There will be an exciting State Cup double header on Sunday morning at St Michaels where the pick of the day’s games will be the quarter-final pairing of the Shamrocks Women and the NY Magic Reserves at 11am.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that NY Magic are a division above the Rocks and both teams are league leaders. The NY Magic are the talented offshoot of a semi-pro outfit competing nationally and will be the sternest test yet for the dominant ‘Girls in Green’ who lead Division B after an impressive run of wins stretching back to September.
“We have a very tough game this Sunday and on paper we will be underdogs,” said coach Paddy Geraghty on Thursday.
“But we believe we are as good as any team in New York so we won’t be afraid of them. We almost have a full strength squad to choose from and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves against the best.”
The Rocks Women have been scoring for fun with 10-0 and 7-0 wins in their last two games. But Geraghty also had special praise for their resilience at the back and strength in depth at midfield.
“Our defense has been solid the last three weeks, conceding only one goal and we have six quality players competing for three spots in midfield. The biggest difference between this season and last is our quality up front. We have six or seven players who can make opportunities for themselves or others and we work hard to win the ball high up the field as we can. Almost half our goals have come from pressuring the opposition into mistakes and capitalizing on it. I
“t’s our first game in Queens this season,” he added. “So hopefully it’ll be a good game and we have plenty of support.”
The second game of this entertaining double bill will see Shamrocks 1960 take on Galicia at 1pm. The Rocks will be confident following on from their impressive 6-0 league victory over Gotham City last Sunday night.
However, Galicia were in an even more free-scoring mood, their 8-1 thrashing of FC Partizani in Metro 2 West sending out a strong message last week. And in September, they were 3-0 winners over Homenetmen, 1960’s opponents in the previous round of the Strumpf Cup.
Due to the uneven number of teams entering, the Rocks are a round behind and Gottschee are already waiting for whoever emerges in what will be a round of 16 game on Sunday December 6.
“The region of Galicia is populated by proud people and has given the world impressive characters like General Francisco Franco,” observed coach Andy Connolly.
“However, we are determined to ensure that the New York team which bears its name will not dictate matters on the field this Sunday.
“We have developed a strong partisan character all of our own over these past few months and hope that our comradeship holds together in this game and the weeks ahead.
“We will mount the parapets and signal the call to arms in the State Cup this week, hoping that the Shamrock banner is unfurled triumphantly in the moment of victory!”
On a day when only three of our six teams are in action, Sunday will kick off with the tie of the round in the Marth Cup’s last 16. Paddy Mc Carry’s Shamrocks Over 30s host Central Park Rangers Grays in Randalls Island 75 at 8am in what is a battle between first and third.
The Shamrocks are missing two of their key men, Alex Berne and Danny Parkin, but Mc Carry has been consistently expressing confidence in bis side’s strength in depth.
“We go into the cup game with another strong panel,” he said. “We will miss Alex and Danny but we have the players to step right in to their spots. The boys want to give the cup a good go this year and having knocked out the Long Island champions in the last round, we are off to good start. But we will have to be on our toes for CPR and I believe strongly we will be.”
CPR Grays have only lost twice and trail the Rocks by seven points. It’s the first of two big games before Thanksgiving for Mc Carry’s men because the other CPR team – the ‘Old Boys’ – will be the opponents in a crucial league showdown between first and second next Sunday.