*match reports for weekend of 5/12-5/13/18
The Shamrocks first team pushed national champions Lansdowne close on Saturday night in an entertaining CSL Division 1 Irish Derby that ended 3-1 in favor of the Yonkers side at Tibbetts Brook Park. A brilliant opener in the first half had Lansdowne ahead at the break but the Rocks rallied and deservedly drew level through a scrambled effort from Kurt Cameron. However two late goals denied Kevin Grogan’s men a first win against the Bhoys since promotion and handed the Irish Consulate Cup to Lansdowne for the fourth year running. “Absolutely great effort,” said Grogan “We went toe to toe with them and deserved a point. They pay their players and have some big names in their team. Very proud of the Rocks last night. We worked very hard and had great support from fellow club members. We are very focused on our cup semi-final now on June 3.”
In the battle of the reserves, the Shamrocks showed great determination and character to overcome a 2-0 deficit to claim a draw with only 10 men on the field for the best part of an hour. Following Mick McGreevey’s goal before half-time, the Shamrocks came out roaring in the second half and totally dominated possession against league leaders, Lansdowne. Darren Coleman’s penalty even the game, and a late opportunity from the impressive Larry Slaughter was only kept out by the heroics of the Lansdowne keeper. The point guarantees second spot in the play-off rankings for Meola’s men. The display itself augurs well for the big games ahead, particularly should it go down to a Shamrocks v Lansdowne final.
Andy Connolly’s 1960s suffered yet another setback by losing 3-1 to their perennial bogey team, Gotschee. Despite playing well in the first half and taking the game to well organized and skillful opponents, the Shamrocks conceded two goals from defensive slip-ups. A rally from our metro lads late in the first half saw the score change to 2-1, as Dan Meola showed calm and leadership to slot home a penalty. More Shamrocks’ pressure in the second half was dampened by the awarding of a dubious penalty. At 3-1, Gotschee were hard to break down and constantly threatened themselves on the counter. The loss means things have gone from bleak to abominable for the 1960s in their relegation struggle. However, there’s a Hail Mary of a game coming up this weekend and hope is not all lost for Connolly’s men just yet.
Paddy McCarry’s over-30s fought through their second successive 0-0 game against their divisional main rivals, Manhattan Kickers, at Randall’s Island. The result is a formality as the Shamrocks set their sights on big games ahead in the league play-offs and the State Cup Final. However, the impressive display by the Rocks and their continued demonstration of defensive meanness, especially when added to their flair for scoring, can only further buoy confidence and send a warning to opponents as the big games approach.
Paddy McCarry’s over-30s are into another State Cup Final after they braved their way through a difficult semi-final fixture with Long Island Gaels. With the Gaels playing to strengths that rely somewhat on the awful conditions of a desperate home pitch, the Shamrocks faced a real tough slog throughout the 90 miutes. The game ended 0-0 and the match was then decided on the nail-biting drama of penalties. Thankfully for the Rocks, they had the great Sean McMullen in goals. While there were three penalty misses from a Shamrock team that ordinarily scores for fun, McMullen pulled off a heroic show all of his own by saving four of Gael’s penalties. A top scorer and player of the season for the Shamrocks reserves only a few years back, McMullen’s goalkeeping is also outstanding and his performnace in this game only underlines that fact. McCarry had the following to say: “Sean was the hero of the night and Neil Doran was not far behind in his contributions as center-half during the tough 90 minutes of play. To say I am proud of all these over-30s lads is an understatement. They deserve to be in the final and we had to beat some of the best over-30s teams to get there. It’s a privilege to be the manager of these boys and I’m looking forward to the final on June 3rd against Germina.”
The Shamrocks first team’s play-off chances ended on Sunday night after a hard fought 3-1 loss to the league champions Greek Americans at the Met Oval. Daniel Massey scored twice to punish two mistakes at the back to send the Greeks 2-0 up and the the home side extended their lead with an Andrew Weiner header. The Irish club was rewarded a penalty three minutes after the restart when Mani Walcott brought Aboubacar Kaba down in the box. Giorgi converted the spot kick, picking the lower right hand corner. Kevin Grogan’s men fought valiantly for a second but came up short on a tough night. “Bottom line is we made three mistakes and we didn’t finish our chances,” said Grogan. “I felt we did much better in the second half and got the better of them but we need to be more clinical around the box. We have a massive cup semi-final on June 3rd and we will use the next 2 league games to prepare for that game.”
