- League leading Pancyprians welcome Shamrocks to St John’s
- Rocks 1960 visit Brooklyn for crucial Metro 2 showdown
- Over 30s bidding to dent Dinamo’s surge
- Double header at St Michaels for Women and Legends
League leaders and 2015 runners-up Pancyprian Freedoms will host the Shamrocks weekend at at Belson Stadium on Sunday in what is sure to be a difficult away trip for Kevin Grogan’s men (kick-off 2pm).
With the final series of games in the first round of CSL Division 1 games set to determine the Spring schedule, Rocks coach Grogan will be keeping one eye on fixtures elsewhere this weekend.
In order for the Rocks to stay in fourth place, they’ll need a win Sunday against Pancyprian Freedoms or they can also maintain that position if United FC lose at home to Lansdowne Bhoys and Manhattan Celtic drop points at Westchester Eagles.
The second round of games will last just six games and will be scheduled according to how teams did in their first 10 games. A fourth place finish would mean the Shamrocks taking on the teams in the following spots: first, second, third, eighth, ninth and tenth.
“This is a big game against a big club,” said Kevin Grogan. “The Pancyprians are undefeated this season and are a powerhouse of the league. It will be a great barometer for where we are as a squad.”
The reserves curtain raiser will be a chance for the Rocks to right the ship after last week’s bruising League Cup loss at the Greek Americans’ first team (kick-off 12pm) .
“We are looking for a big response this week,” said Doyle. “We need three points to stay in contention with the top two. We have a very talented squad and we are looking to focus on a run to push for the league with a win this Sunday.”
Meanwhile, the Over 30s Division leading Shamrocks have a tough game at Westchester Dinamo on Sunday evening (Randall’s Island 85 – 5pm) as they embark on an exciting six-game run-in to the culmination of the season.
Dinamo have one six games in a row in the league and will be keen to narrow the nine-point gap between them and Paddy Mc Carry’s men.
“We had a brilliant first half of the season, winning all our games in both the league and the State Cup baring a 1-1 tie in the Irish derby,” said Mc Carry.
“But that will mean nothing if we don’t go on and finish the job. Both of the CPR teams are pushing us all the way and Dinamo are still not out of it which makes our first game against them huge. Of course, we can only take it one game at a time and see were it leads. We have added a few players to the squad and we are delighted to have Johnny McGeeney join us.
“I’d be lying if I said I did not want to win the State Cup. I would love to get our hands on that trophy. We will be doing everything in our power to win every game that’s left. i have the players to do it and they play extremely hard for me and their team mates. They are a credit to our club.”
Metro 2 leading Shamrocks 1960 will also be looking to recover momentum after a tough defeat in the League Cup when they visit AO Brooklyn at Abraham Lincoln High School on Sunday at 2pm.
Andy Connolly’s men are five points ahead of their third-placed opponents and will be keen to win in order to maintain their two-point lead over Gotham City. A 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture back in October will also be fresh in the minds of the players.
“We suffered a deadly blow last week,” said Connolly. “But like Lazarus, we will arise this Sunday and walk in the path of divine glory. Of course, sandals are not permitted by the ref. But I hope our players realize that and don’t take the metaphor too literally. Basically, we’ll bounce back, get them early doors, and let them know we’re there. If we get a chance around the box, we’ll have a ping and test the keeper.”
In the Over 36 Division, the Shamrocks Legends will host Barnstonworth Rovers at St Michael’s for a 3pm kick-off as Emmett Harvey’s men bid to start climbing up the table.
“We are really looking forward to Sunday,” said Harvey. “We are playing at home and with some players returning from injury we should have a very strong squad. If we play the way we did last Sunday against Hoboken the results should go our way.”
Elsewhere, in the Metropolitan Women’s Soccer League, the Shamrocks will host Appletown (St Michael’s – 1pm)
With seven league wins and one loss, Paddy Geraghty’s charges are two points ahead of Sirens and six points ahead of Appletown, making this a must-win-game for the Girls in Green.
“We had a great performance last week and we are looking for more of the same on Sunday,” Geraghty noted. “Our defense has been outstanding lately and we worked on creating chances for two hours in training on Tuesday so hopefully it’ll pay dividends this week.”