chances before the interval. Mark Baker made a penetrating run before he was tripped just outside the box. The resultant free kick was charged down by the defensive wall. A shot from wide on the left by George Benn, amazingly hit the crossbar and then the post before it rebounded into the grateful keeper’s arms.

Then, another run by Mark Baker came to an end when the ball was scrambled out of the Jolly Coopers’ goalmouth. Jack Bigwood drove narrowly wide after the ball was cleared out to him from a corner. Keeper, Chris Rowe foiled Lawrie Shennan, who had fastened onto a dangerous through ball. Mark Baker sped up the wing and crossed to Kieron Gradwell, who almost scored with a glancing header.

Half time score:  Black Bull 2   Jolly Coopers 0

Jonny Wiggins had the best of several more opportunities for Black Bull when he shot fractionally wide, after breaking from midfield. However, they increased their lead after 64 minutes. Lawrie Shennan cut into the box and was pulled down. Tommy Edwards carefully placed the penalty into the bottom corner of the net.

Black Bull claimed another penalty after Shennan, put through by George Benn, fell under a challenge.   Referee Costache did not agree.

However, Lawrie  Shennan scored his second goal in the 84th minute, from a pass by Garry Barr. Garry Barr completed the scoring in added time, by lobbing over the advancing Chris Rowe.

Final Score: Black Bull 5   Jolly Coopers 0

Black Bull: Conor O’Brien, Craig Drew, George Benn, Jack Bigwood, Jonny Wiggins, Kieron Gradwell, Lawrie Shennan, Mark Baker, Murray Williamson, Spencer Brown and Tommy Edwards (capt).

Substitutes (rolling substitutions were employed): Andrew Martial, Andy Baker, Garry Barr, Gavin Dalton and Kurt McKenna.

Manager: Steve Baker

Jolly Coopers: Chris Rowe, Chris Giordmania, Cory Dimond, Myles Humphrey, Buster Street, Taylor Nunn, Josh Coe, Ryan Edwards, Geoff Milne, Billy Witham (capt) and Matthew Wilson.

Substitutes: Michael Boxall, Dan O’Reilly, Chaz Rivers and Soheil Terrani.

Manager: Nicholas Witham.

Referee Fernando Costache controlled the proceedings impeccably. He was well supported by his Assistant Referees, John Noblemunn and Dario Zavagno and fourth official, Anthony Cox.

The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Vice President, Bob Jarvis presented the trophy and mementoes after the game. He chose non-stop Black Bull striker Lawrie Shennan as the Player of the Match. 

The attendance was 146. Our grateful thanks are given to Harefield United FC for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and for their excellent hospitality.  

Photos from the game are available here courtesy of Mike Heavey.

Jim Taylor