Irish derby showdown – Rocks and Rovers up for the Cup

  • Shamrocks President: all welcome for “biggest club day in years”
  • Grogan’s squad relishing State Cup Irish Derby
  • Battle of league champions in Over 30s cup
  • Women’s team bid to extend winning streak

Poster State Cup game

NY Irish Rovers v Shamrocks (St Michaels – 1pm)
D’ARPINO CUP (Reserves)
Shamrocks v NY Irish Rovers (St Michaels – 11am)
STRUMPF CUP (Metro 1 & 2)
Homenetmen of NY v Shamrocks 1960 (Randalls 74 – 6pm)
MARTH CUP (Over 30s)
NY Polet v Shamrocks (Adelphi Motamed Field in Garden City – 9am)
Nieuw Amsterdam v Shamrocks Legends (Pier 40 – 7.30pm)
Appletown v Shamrocks (New Utrecht – 3.30pm)

Shamrocks President Sean Mc Mullan has described Sunday’s State Cup Irish Derby as potentially the biggest day for the club in years.

“We want to see as many new and old Rocks at St Michael’s on Sunday as possible,” said Mc Mullan.

“This will be a great occasion for our club and we will extend the Irish Rovers a big welcome. But we are hoping for two wins and we really hope that we get as much support as we can.”

Shamrocks coach Kevin Grogan praised the great tradition of the Rovers ahead of this highly anticipated State Cup clash.

Kevin Grogan (left) and his assistant Stevie Doyle will be hoping for two big wins over the Irish Rovers on Sunday. Picture: Dennis Schneider

Kevin Grogan (left) and his assistant Stevie Doyle will be hoping for two big wins over the Irish Rovers on Sunday. Picture: Dennis Schneider

The Irish derby between the Rocks and the Rovers hasn’t happened at the top level for several seasons and Grogan added that there was no better way to pair the two clubs than the Eastern New York State Cup.

For Grogan’s squad, it represents a good opportunity to bounce back from last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Westchester but also a welcome break from the league campaign.

“It’s great for my players to be involved in a cup tie like this,” Grogan told “These are two great organizations with a big rivalry stemming back several years.

“I’m well aware of the great work Mark Hopper and Paul McGlynn did at the Irish Rovers many years ago and now the relentless work Willie Dempsey does.”

Laurie Child will be rested after last week’s head injury while work commitments mean Franck Tsasse will be replaced in goal by new signing Gavin Joyce.

Franck Tsasse will miss Sunday's game due to work commitments. Picture Dennis Schneider

Franck Tsasse will miss Sunday’s game due to work commitments. Picture Dennis Schneider

Monaghan native Darren Freeman has also signed on for the Rocks this week, a player that will strengthen the Rocks attack.

“We will be treating this game in a very meticulous way. I’ve detailed their squad and we will have a very clear game plan. We have a few injuries but of course that allows other players to slot in and prove their worth.

“I’m very respectful of history and this game is full of history. The Shamrocks players will be made well aware of the importance of this game from a historical point of view.”

While the first team clash is technically an away game for the Rocks, the double bill was an accommodation brought about by the fact that the reserves drew Rovers at home in the D’Arpino Cup.

Reserves coach Stevie Doyle is hopeful of having a few key players return to his line-up after last week’s bruising 5-1 loss to Westchester.

“This is a good way to put that result behind us,” said Doyle. “We’ll have Darren Coleman back but unfortunately we still have a few injuries. We’ll be missing Timmy Fetherston, Jonny Hayes and Colum Mc Comish who broke his foot last Sunday.

Darren Coleman returns to the reserves forward line on Sunday.

Darren Coleman returns to the reserves forward line on Sunday.

“We want to win this one and set up the day nicely for our first team. That will be the focus and we’ll just go out and enjoy the occasion.”

Meanwhile, in the Strumpf Cup for Metro 1 and 2 teams, Homenetmen of NY will host Shamrocks 1960 at Randall’s Island 74 on Sunday evening at 6pm.

After a bye week in the league, Andy Connolly’s team remain tied for the league lead with Gotham City in Metro 2 East. Homenetmen are mired towards the bottom of Metro 2 West with just one win from four games.

“We won’t be underestimating them at all,” Connolly pointed out. “I would have preferred to have had a league game last week to keep us developing but it wasn’t to be. We’ll just have to make sure we are prepared properly to get back into the swing of things.”

The Shamrocks will have two teams in the Marth Cup for Over 30s teams for the first time ever.

And the tie of the round is surely the clash of champions in Garden City where Paddy Mc Carry’s men will visit Long Island league winners NY Polet (Adelphi University – Motamed Field – 9am).

The unbeaten Over 30s are injury free but Mc Carry will be leaving nothing to chance.

“This is a massive game for us,” he insisted. “City champs against the Long Island champs. We are in good form and will have a strong panel to pick from we are going out there to win it.

“It won’t be easy but we have players capable of beating anyone. I’m expecting an intense battle for the whole game.”

Later Sunday, the Shamrocks Legends will embark on their first ever State Cup campaign, facing Over 30s outfit Nieuw Amsterdam in Pier 40 at 7.30pm.

“We are looking forward to this game especially after putting in a really good performance last week,” said coach Emmett Harvey.

“This will be the Legends first State Cup game and hopefully we can go on a good cup run.”

Elsewhere, in the women’s State Cup, the Shamrocks will visit Appletown (New Utrecht – 3.30pm), hoping to extend their winning streak to five games, a run of victories that actually began in September with a 3-0 win over Sunday’s opponents.

“We are looking to continue our good form against Appletown on Sunday,” said coach Paddy Geraghty. “They have conceded the least amount of goals in our division so we’ll have to work hard to get the win.”