In the reserve fixture, the Shamrocks let slip a 2-0 lead to allow NY Greek Americans to rescue a 2-2 draw. The Shamrocks took the lead with first-half goals from Brendan Lane and Gil Christensen, who took his finish with an impressive 25 yard strike. Despite remaining 2-0 and dominating by the hour mark, the Rocks allowed their opponents back into the game. Indeed, Meola’s men only avoided defeat when keeper, Kieran McGovern, made up for a personal error that lead to a late penalty for the Greeks by making a superb save from the ensuing spot-kick. The reserves remain strong in second place behind Lansdowne and will hope to build on this strong showing in the lead-up to the all important league play-offs.
The 1960s continue to have little luck in their ongoing scrap at the bottom of Metro 1. In a game that saw the Rocks lead in credible goal chances by about 10-2, Connolly’s men ultimately lost out 2-1 to a highly decent Mr Dennehy’s side. The Shamrocks took a very early lead through a composed finish by Eamon FitzGerald from a penalty, awarded after Dan Meola was taken down by the opponent’s goalkeeper. However, denehy’s scored on both sides of the half and, espite relentless pressure, the 1960s were just unable to find a response. There were strong performances across the field, especially from the likes of James Horan, Athony Carrabotta, Calvin Moyes, and Mick McAnea. Most impressive for the Shamrocks was Amar Daved, who, along with Joe Flynn, pulled the strings in midfield and helped to create a number of good chances.
The leggy Legends continued their impressive, spiked-Bovril-fueled form with an impressive 3-1 victory over Manhattan Celtic. Despite the absence of coaches Emmett Harvey and Eoin Sweeney, who were both spotted skipping down Broadway with shopping bags on their arms and a melodic tune in their throats, the Shamrocks were self-governing in the tidiness of their play and the steel of the team’s efforts. Andy Connolly, as usual, was a constant nuisance at both ends of the pitch, so opponents and teammates did well to ignore his aimless runs, fumbles on the ball, and yelping cries. The Shamrocks took a deserved first-half lead through a cheekily deft finish from the outside of the right boot of Ryan Thompson. Despite the constant pressure from the home side, whose opportunities flowed through the triumvirate of Gilmartin, Doyle, and Riordan in midfield, it wasn’t until 10 minutes into the second half that the Shamrocks advanced their lead. This time the finish came from the head of Connolly, who, in trying to run away from the ball, accidentally met it square on. Connolly’s cry of “ouch that hurts” was barely audible amid the din of praise and cheering from his teammates. The Rocks third goal was an impressive finish from Marcus Nasciemento. Finally, Connolly got his chance to leave an indelible mark on the game when he took advantage of a defensive mistake to help set the opponents up with a late consolation. The Shamrocks were not to be deterred, however, and so Eddie “I’m from Belfast” Gilmartin somehow convinced the ref to blow up early before Celtic got the chance to make a late rally.*
*the last comment was a joke and it should be made clear to all prudish, literalist, and lobotomized readers that the ref played the full 90 minutes.
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2018 Year End Awards Banquet
Honoring: Joe Behan
Where: Astoria World Manor
When: Saturday June 16th
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2018 NY Shamrocks Banquet Ticket
2018 Year End Awards Banquet Honoring: Joe Behan Location: Astoria World Manor Date: June 16th Time: 8pm
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*Shamrocks match reports for weekend of 4/28 and 4/29, 2018
The Shamrocks Women B essentially secured the Women’s Division B title with a 2-0 victory against NYC United B at Randall’s Island. Coach Keith Perez qualified the victory with the following remark, “While we are still awaiting some league rulings, that shouldn’t take away from the incredible season that the ladies have put together.” It was a back and forth matchup until Anastasia Hagan opened up the scoring in the first half. That goal opened the game up and Shamrocks controlled the game from then forward, despite the score line. Sara Gomez added a second goal at the end of the second half to secure the victory. Perez further commented: “The ladies left it all on the field every game, and it showed with the results we had this season. I am very proud of all of them and they should be equally as proud of their individual and team efforts.”
The shamrocks women’s A team finished the league strong with a 9-0 win over Manhattan Kickers. Sharon Odofin led the team with 4 goals while Mikaela Howell added 3 goals to her impressive season tally. Tara Kiernan and Georgia Frost also scored. The Shamrocks face rivals CPR White on Sunday in the state cup semi finals, as they aim to defend their state cup title.
