The New York Shamrock opening weekend of CSL games was met with excitement, anticipation and heartfelt emotion. Each match was lead by a moment of silence for recently lost Shamrock, Pierre-Alexandre Meloty-Kapella. A popular teammate, Pierre was a vital part of the first team that earned the Rocks promotion back into the Division 1 in 2015. His play on the pitch could only be outdone by his smile and infectious personality. A great player as well as a great friend, he will be deeply missed by the Shamrock Family, but remembered by all.
NY Shamrock SC – Reserve
NY Shamrock SC – First
In the early kickoff, Paddy McCarry’s Over 30’s earned a hard fought 3-2 Irish Derby win over Manhattan Celtic at Randall’s Island. “We made it a lot harder on ourselves than it had to be”, said Coach McCarry. After only a minute into the contest, the Rocks found themselves a goal behind from a defensive mix up inside the box. Looking for a swift response, Sean Riley was fouled just outside the area. Johhny McGeeney’s ensuing free kick was curled around the wall and into the bottom corner. Later in the first half, Neil Doran took a quick free kick to release McGeeney, who again found the back of the next. In the second half, McGeeney completed his hat trick when was taken down in the box and converted the following spot kick. A nervy end to the game was ensured when Celtic dispatched a penalty of their own with 10 minutes remaining. Concluded McCarry, “We dug deep to hold on for the three points. We had six new players make their debut today and they all did well. Once we get going, we will be fine. I believe this is the best squad Sean and I have ever put together.”
In the second Irish Derby to be played that morning, Shamrock 1960 visited Lansdowne Bhoys in Metro 1. An opening 45 minutes of dominance did not bring a goal for Andy Connolly’s men, who would have considered themselves unlucky not to be ahead at the interval. A goal line clearance on a Ciaran Moloney effort keeping the score line level at the break. Two second half goals against the run of play sealed a victory for the Bhoys, despite ongoing Shamrock pressure. Quoting England’s World Cup winning Captain Sir Bobby Moore, Connolly said, “I’m as sick as a parrot with our result over the weekend. However, there were some good performances and a strong team effort. Sean Glynn deserves special praise for his outstanding impersonation of a young Ciaran Moloney. Sean’s a strong and skilled competitor, and his example to everyone else on the day was inspiring.”
The First and Reserves took the trip up to New Rochelle to face NYAC at Travers Island. In the early kickoff, each team came close to scoring but neither could take advantage in an evenly played first 45 minutes. Joey Aronovsky and Alex Wasilewski coming closest to opening the scoring for the Rocks. At halftime, the introduction of Andrew Scott paid off with 10 minutes of the restart. With the Rocks pressuring NYAC in their own half, Scott forced a turnover which fell kindly to Wasilewski in the box. After cutting inside numerous defenders, the striker turned the ball home to hand the Rocks a 1-0 lead. After constant pressure from the home side, Conner Lachenbruch doubled the advantage. A quick free kick from Captain Rob Gaynor found Lachenbruch in space, with the midfielder arrowing a shot into the top corner from nearly 30 yards out. More pressure came in waves from NYAC, but defensive effort and the goalkeeping prowess of Kieran McGovern ensured the Shamrocks opened their season with a clean sheet and all three points. “The first half was difficult and very emotional for everyone, but in the second half, we played with confidence, rhythm, and stepped up to get the three points” said Coach Dan Meola.
A quick start was not enough for Kevin Grogan’s First Team, who welcomed numerous Shamrock debuts on the afternoon. New boy James Whyte scored twice in his first match for the club, with both goals coming in the first half. Whyte scored his first on a brilliant free kick after 25 minutes, set up by a foul on new signing Kurt Cameron. Kwesi Mills-Odoi then earned himself an assist, as he crossed for Whyte to turn home the second goal just before the half. But a much improved NYAC team hit back immediately to make it 2-1 at half time. The home side then seized on some uncharacteristic defensive mistakes to seal the win with a flurry of three second half goals. Coach Grogan explained, “Today was an exercise in integrating new players into the squad and team. We were impressed with NYAC. They will be a big threat this season in the league. We will get better each week once our new players settle into the squad.”
The women’s A time had a tough fight against the Celtic Aces. Coach Geraghty summed it up, “we were very lucky against Celtic on Sunday. They outplayed us and had the better chances. Hopefully it was a wakeup call for the players and we can improve in our next game. One positive was not conceding a goal so we can build off that and hopefully put away a few chances this week to get our season up and running.”
The women’s b team came out in the season opener and delivered a 2-1 victory with a solid team effort. They had a number new players and coming off the summer break, still managed to work together as a team to pull off a well earn win. “I’m looking forward to a successful campaign for the lady rocks.” said Coach Keith Perez.
The Shamrock Legends were last to take the field when they took on CPR late Sunday evening. Entering the season on an 8 match unbeaten League run, the Legends were poised to pick up where they left off. wanted to continue where they left off. The battling John Riordan had the Rocks 1-0 up in the first half with a well taken goal. CPR grew into the game as time ticked on, when a tough decision by the referee award the home side a penalty. CPR converted from the spot, setting up an intense final 20 minutes for both teams. The Rocks looked to have secured all three pints after a brilliant goal by Patrick Geraghty gave them a well deserved 2-1 advantage, but with what proved to be the last kick of the game, a CPR free kick found its way into the back of the net for a 2-2 draw. Coach Emmett Harvey lamented, “Even though we finished with a point, it feels like two points dropped, but we can’t be disappointed and we will move on to the next game. Every one of the guys always give 100% and that’s all we can ask for.”