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SHAMROCKS HOME GAMES TAKE PLACE AT ST MICHAEL’S PLAYGROUND
IN ASTORIA, QUEENS. LOCATED BY THE BQE, BETWEEN 30 AND 31 AVENUES, CARS CAN EXIT AT 43 OFF THE BQE EASTBOUND.
IT IS A TEN-MINUTE WALK FROM THE NORTHERN BLVD SUBWAY STOP (M,R).
A Beautiful Game for a Beautiful Shamrock
NY Shamrock SC graced Randall’s Island with the best game of football ever seen, since Pele and the Cosmos. Fitting that Icahn Stadium was the backdrop of this wonderful display of Shamrock elegance and genius. The sheer magic that players and coaches conjured up saw the rebirth of the beautiful game in the ROBBIE WALSH TRIBUTE MATCH.
The Enchanting NY Shamrock SC
Eoin Sweeny described the event. “It was a beautiful game for a beautiful person. It’s fitting that we played our best game ever. The passing was exquisite throughout the 100
minutes. Things were going so beautifully well that we were ecstatic we made it two 50-minute halves. It was irresistible stuff,” said Sweeney.
A vicious corner dipped onto the edge of the box when Sean Riley latched on to a volley as he leaned back. In the ball flew low and hard. It was a sign of things to come.
A sophisticated battle for possession developed in midfield as the teams built out from the back. There was tiki taka everywhere sprinkled with mesmerizing dribbles alongside some uncanny first touches. Just as noticeable was the incredible agility and stamina of every single player in the game. The referee admitted afterwards.
“The athleticism was so graceful it was spell bounding. At times I couldn’t keep up with the speed of play. Other times I found myself in awe of the technical ability of the players. I was a fan by the time the game was over,” the ref said.
Between the posts there was also some amazing goalkeeping. However, the gloved ones had no chance in every one of the 8 goals scored. It was a 4-4 game of football that will go down in the history books as the best display of football ever seen in NY, if not in the US. While millions of Americans watched the 2018 World Cup little did they know that the greatest game on the planet was underway right under their noses on New York’s Randall’s Island. It happens, fans can’t be in two places at one time. Although it didn’t seem that way in Walsh’s Tribute Game as players appeared to be everywhere with some sublime movement off the ball.
Walsh’s Wonderful Wizards
“Unfortunately, the World Cup clashed with our game,’ said Shamrock scorer Emmett
Harvey. “We will be back next year to play Robbie’s Tribute Match but I’m not sure we can produce the World Class performance we produced today. It’s a tall order. I’ve never scored a goal like the one I scored today. It just swerved all over the place and I couldn’t believe the power I generated after sprinting 55 yards to latch on to a superb chip over their back line. I could see it coming all the way, but it was a team goal even though I felt great as the ball rolled down the back of the net,” admitted Harvey.
Some of the goals were magnificent shots, there were great combinations and finishes, breakaways and volleys. The dead ball frees did not disappoint either with balls curling around walls and headers banged home from corners. Robbie’s brother Kevin who flew from Ireland to represent the Walsh family remarked. “Just an overwhelming experience across the board.”
Towards the end of the game Donal ‘Ducky’ Kelly said. “We are blown away. Everybody is on their A game. Robbie is very proud of us right now. I don’t know what has come over us. I’ve never seen a better game in my life,” said a bewildered Ducky. “So far, I haven’t made one bad change throughout the 95 minutes of coaching, it’s going well for both teams to be fair, but I think Sweeney will feel the pressure in the last 5 minutes. It’s a coach’s dream to be involved in a game of this magnitude. It had everything we could have hoped for. We even had a fight and I can see Robbie right now breaking his bollox laughing and saying, “A hear lads, leave it out.”
On the side line Kevin Grogan was rubbing his leg. The ex-Man U and Irish International admitted the game speed was too much. “Yea, I pulled my hammy,” Grogan said. “I played a one two and was unable to keep up with the pace of the return ball. It was just too quick for me. But after watching this game I realize how far behind the World Cup is. I’ve never seen so many great goals in one game,” Grogan said.
The final whistle blew. A PK shootout was the only way to separate these two outstanding World Class Shamrock teams. “What a beautiful game it was,” Sweeney said. “We can’t wait for next year.”
Dave Harvey Upper 90 PK as he collects Robbie’s Tribute Trophy from Kevin Walsh.
That’s Grogan in the background holding his hammy.
The Shamrocks bridged an 18-year gap on Sunday night when they clinched the
Cosmopolitan Soccer League’s John Kilby Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot
out victory over NYAC at Randall’s Island.
There hasn’t been a Rocks first team success of this nature since the
Robbie Walsh led team claimed a memorable repeat in this same competition
in 1999 and 2000. But they were made to work for it by their Division 1
rivals in a tense game that ended 1-1 after normal time.
Idy Watt’s brilliant strike in the first minute had NYAC on the back foot
immediately but they rode the storm and equalized early in the second half
through a headed goal.
For the third time in this cup run, Kevin Grogan’s men were forced into
spot kicks with captain Zachary Gosse winning the coin toss and electing to
kick first. Stu Colbert, Gosse and Dan Giorgi scored theirs while
Gianfranco Barone watched the second NYAC kick go over,. He then saved the
third and the crucial fourth, making it a 3-1 win that sparked wild
“I’m so happy for the club,” said Grigan.