Dan Giorgi sealed all three points for the Shamrocks first team on Saturday night, his second half penalty proving the difference in a 1-0 win over NYAC at Randall’s Island. Kevin Grogan’s men extended their league lead over NYAC, all but confirming a minimum of a fifth place finish in the standings. “A fantastic win,” said Grogan. “Probably our best aim of the season. We were very disciplined and organized and our work ethic was phenomenal. We can still do better in the final third from a creative standpoint but we looked like a real team out there.”
The Shamrocks reserves continue struggling to regain form, losing 2-0 to New York Athletic Club. However, the Rocks great showing all season means that they are still comfortably in second and that they have the excitement of the league play-offs to look ahead to. Bemoaning the obvious difficulties of playing against a bunch of weight lifters and greco wrestlers in NYAC, coach Meola remains steadfast in his belief that Lansdowne can still be caught for the top spot by the time the regular league fixture list is finished.
The Shamrocks over-30s continue to steamroll all obstacles, a strong CPR Old Boys being the latest victim of McCarry’s marvelous men. There was an evenly battled first half, during which the consistently impressive Johnny McGeeney took the lead for the Rocks. The over-30s took full control after the hour mark, with yet another goal from Mark Finn and a rocketing Rocks third from McGeeney, whose 25 yard belter hit the top corner of the net. After a game where a large number of squad players were used, McCarry had the following to say: “Our whole squad is full of quality and no matter who we pick, they do the job. They are all pushing each other very hard and the competition within the squad is fierce. Glad of another clean sheet and we are playing very well, which is very important for our massive state cup semi-final versus Long Island Gaels next week.
Two Scotsmen, an Englishman, and an Irishman walked into the pub, after having gotten an Uber from Staten Island to Queens. But, despite the heroic endeavors of James Whyte, Calvin Moyes, Stuart Colbert and Neil Mannion, there was no real punch-line to laugh over for the 1960s as they suffered a cruel 3-2 defeat to Metro 1 champions, Ulqini FC. “The boys who helped us out from the first-team are real gents, gifted players, and true warriors in the traditional Shamrock mold,” remarked coach Andy Connolly. “In fact, all three together have some of the signs of brilliance that I had a few years back myself. Or, just imagine a Stevie Doyle before the operation.”
Speaking of Doyler, he, Emmett Harvey and their fellow veterans continue to creek and fumble their way through the fixture list of the over-38 section. Turning up in Union, NJ at 8 am on a Sunday under the false belief that there was a game of bingo, a cup of Bovril and some re-runs of ‘Antiques Roadshow’ to be enjoyed, the Rocks found themselves reluctantly embroiled in a feisty competition with division high-flyers, America FC 1927. But with nowhere to hide, and with Harvey promising the likes of Eddie Gilmartin and Donal Kelly a Rich Tea biscuit and a nap afterwards, the Shamrocks put on a storming display. They played like a team demented!! Or, at least like a team in the early stages of dementia. The age-defying John Riordan particularly impressed, cleverly setting up the Rocks opening goal for Marcus Nascimento, who took his opportunity excellently well. There was an end score of 1-1 to a tense and, at times, bruising game. Harvey, having come on for a very narky and obviously confused Gilmartin, ended up himself with fractured ribs. Now, though Harvey cited a particularly hard and match-saving challenge that he made as the cause, some players claimed that the injury had other, less heroic origins. One theory is that he was warming up too vigorously in the facilities provided (hmm, might explain his constant complaints about the locked bathrooms at St. Michaels?), while another is that he laughed too quickly at a Kerryman joke that he remembered Eoin Sweeney telling him during the week.
*NY Shamrocks match reports for weekend of 4/21-4/22
The Shamrocks women’s A team suffered a painful loss against league leaders CPR White, despite dominating possession. CPR opened the scoring against the run of play but Mikaela Howell quickly responded with a superb solo effort to level the score. The Rocks conceded two subsequent goals in the first half but regrouped and came out determined in the second half. Teresa Ferraro scored the rocks second goal to make the score 3-2. However, once again, CPR scored against the run of play to extend their lead. The Rocks were superb in the last 20 minutes and had multiple goal scoring opportunities. Mikaela Howell found the back of the net again but the rocks ran out of time to get an equalizer and the game ended 4-3. Hopefully, the team can settle the score when the shamrocks will face CPR White later in the season in the state cup semifinals.
