The Shamrocks emerged victorious from the long winter hibernation on Sunday with important league victories recorded for the men’s firsts and reserves, as well as the over-30s. On a day that saw unfortunate cancelations for the newly oiled 1960s and cod liver oiled Legends, there were some decent performances on the pitch that can only bode well for the second half of the season.
A James Whyte hat trick helped the Shamrocks first team beat Zum Schneider 4-1 at Randall’s Island on Sunday. The team’s top scorer broke the deadlock with a 55th minute free kick to settle the nerves of the dominant Rocks. Kwesi Mills-Odoi finished brilliantly to make it 2-0 after an Abou Kaba assist. Though Zum struck back after a 66th minute corner was headed home, the Shamrocks’ reaction was immediate in the form of a darting left-foot finish from Whyte. The Scotsman then rounded out his hat trick after bravely beating the keeper and slotting home to the unguarded net to seal victory. “That was a vital win.” said Kevin Grogan. “We were average on the ball, but we were very disciplined defensively – our full back Dan Giorgi was man of the match. James scored three great goals and Kwesi came off the bench and delivered for us.”
In the battle of the reserves, the Shamrocks beat Zum Schneider 2-0. Dan Meola’s first-season luck appears to be developing all the traits of actual coaching genius. His half-time decision to “go three at the back boys” helped to turn a frustrating goalless game into a comfortable victory for the Rocks. With goals scored by Joey Aronovsky and Gil Christenberry, the reserves were well served once more by a defensive work rate that has produced seven clean sheets from the last ten games. Meola, for once, was speechless in the aftermath of the win.
The Shamrocks over-30s took advantage of their fixture to resume top spot in the Over-30 Division East rankings. In a 5-3 victory over Megas Alexandros, goals were supplied by Shane Moore, Johnny McGeeney (2), and man of the match, Johnny Keogh (2). The best highlights of Shamrock play came in the last 30 minutes of the first half, which were distinguished by an astounding solo goal by McGeeney. Ever desirous of greater effort and deeply vigilant about the challenges that lay ahead, the esteemed Paddy McCarry remarked after the match: “we were very rusty after the break and made too many mistakes. But we got the three points and a major improvement is needed going forward.”