Harrow firsts football team finally netted some silverware by beating St Mary’s 2-1 in the South East England University Cup final last Tuesday.
After a long, hard season in which the team had become the ‘nearly men’ of university football, this was the last chance of winning after finishing second in the league and losing to Middlesex in the semi-final of the County Cup.
Harrow beat CONEL, Kingston and King Alfred’s to book a place in the final against St Mary’s.
Despite being the underdogs, Westminster took the game to their opponents, and within the first five minutes the ball came into the box from the right and was laid back to Pete Litchfield who tested the keeper with a left footed shot from 15 yards.
The game went end to end for the next 15 minutes with both sides struggling to create any meaningful opportunities.
Andy Eaton was fouled 40 yards from goal, and captain, Jim Leach, stepped up and whipped the ball into the box, aiming for the shaven head of Litchfield, who gave Westminster the lead.
St Mary’s struggled to create any meaningful opportunities, relying heavily on the long kicks by the keeper in the difficult, blustery conditions.
Westminster’s defence held out, but then St Mary’s scored an equaliser. Their right midfielder was allowed to cut inside past four half challenges before rolling it square for the oncoming midfielder to level the scores from the edge of the box.
The second half continued in a similar vein. Simon Robinson pulled off a good stop for Westminster with 15 minutes to go to keep the scores level, and shortly after Westminster took the lead.
Space opened on the right for Stuart MacNab who hit a cross to the far post, which at first looked overplayed, but Darmesh Garala connected to give Westminster the lead.
It was backs against the wall for the last 10 minutes, in which there was a half-hearted claim for a penalty by St Mary’s, but Westminster held on, winning 2-1.
The day was capped perfectly for Andy Eaton, winning Players Player of the Year and Walde Place winning Captains’ Player of the Year.