“It’s been a long 18 years since they won this trophy and it was well
deserved. Lots of hard work went into things behind the scenes from the
likes of Paddy Geraghty and many others. We couldn’t have done it without
Sean Mc Mullan or John Riordan either. There was tremendous support
yesterday both at the game and also via text and email. The penalty shoot
out was even streamed live in some bars around Queens. It’s been a lot of
hard work over the last three years and we have come a long way. It’s great
to have silverware to show for it. We don’t pay players at this club but we
give them something way more valuable and that’s a family.”
The John Kilby Cup will be make an appearance at this Saturday’s
End-of-Season Awards Banquet where the Guest of Honor will be Joe Behan.
“After all of the hard work and dedication that has been put in from the
members, coaching staff, players, and supporters we earned the right to put
Shamrocks back on the cup,” said skipper Gosse.
“This season has had its periods of ups and downs, including the loss of my
father and role model, Dr. Gerry Gosse, 2 weeks ago. But similar to Dr. G,
who was a major believer in the power of teamwork and perseverance our
squad found a way to remain unified and earn the silverware. I must admit,
I consider myself lucky to be a captain at a club that truly values
family. The support from our members both past and present helps reinforce
that we are all part of something very special. Up the Rocks!”
*match reports for Sunday, June 3
Shamrocks over-30s came up short in their State Cup final, giving away an early lead to lose 2-1. It was a game that was mostly dominated by the Rocks, who scored through a clinical Sean Riley finish about 25 minutes into play. In command of possession and with constant pressure applied, Paddy McCarry’s men were unfortunate not to have a bigger lead by the time their opponents rather fortuitously struck back with two goals in a 6 minute period after the hour mark. Despite having two shots cleared off the line in the dying minutes of the game, the gallant efforts of the Shamrocks lads was just not enough to bring parity. The end result was a hard blow for a team that has been working hard and performing excellently all season. The defeat came on the back of a league play-off loss to a Pancyprian outfit that exploited league rules to field four first team players. Having to play a State Cup final less than 72 hours later did not help and the unfortunate manner of both losses combined is far less than what this great Shamrocks team deserves. However, the club is in no doubt that these boys will be back with a vengeance next season. The ever-effusive Paddy McGarry had this to say after the game: “We just came up that little bit short again. Beat in the league semi-final and the State Cup Final. This group has been excellent all year and I’m very proud of all of them. It was a privilege to be their manager.”
The Shamrocks first team advanced to the John Kilby League Cup final after a dramatic penalty shoot out victory over fellow Division 1 outfit Doxa on Sunday night at Randall’s Island. It was tense and scoreless until Kwesi Mills-Odoi broke he deadlock with a brilliant worked goal that came on an assist from Nick Laurent. But a late penalty, awarded for a handball against Kurt Cameron, Gabe Doxa a reprieve and forced the shootout. Gianfranco Barone saved the third Doxa kick while the Rocks were flawless with the successful strikes coming from Stu Colbert, Kurt Cameron, Travis Blair, Calvin Moyes and finally the winner from the always reliable Dan Giorgi. “I felt it was a good performance in the first half,” said Rocks coach Kevin Grogan. “In the second half we lost our momentum but we produced a very good goal at an important moment. The penalty they got in the last minute was dubious but we held our nerve and won on penalties. All focus on the final now.”
Dan Meola’s reserves had an undeserving end to an otherwise impressive season with a penalty shoot-out loss in their play-off semi-final against CPR Whites. After a deadlocked 90 minutes in which the usually free scoring Rocks were unable to penetrate the opponent’s redoubtable defense, CPR eventually came out on top with a 3-1 penalties scoreline. It’s a hard blow for a Shamrocks team that has fought so hard all year. However, there is a lot more promised by this squad and its manager in the season ahead.
The 1960s saw out a forgettable season with a 3-0 loss to Ridgewood Romac in Staten Island. Again performing well and yet failing to make crucial chances tell, the Shamrocks fell once more to a team that showed how to take its opportunities. Yet the fight and spirit remains in the squad, and optimism must prevail as it looks to playing once more in Metro 2 next year.
The age-defying Shamrocks over-38s brought a rollicking finish to their season with a barnstorming 5-1 victory over Barnstonworth Rovers Old Boys. Playing with a sense of relief following the announcement of Emmett Harvey’s impending departure as coach, the Rocks finally came out of their shell after 3 years of playing under great fear and anxiety. This cheerful sense of freedom from worry was fully demonstrated by Eddie Gilmartin, who wound back the hands of time at one stage by bending his stubby legs enough to perform 3 stepovers in a row. This was quickly followed by some River Dance, a few beats of Gangman Style, and a sequence of the hokey-kokey. Afterwards, Gilmartin duly turned around and shouted “that’s what it’s all about ye,” only to see that the action had moved to the other end of the pitch. Eoin Sweeney played like a man off his meds, causing much confusion for teammates and opponents alike. Grumpy Doyle and Sleepy Wilton at the back were not to be dwarfed by Barnstonworth’s attackers, and provided good service from the rear to high-flying Shamrock attackers like Ryan Thompson, whose two excellent strikes made him resemble Arjen Robben with a Beatles wig on. Niall “Ronnie” Corbett scored his first for the Rocks, while Tyrone “in a class of his own” Kent and John Riordan added the others. In a tearful state back at the Courtyard Ale House, Harvey had these bitter sentiments to impart: “I’m really gonna miss ordering people about. What I’ve learned over the past three years is that power is everything and that I get a real rush from being in total control of things. That said, it’s gonna be good to spend more time with the wife and kid at home.” At this point, Christina ran screaming from the bar.