Biggest weekend of the year as Rocks face crucial games



Manhattan Celtic v Shamrocks (Randalls Island 70 – 8pm)
Manhattan Celtic v Shamrocks (Randalls Island 70 – 6pm)


Shamrocks v Gotham (St Michaels – 1pm)
Shamrocks v CPR Old Boys (Randalls Island 75 – 8am)
Barnstonworth v Shamrocks Legends (Bush Terminal Park – 12pm)
NY Shamrocks v Astoria (St Michaels – 11am)

It’s the biggest weekend of the year for the Shamrocks with five important games taking the club into a well earned Thanksgiving break. 

Kevin Grogan and his players face a tough task in the Irish Derby at Randalls Island on Saturday night where Manhattan Celtic will be formidable opponents for the Rocks (kick off 8pm). 

Likely to be without solid center back Tom Manz, the first team was strengthened this week with the signing of talented midfielder Nick Zorbo, brother of Joey. 

Manhattan Celtic are just five points behind the Shamrocks following three league games in a row in which they have failed to win. However they pushed champions Lansdowne hard in late October and will be favorites at home against the Rocks.

“It’s the biggest game of the season against a quality Manhattan Celtic side,” said Grogan. “We will certainly miss Tommy Manz as he will most likely be out. I’m hoping though that (striker) Ateba (Morgan) can be back available.

“We are learning all the time and we will be prepared for this game. We are delighted with our long awaited new signing of Nick Zorbo.”

In the curtain raiser, the third placed Rocks reserves will be hoping to bounce back after a bruising loss at home to NYAC two weeks ago. 

The hosts are six points back, without a win since the start of October, but Stevie Doyle will be taking no chances against their counterparts in what will be a 6pm kick-off.

“We need to win to make sure we stay in touch with Lanadowne and NYAC,” said Doyle. “But these will be tough opponents so I’ll be making sure our players go into Saturday ready for a battle.”

Sunday’s action begins with the game of the week in the Over 30s Division when Paddy Mc Carry’s Shamrocks host CPR Old Boys at Randalls Island 75 at 8am.

The two teams are effectively neck and neck with second placed CPR only three points behind the champions but with a game in hand, ensuring that this is a must win for the Rocks.

“Sunday is without a doubt the biggest game of season so far,” said Mc Carry. 

“We set goals at the start of season to be top of league and in the last eight of the State Cup by the time we got to December. We have taken care of the State Cup part and if we win Sunday, we will be top of the league going into the winter break. 

“We have player of the year Alex Berne and Danny Parkin back for Sunday. The only starter missing is Andy Horan so we have a very strong team out. The boys want the three points and so do I but CPR will be a very tough test but one I believe we will pass.”

The Metro 2 game between Shamrocks and Gotham is also a top-of-the-table clash with the Rocks looking to leapfrog their visitors into second place (St Michaels – 1pm).

Gotham had been enjoying a five-game winning streak in the league prior to their last game against Beyond which ended in a draw. Rocks 1960, meanwhile, have won three from three in all competitions in November and will be bidding to keep that good run going. 

Once again, the Rocks Women are the curtain raiser at St Michaels, their final game of 2015 and a special one at that: the Division B Cup semi-final.

Astoria will be the visitors for the 11am kick-off and coach Paddy Geraghty is hoping the Division B league leaders will continue their good form in spite of last week’s courageous defeat against NY Magic.

“We have the biggest game of the season on Sunday,” Geraghty pointed out.  

“It’s a chance to make it to a cup final which would be a huge achievement. We have a few players out of town and one or two carrying knocks so it’s a chance for others to step up. We had our best training session of the season on Tuesday and it shows me that we’re ready to put last week behind us and give it our best shot.”

Meanwhile, the Legends will be in Brooklyn for a 12pm kick off at Barnstonworth (Bush Terminal Park) where they welcome back some key players from injury. 

“We’re looking forward to this one on Sunday on the back of a good win in the previous game,” said coach Emmett Harvey. “We have a couple of players ready to return to action and we have a large squad to choose from which is a big boost going into an important game.”

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