Fulham are British Deaf Champions!

British Deaf Cup Final 2006

Fulham DFC 3-2 Belfast DFC (HT 2-1)

Bridgend Town Football Club, Wales

Saturday, May 20th 2006

The British Deaf Cup, in its 79th year of running since it was first won by Leeds DFC in 1927, was won by the Fulham Deaf Football Club who beat Belfast United Deaf Football Club 3-2. The famous trophy goes back to sit in the Fulham FC trophy cabinet in Craven Cottage once again, after Fulham squandered the cup to St John Arsenal last year, having won it the year before in the clubs first ever season.

Belfast United DFC, now in its 30th year, were the first ever team from Northern Ireland to reach the British Deaf Cup final. Belfast pushed Fulham all the way in what was an exciting and well contested final with goals of the highest calibre. The match was played at the Bridgend Town Football Club, home place of Vaughan Jenkins, the outgoing British Deaf Football Director who had successfully been at the helm for 16 years.

This was the second encounter between Fulham and Belfast, with the last game going to penalties, in the quarter-finals last year at Motspur Park, home of Fulham DFC. The nail biting tie was drawn at 2-2, with Fulham winning on penalties 7-6.

The 79th British Deaf Cup Final kicked off at 3pm with Belfast electing to play with the wind. Fulham started brightly with some well drilled football, not allowing Belfast to find any rhythm. After ten minutes, Fulham striker Kevin Harewood, picked up the ball outside the Belfast box, gliding past two defenders to find a gap, and unleashed a well placed right footed shot in the bottom left hand corner, to put Fulham in front. (1-0)

On twenty minutes, a foul was committed by Fulham on Belfast just outside the centre circle in Fulham's half. Belfast's seasoned and powerful Irish international centre half Noel O'Donnell stepped up to take the free-kick, unleashing an almighty, awesome left footed out-swinging rocket into the top right hand corner, leaving Fulham's experienced keeper Michael O'Mahony standing, dumbstruck. It was definitely the best ever goal scored against Fulham, and a goal England captain, David Beckham would not even dream of attempting, due to the huge distance. (1-1)

Fulham quickly picked themselves up to look for another goal, enjoying good possession, asking Belfast many questions with the Fulham central defenders John Docker and Chris Bunker on great form, snuffing out any attacks from Belfast's quick and nifty Ireland International Bryan Moore, who found himself outnumbered in attack time and time again.

With five minutes left until half time, Fulham pressurised the Belfast box and forced a mix up between the defence and keeper with the keeper picking up a back pass, giving Fulham a free kick just inside the box. Kevin Harewood stepped up to take the free kick, faced with a huge wall in front of the goal, after a retake due to the free-kick not being taken correctly, Harewood made no mistake, placing one of his trademark canon shots through the Belfast wall into the left hand corner, putting Fulham in front again. (2-1)

The second half started with Belfast finally finding their rhythm, forcing Fulham to dig deeper and deeper to protect their one goal lead, full well knowing Belfast are the come-back kings, having seen off Derby in the semi final, after trailing 1-3 down with 5 minutes to play, winning the match 4-3. With ten minutes left on the clock, Fulhams good work was undone after Belfast were awarded a free-kick from an innocuous foul, committed by Fulham player-manager Ayad Sarraf 35 yards out in Belfast's right flank. Noel O'Donnell stepped up again to whip a powerful curling left footed shot, which Fulham keep Michael O'Mahony got his hands to, only for his defence to be caught ball watching, punished by Brian Babb, who to Fulham's disbelief was in an offside position, but the goal was allowed my match referee Jamie Dobbins from Bridgend. (2-2)

Immediately on the kick off, Fulham went on the attack, putting Belfast on the back foot and were rewarded when Ryan Pendley chipped the Belfast defence to put striker Shylon Morally one one one with the keeper, Shylon took his time to find his spot before blasting past the keeper to send Fulham into raptures. (3-2)

The match was almost forced into extra time, as Belfast immediately in true never say die spirit went looking for the equaliser, and were odd's on to do so as Bryan Moore was put through with just the keeper to beat, however from nowhere, Fulham midfielder Ewan McGreevy came flying in to the rescue to slide in and clear the ball to safety with immaculate timing, to save Fulham.

A few minutes later, the full time whistle blew to signal the end of the match, declaring Fulham as British Deaf Champions 2006.

Fulham's man of the match was the captain, PJ Lot who put in a commandeering display leading by example, putting on a display of faultless tidy passing, working tirelessly to deny the Belfast midfield any breathing space throughout.


Fulham DFC : Mike O'Mahony, Andrew Vorster, Ayad Sarraf, Panmun-Jacob Lot, John Docker, Chris Bunker, Mark Gill, Shyloh Morally, Ewan McGreevy, Ben Lampert, Bim Ajadi, Kevin Harewood, Daniel Simmonds, Bassim Baz, Ryan Pendley, Michael Roberts, Neil Fox

Manager: Ayad Sarraf

Assistant Manager: Leo Mansell

Coach: Mark Saunderson

Physio: Lorraine

Goals: Kevin Harewood x 2, Shyloh Morally

Belfast DFC: Conor Mervyn, Jamie Wilson, Graeme Browne, Noel O'Donnell, John Morrissey, Anthony Sinclair, Eoghan Fee, Barry Campbell, Richard Beattie, Bryan Moore, Eoin Cluskey, Thomas Coyle, Michael Johnston, Brian Babb, Chris Jones, Ruari Bradley

Manager: John Morrissey

Referee: Jamie Dobbins

Assistant Referees: Michael Beavis and Mark Daily

Written by Nick Beese

Simon Morgan, Head of Community, said “The team and staff are all a great credit to Fulham FC and we are all thrilled that they won the Cup. This highlights the fantastic relationship between Fulham and the Deaf community and how important it is for the Club to integrate with all members of our local community.” – to view item on fulhamfc.com – click here

British Deaf Cup Final 2006

Photos // Page 01 / Page 02 / Page 03

Fulham DFC 3-2 Belfast DFC (HT 2-1)

Bridgend Town Football Club, Wales

Saturday, May 20th 2006

Match report // CLICK HERE