#TBT: Western Champs Outclassed by Fall River (3/30/1930)

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Welcome to this week’s edition of “Throwback Thursday,” where we take a trip back in time to spotlight some of the clubs that made their mark on the New England soccer landscape over the past century.

This week, we venture back to the first game of the National Cup grand series between the Eastern Champion Fall River Marksmen and  Western Champion Cleveland Bruell Hungarians back on Mar. 30, 1930 at the Polo Grounds in New York, NY. The Marksmen reached the final series after beating Bethlehem Steel 4-3 on aggregate in the Eastern Final.

Note: The information provided in the following game report was drawn from the Mar. 31, 1930 edition of The Evening Herald.

Cleveland Bruells No Match For Marksmen in First Game of Grand Final Series at Polo Grounds Yesterday
Marksmen Let up on Bruells in Second Half
Locals Take it Easy After Getting Seven Goal Lead – Bob Wilson Scores for Cleveland Team

NEW YORK – Before the start of the Sunday’s first game of the National Cup grand final, the Cleveland Bruell Hungarians were presented with a floral horse shoe. But whatever luck that may have been gained from it had absolutely no effect.

The Fall River Marksmen all but ratcheted up the prestigious Dewar Trophy on Sunday after they soundly defeated the Cleveland Bruell Hungarians 7 to 2 before 8,465 at the Polo Grounds.

Jim McAuley and Scotty Nilsen each collected a trio of goals, while Alec McNab joined the scoring party with a goal of his own. Bob Wilson brought back two for the Bruells, but it far too little, and much too late for the Western champs.

The second game of the Grand Final series is set for next Sunday at Luna Park in Cleveland, where the Bruells will have to dig out of a five-goal aggregate hole if they intend to prevent Fall River from bringing back the Cup to Spindle City.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s game, which the Herald called “a two act farce,” featured a Fall River squad that undoubtedly eased off the accelerator in the second half in show of mercy for their opponents.

It took all of 60 seconds for the Marksmen to reach the board following a Billy Gonsalves shot that resulted in a corner. Alec McNab sent the subsequent cross from the corner flag that McAuley converted for the first of his three goals.

Fall River scored another three minutes later when McAuley connected on a free kick to put the Bruells into an immediate two-goal hole. Had the Western champs figured out a way to plug the dam at that point, they could’ve found a way to make it a contest.

But a contest was not in the cards after McAuley scored his third goal in seven minutes. From another McNab corner, the ball was passed around between Bill McPherson and Billy Gonsalves, who found McNab out on the wing. From there, McNab crossed it for McAuley, who drove it into the back of the net.

Not long after, Fall River’s high pressure resulted in another goal when McPherson forced a turnover deep inside the Cleveland end before deferring to McNab, who waltzed through the defense and placed into the back of the net.

In sure sign that it was not their day, the Bruells conceded another corner kick, which McNab duly used to collect another assist after Nilsen sent it through before the half hour mark.

And once the half hour mark arrived, Fall River made it a six-goal affair after McNab crossed it for Gonsalves, who immediately headed it toward Nilsen. The Marksmen enter forward would not be denied when he sent it past Ramsey.

In what was clearly a theme of the first half, the Bruell had the ball pick pocketed again when Bob MacAulay dispossessed his man and sent a long shot into opposition territory. Nilsen chased after it and, to the surprise of no one, scored his third goal of the game with time to spare in the first stanza.

Although the result was hardly a mystery by the time the sides went into their respective clubhouses for the interval, former Fall River wingback Bob Wilson wasn’t about to quit. He brought one back in the 55th minute against a Fall River side that, by now, had no intention of pressuring the Hungarians for another goal.

Wilson scored from what the papers called a “gift” penalty in the final minutes before full time. Dave Priestly ran into Cleveland center half Phillips, and referee E.J. Donaghy pointed to the spot, where Wilson buried it with seconds to go.

The lineup.

Fall River.         Cleveland.

Reder…..g…..Ramsay
MacAulay….rfb…McElligot
McArthur…lfb…Burton
McPherson…rhb…Abraham
Priestly…chb….W. Scott
Ballantyne…lhb…Russell
McNab….orf…Gross
Gonsalves…irf…G. Cariffi
Nilsen….cf….Wilson
McAuley…ilf…S. Scott
White….olf…R. Cariffi

Score – Fall River 7, Cleveland Bruells 2. Goals – by McAuley3, Nilsen 3, McNab, Wilson 2 (one penalty). Substitutions – Gavin  for Nilsen, Phillips for W. Scott, Dickie for Gross. Referee – E.J. Donaghy. Linesmen – M. Bloom and E. McCabe. Time – 45-minute halves.

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About Brian O'Connell

Brian O'Connell serves as editor and staff writer at New England Soccer Today. He's also the Revolution beat writer for ESPNBoston.com, and is Officer at Large for the North American Soccer Reporters. He regularly contributes to The Associated Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or contact him via e-mail at BOConnell21@aol.com