The Shamrocks women’s B secured an easy 8-0 victory at St. Michaels against a short-sided Astoria FC team. Colleen Cavanaugh lead the way with three goals, followed by Paige Osborne and Lee Stagg with two goals each. Shannon Hopkins ended the scoring with the final goal. “We hope the goal scoring will continue in our final league match up on 4/29,” remarked a happy coach Perez.
The Shamrocks first team were denied an important league win on Saturday night when CPR Whites struck late against the run of play to escape with a 1-1 draw. Tracis Blair’s exquisite first half strike had the Rocks deservedly in front after a dominant display but CPR never gave up and took a share of the spoils with ten minutes to go. “The players are disappointed and rightly so,” said assistant coach John Riordan. “The first half display in particular was impressive but we couldn’t quite find that second goal.”
It proved a highly busy weekend of football engagements for the ever-industrious Riordan, who led the Shamrocks reserves by moonlighting as player-coach in the absence of Dan Meola. With a number of key players on off-duty, busy making jokes about the ‘CPR Kit’ behind the bar at Meola’s wedding, the reserves battled with only 10 men against CPR Whites. Despite the scant numbers, and with Meola obsessively checking his whatsapp feed during a best man speech from his brother, Nick, that reduced Neil Mannion to floods of tears, the ever-resilient Rocks fought hard and were unlucky to come out of the tussle on the wrong end of a 4-3 result. More used to tying defenders in knots with his dynamic forward runs than tying wedding knots, Meola remarked: “Natalie is distraught. She had a points shave on the reserves with our local bookie, Pussy Five Fingers. After a few glasses of wine, she perked up and said, ‘hopefully my parley on the 1960s gets me out of this hole.’”
Unfortunately for Natalie and lovers of the 1960s everywhere, things continue to go from bad to worse for the Shamrocks metro team. With Meola pulling up in his car just before kick off as the theme song from High Noon blared in his speakers, and with Neil Mannion’s emotional state somewhat stabilized by a lick of porter, the1960s fought toe-to-toe with the auld enemy, Lansdowne. The story of a season of missed opportunities was played out again in this noon-time derby, as the failure of the dominant 1960s to grab opportunities for a lead soon saw them on the back of a 4-0 deficit. Tony Meola’s marvelous Henny Youngman routine on the sideline did just enough to confuse the opposition and allow the Rocks to snatch a late consolation. However, time is running out for Andy Connolly’s men, should they want to avoid the drop.
On a largely frustrating weekend overall for the club (the exception being the stellar display of the women’s B team), the Legends were very unlucky to lose 4-3 in a scintillating battle against top of the table Cozmoz FC. Despite their obvious difficulties with spelling (they must have a hard time finding fixtures on the CoZmopolitan Soccer League website?), the Cozmoz are highly articulate in attack and the Rocks did well to push them all the way in yet another 8 am showdown. The Legends got off to a comical start with a glaring miss from Brian Woolohan that might have made it onto the bloopers video for auditions to try-out for the Blind World Cup. With all nerves settled from the laughter aroused by Wilton’s slapstick routine (the boy’s a genius), the Rocks played manfully throughout a tie that was cruelly settled in the Cozmoz favor by the last kick of the game. The Shamrock goals were scored by Ryan Thompson, Paddy Geraghty, and John Riordan. In a frenzied state of undress, a highly excited Eoin Sweeney yelled, “Holy Jehosophat, that was a cracker. What was it: 3 each, or did we lose or what? I was too busy running round in the nip, old shtock. Where’s me jumper?” A more calm assessment was offered by Emmett Harvey, who, after breaking a week of silence, fasting, and meditation, mused: “it may seem like an unfair result. But, if I’ve learned anything this week, it’s that the Cozmoz just works in those kinds of strange ways.”
*match reports for weekend of 4/14 and 4/15
Paddy McCarry’s Shamrocks’ Over 30s took another important step in their path to success this season by beating Port Jefferson 1-0. The trip out to Long Island was made all the more arduous by windy conditions. In a hard fought game, it was the Rocks who found their port in the storm through the reliable Bingo, who slotted home a 50 minute penalty that was awarded when Mark Finn’s certain goal was stopped by a handball on the gal line. The Over 30s are now through to their 3rd straight State Cup semi-final. Paddy McCarry said that he was: “very happy with the boys today. They put in a massive shift in very tough conditions against a very physical team. We achieved another clean sheet also, which is a great habit to get into this time of the season.”
