Five weeks into the new season and fortunes have been mixed for all three teams taking the field for the NY Shamrock Soccer Club.
It was almost a perfect start in WEEK ONE when the First and Reserve teams both secured victories at home in Roosevelt Island over FC Japan while the Over 30s were defeated at home to Manhattan Celtic in Randall’s Island.
The first team’s 2-0 win opened their CSL Division 2 campaign as well as could be imagined. New signing Nikle Guzijan’s 35th minute strike giving the ‘Rocks a 1-0 lead before Sean Riley secured the points after an hour.
In the Reserves game, Shamrock dominated FC Japan 5-1 in a rainy encounter. New central midfielder Keith Cagney opened the scoring with a long range shot that deflected over the goalkeeper.
Centre forward Sean McMullan made it 2-0 after turning on to his right and curling a low shot to the corner. A header from midfielder Ciarán Moloney put the home team 3-0 up midway through the second half after a deep Shawn Duda cross. Japan got one back after the Shamrock defense failed to clear before John Fortney made it 4-1 with a tap-in. McMullan chipped the keeper to round off the scoring in the dying minutes.
The following morning at Randall’s Island, the Division 1 defending champion Shamrock Over-30’s lost to newly promoted Manhattan Celtic Legends.
Celtic went up 1-0 in the first half against a Shamrock Over-30 squad suffering from a few key absentees. Celtic notched another midway through the second half before Steve Keating pulled one back in the 80th minute for the sure-to-improve ‘Rocks.
WEEK TWO was a setback for the club with only the first team securing a point out of the weekend’s clashes.
They drew 2-2 in Crown Heights against Tesoro Brooklyn Knights despite having led twice during the game.
After 10 minutes, a neat finish from Dave Harvey following a good pass from striker Adam Amann had the visitors in front but Tesoro rallied and equalised after 20 minutes.
Sean Riley then netted his second of the season when he rifled home from 25 yards to leave the Rocks 2-1 in front at half time.
Tesoro equalised in the second half 60 mins in when their captain and number 10 picked up a loose ball in midfield and played a one-two with his centre forward before slotting neatly home in the bottom corner.
The Reserves lost 2-1 after a battling performance which was marred by the referee’s refusal to award a goal to the visitors just before the break. Despite the ball hitting the back of the net from a Kevin Farrell shot, it carried on through and the referee awarded a free kick even though the Tesoro players and management were gracious enough to acknowledge that it was a goal.
Things evened out until deep into the second half when Tesoro grabbed a goal on the break. Switching to three at the back, Shamrocks were caught for a second goal but dug in and kept fighting with Keith Cagney getting it back to 2-1 in injury time. Sadly, too little too late.
The depleted Over-30s lost 3-0 to Barnstonworth Rovers.
In WEEK THREE, the Firsts were level with FC Gwardia 1-1 early in the second half at Roosevelt Island when a thunder and lightning storm brought a premature halt to the contest. The visitors went ahead with a penalty in the first half but Adam Amann equalised before the game was abandoned.
Irfan Ladak’s first goal in the Shamrocks colours got the Reserves on the way to their second home win of the season.
Ladak had suffered a worrying looking clash of heads early in the game and not long after he returned to the action, he latched onto a Sean Mc Mullan corner and backheeled the opening goal past the Gwardia keeper.
After soaking up some Gwardia pressure in the second half, Mc Mullan pounced for his third goal of the season with an impressive strike with about ten minutes remaining.
Shamrock Over-30’s suffered their third consecutive loss to the new season away to Tesoro SC. Bingo O’Driscoll got on the board for the ‘Rocks as they went down 3-1.
WEEK FOUR saw the Firsts and Reserves on the road again early on Sunday morning, travelling to Red Hook to take on NY Ukrainian.
The Firsts lost 4-2 having started well against NY Ukrainian only to find themselves a goal down after 15 minutes following a great run and finish by the Ukrainian # 10.
The second Ukrainian goal came by way of a penalty after 30 minutes but Shamrocks fought back after half-time, scoring two unanswered goals. The first was a cooly executed penalty by Matt Partain who had a fine performance in the centre of midfield. The second was a cracker by Jonny Chapman Shamrock’s right full who burst into the box to finish with a deft header.
However, the home team secured the three points with a goal on the break and then another after a badly defended corner.
The Reserves lost 4-0 in the first game while the Over 30s got beaten 4-2 at Guyana Veterans.
WEEK FIVE brought a Saturday evening trip to Randall’s Island for the Rocks and they took away a First Team draw and a Reserves Team win from newcomers Flank United.
The Firsts played out a hard fought draw, squandering a number of gilt-edged opportunities to take the lead. Eventually, Pablo Graham broke the deadlock with a deft chip to beat the keeper having received a fine pass from Sean Steed. Pablo was playing the role of lone striker as five Shamrocks centre forwards were unavailable.
Flank United rallied in the second half and equalized after a mix up from a Shamrocks throw-in allowed a sloppy goal.
The Reserves won 2-0, moving to three wins and two losses for the season. Midway through the first half, Sean Mc Mullan’s cross somehow found the back of the net and after half-time, the visitors took control, finally clinching the points with about 15 minutes to go when Mc Mullan’s deep low cross was drilled home by right midfielder Kevin Farrell.
Meanwhile, the Over 30s drew 3-3 at Barnstonworth Rovers and got their first league point of the season.