The defending HASL Premier Division Champions, Law Dogs, hoisted the Alabama Over-30 State Cup yesterday at Jack Allen Soccer Complex in Decatur. Ninety minutes of play against long time rival, the Iguanas of Birmingham, left the teams knotted at 3 goals a piece.
The Iguanas tallied first in the tenth minute. Law Dogs midfielder, Daniel Sherman, responded by netting in the 25th minute. Later in the first half, the Iguanas capitalized on breakaway to take the lead. Law Dogs towering central midfielder, Brian Kimball scored off corner kick scrum shortly before the referee's whistle to end the first half.
After back and forth play opening the second half, Law Dog uber-defender, Michael Haley, took advantage of space to carry from his sweeper position and placed a nice cross for Joseph Lawrence to finish for the lead. As the Iguanas pressed for the equalizer, Haley apparently tackled the ball over the end line, but no referee's whistle came. The Iguana attacker seized the opportunity and in the confusion, centered toward goal and for an Iguana forward to slot home.
Two ten minute periods of extra time saw both teams add to their tallies. Speedy winger Donald Lao dribbled coast to coast to set up John "Nasty" Lawrence for the cool finish that again gave the Law Dogs the one goal advantage. As time ticket down, the Iguanas again found themselves pressing for an equalizer. In the 116th minute, Law Dogs brave net-minder, John Moran, took a knock while risking life and limb to haul in a cross. Still reeling from his injury, Moran was unable to stop the Iguanas from scoring on a free kick as extra time ticked to a close with the teams tied 4:4.
Moran was deemed unfit to continue during the spot kicks. So, Chris O'Halloran donned the gloves instead. O'Halloran had not stepped between the pipes since his days in college. Brian Kimball, icy veined Phil Moyer, and dead ball specialist Joseph Lawrence did their part by converting from the mark. The Iguanas converted their first two attempts, but O'Halloran guessed correctly and denied the third attempt. Michael Haley then saw his attempt miss the target. O'Halloran, showing no signs of rust, pulled off the save of the day on the Iguanas 4th attempt. Having already committed, the catlike O'Halloran reached back to punch the net bound shot just over the crossbar. John Lawrence's attempt to ice the game was saved by Iguanas keeper. Nerves got the best of the next Iguanas shooter as he knew he would have to be precise to beat O'Halloran, but the attempt scooted wide of the upright and Law Dogs had taken the cup.