The Shamrocks women’s A team had a disappointing draw against league leaders NY Magic at St Michaels. The rocks were excellent in the first half and dominated possession. Chloe Wheeler scored the first goal of the game after perfectly volleying a long ball sent to the back post by Teresa Ferraro. The second goal was an equally as impressive volley – Kelci Hegg took a free quick near the touchline and Mikaela Howell one timed it into the roof of the net. Sitting on a 2-0 lead, the Rocks’ performance slipped in the second half and they let Magic back into the game. Magic scored off a corner kick early in the second half and then equalized in the final minutes to make the final score 2-2. With the draw, CPR move top of the league (28 points) and Magic fall to second (27 points) with the rocks 2 points behind in 3rd. The Shamrocks face CPR this Sunday in a must win match.
In an afternoon game at Randall’s island, the Shamrocks women’s B team put together a solid performance in a 3-0 victory versus Appletown FC. With both teams having just 11, the game was going to be determined by teamwork and effort. The rocks opened up the scoring about midway in the half by an excellent strike from Shannon Hopkins (assisted by Michelle Sabogal). In the second half, the ladies really worked to simplify their play and move the ball around, which lead to the rocks being too much for Astoria FC. Cassey Esposito added a goal to make it 2-0 and then Brandi Daniels made it 3-0 with an assist from Cassey. Keith Perez had the following to say: “The Rocks played well in a game with a limited roster. The players again showed unity in playing positions they normally don’t play. We will look to continue our winning ways next Sunday. Up the rocks!”
The Shamrocks first team advanced to the semi-finals of the Kilby Cup with a comprehensive 8-0 win at Beyond FC in New Jersey on Sunday. Center forward Travis Blair scored four times in a row during a dominant second half performance that saw the Rocks ease past their Division 2 opponents. Dan Giorgi opened the scoring with a penalty scored on the stroke of half-time and Kurt Cameron made it 2-0 with a calmly dispensed close ranger shot early in the second half. After top scorer James Whyte chipped in with the third, Blair went on his spree to make it 7-0 before the best goal of the day rounded out the scoring, Calvin Moyes’ clinical finish from just outside the box. “A great way to respond after a bad result last weekend,” said Kevin Grogan. “We played some good football. Delighted that our new signing Travis Blair scored four.”
The Reserves unfortunately fell 5-1 to New York Athletic Club, which has all the advantages and resources of playing in the top division. It’s a minor setback for Meola’s green and white army, who must now concentrate on claiming victory in the league. The Club is also disappointed that the opportunity of an all-Shamrock final is now off the cards. However, Rock lovers will look to the first team to bring the Kilby Cup to the trophy cabinet, which nowadays is starting to look more like a drinks’ cabinet.
On a weekend of cup games for the five men’s teams, there was disappointment also for the Legends, whose hard fought display in the rain on Randall’s Island was not enough against Manhattan Celtic Bhoys. Playing against a good team of over-30s players, and with the likes of Stevie Doyle and Eddie Gilmartin simply too old to play on rainy days (“I’m too busy watching re-runs of ‘Murder She Wrote,’” said an inflamed Doyle), the Shamrocks fell to a 2-0 loss. Despite having an Andy Connolly stunt double available in the form of Donal Kelly, and with good displays from Richie Brennan, Joe Connolly, Brian Woolywong, Marcus Nascimento and Ryan Thompson, the Shamrocks had to walk away from the rain with only the warmth of their pride to comfort them. “It was a good game, though it was hard to tell what was going on from where I was watching,” stated coach Harvey, who spent the whole rainy night listening to Oasis in Joe Connolly’s car. “It’s a defeat, but we’ll just have to roll with it and take our time, and don’t let anyone get in our way.” Then, in a rather bizarre moment, he shouted: “I am the walrus, coo-coo co-choo.”
There was defeat also for the 1960s, whose bad, bad luck was just further emphasized by a 1-0 loss to NY Ukraine Reserves in a game where the goal chances were about 10-1 in the Rocks favor. It’s been a really hard third season for the 1960s and they now have to concentrate on getting off the bottom of their division. “The entire team played out of their skins,” slurred coach Connolly who was found prostrate on the floor of the Courtyard Bar about 6 hours after the game. When fully recovered by about Wednesday, he further added: “these boys deserve much more than this. I can only blame myself for us not achieving more. These are the best players I’ve played with at the Rocks. I want to give special mention to Braden Ruddy, who did a wonderful job at left back. But now it’s onto Lansdowne on Sunday. No one is going to give us anything. It’s up to us.”