- Unbeaten Over 30s taking on Baisley for double glory
- League Cup semi-final for Grogan’s charges
- Reserves face Lansdowne in Irish Derby league semi
- Rocks 1960 ready for Metro 2 championship game
A first State Cup final in over a decade, a championship decider in Metro 2 and a pair of big semi-finals – this weekend will have it all for the NY Shamrocks!
Stevie Doyle’s Shamrocks reserves will kick off an exciting few days for the club with a big Irish Derby league semi-final in Yonkers this evening. The 8pm kick-off at Tibbetts Brook Park will be the first of four big win-or-go-home games for the Rocks with Sunday bringing important showdowns for the first team, the Over 30s and the 1960 team.
The highlight this weekend will of course be that State Cup final. Paddy Mc Carry’s Invincible Over 30s, who completed a historic league-winning season without a single loss, must now shift their focus to Sunday morning’s Marth Cup decider at the Verrazano Sports Complex (kick off 11.50am).
No CSL club has ever won the Fritz Marth Over-30 State Cup, named for one of the league’s legendary administrators.
Long Island side Baisley United will be attempting to put a stop to the Rocks juggernaut having overcome Czechoslovakia in the semi-final. Baisley are also chasing a league and cup double and will take on fellow divisional winners NY Polet on June 19 in an attempt to strip their opponents of the Long Island league title.
The high scoring Caribbean outfit won nine of their 14 league games, notching 52 goals along the way while also getting past Barnstonworth Old Boys, Lindenhurst, Manhattan Kickers Premier, Polonez and then Czechoslovakia to reach the final.
Back in October, the Shamrocks began their campaign with a penalty shoot-out win over NY Polet before taking care of CPR Grays, Westchester Dinamo and New York Greek Americans. But Mc Carry will Be ensuring that his players won’t be be taking Baisley lightly on Sunday.
“It would be a huge honor to be the first CSL team to win this cup,” said Mc Carry this week.
“We have huge respect for the danger they possess and I have spoken to a couple of contacts in Long Island about their two danger men.
“We are very strong throughout the team and this is a very committed bunch of players which is very keen to bring the cup back to Queens on Sunday evening.
“Our starting 11 is the best in the CSL Over 30s Division and our league record proves it – unbeaten with 71 goals and 16 conceded. Billy Hole, our sweeper, is the best defender in league by a mile and our captain Bingo O’Driscoll is as good as he always has been – a true leader that players listen to.
“Alex Berne and John Riordan in center midfield are as fit and as hard a combination in the Over 30s and great headers of the ball. Then add Sean Riley and Tayfun Gokmen upfront. They have scored 41 between them. Add Johnny McGeeney, Peter Hatzer and Stephen Ampeuro, Dom Mc Cartan and our keeper Jay Palmer and we have an excellent side, all top footballers and very fit.
“But most of all, they play for each other. They will leave everything on that field Sunday.
“We do know that Baisley are a good side. It’s not going to be easy Sunday but the way myself and our boys see it, this cup is ours. My 18-man squad is very strong and any one of them can come in and change the game. Paddy Geraghty is very dangerous for us coming off the bench. Once we go ahead, he comes in and controls the game. Myself and (assistant coach) Sean Mc Mullan will have them ready come Sunday.”
The only downside of success is the schedule pile-up and at almost the exact same time on Sunday, the CSL Metro 2 Final will pit the divisional champions against each other as Shamrocks 1960 take on Williamsburg at Randalls Island 70 (kick-off 12pm).
Williamsburg are a formidable opposition and have already beaten the Rocks this season, a 6-0 hammering in the League Cup back in March.
But since Andy Connolly’s men have been able to focus on the league, they have won six of seven on their way to securing the Metro 2 East and Sunday’s showdown with the Brooklyn-based outfit.
Williamsburg have been relentless since March’s 2-2 draw with title rivals Gottschee winning seven in a row to edge out the Greeks in a thrilling run-in.
Connolly has all players available and is looking forward to a chance to the heavy defeat of ten weeks ago.
“They say that revenge is a meal best served cold,” noted the 1960 gaffer. “But, then again, so is ice-cream. Regardless, we will give Williamsburg their just desserts on Sunday. I just don’t know who will clean up the mess afterwards.”
Earlier on Sunday out in Flushing, Queens, the firsts will celebrate their recent Division 1 reprieve with a League Cup semi-final at Division 2 side NYPD-Brishna (Flushing Field 8 – 10am).
After last week’s decision by the CSL-appointed arbiter to forfeit last month’s crucial Polonia victory in what was a key relegation decider, Kevin Grogan can now look forward to a decent shot at silverware for his charges.
In another boost, Darren Freeman is available once again after serving a four-game suspension.
“We will miss our goalkeeper Frankie on Sunday as he had to fly home to Africa for a family emergency,” said Grogan. “We wish him and his family all the best. The rest of the players understand the importance of the game.”
NYPD-Brishna finished eighth in Division 2, 18 points behind champions Zum Schneider who are already through to the League Cup final. They finished their season strongly with two wins and a draw in May.
Before Sunday’s busy slate of important match-ups, tonight’s tussle at Tibbetts Brook Park could well prove to be a cracking tie with both Irish clubs bidding to capitalize on a solid regular season by advancing to the Division 1 reserves championship game.
Lansdowne have dominated the Shamrocks thus far, winning big against Stevie Doyle’s men in December and April. But Doyle can count on a full team tonight and is going into the game full of optimism.
“The lads are really up for this,” said coach Doyle. “We know we’re up against it but we owe them a performance and we owe ourselves a performance too. It’s a cup game now and that will fill our players with confidence. They should go out and enjoy it and try to extend the season to a big final.”