It was a tough night for the Shamrocks first team who succumbed to a 2-1 defeat
against the Pancyprians in spite of a bright start and a battling second half performance
at Randall’s #74 on Saturday night. For the second time in just over a month,
Pancyprians fell behind to an impressive Abou Kaba goal but this time a brilliant counter
attacking display edged it for the men in blue.
“We worked extremely hard, said Kevin Grogan. “We had our fair share of chances but
didn’t finish on the night. Very proud of the effort. We regroup and move onto a massive
game against Doxa this weekend.”
In the warm-up to the main feature, the Shamrocks reserves had to face plenty of chills
on an unforgivingly cold night on Randall’s. Despite the inclement conditions, the
distracting lure of being kissed for being Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and the fact that they
had only one day’s rest from Thursday night’s cup game, Meola’s merry men put on
another fine display to see off Pancyprians’ reserves with a 4-1 win.
The Pancyprians faced a slaughter, quite literally, with goals from Larry Slaughter on
either side of the half. The reserves spent little time dwelling on a Pancyprian rally in the
second half by responding quickly to a fortunate visitors’ goal with two more of their
own. The ever incisive Joey Aronovsky added to his season’s tally, while Junior Elleston
contributed with his first for the Rocks. This win keeps pressure on Lansdowne Bhoys,
who will be harried and chased for the top spot by the Rocks in the weeks to come.
The pressure of holding up the rest of the league appears to have caused some cracks
(and little craic) in the usually indomnitable spirit of the 1960s. With a large part of Andy
Connolly’s squad absent due to a temporary outburst of collective hysteria, the
remaining players assembled defiantly on Sunday to earn a draw that takes them off the
bottom of the table. Playing against a strong wind in a first half that they dominated, the
Shamrocks were unlucky to go in 1-0 at half-time following a sloppy goal for visitors,
NYC Metro Stars.
With the wind in their sails and the windy verbosity of Connolly ringing in their ears, the
1960s took the game right to their opponents at the re-start. However, an early second
half goal from Junior Elleston was not matched by further scores, despite a number of
good chances being provided by wonderful deep passes from the likes of Eamon
Fitzgerald and Amar Daved. Nevertheless, the draw is a positive result and will be
something to build on for the 1960s as they face the fight of their lives in the second half
of the season.
“I heard of drowning the shamrock on St. Patrick’s day, but trying to drown your fellow
Shamrocks by not turning up for a game is not on,” said a highly irate Connolly in
response to players who abandoned their obligations for other ports of call. “I’m very
proud of those who were there. They played like real men, every last one of them.
Braden, who had a bad cold, showed just why he’s been with this club for so long, while
Mick, aged 36 and who has knees made of glass, was a wee terrier once more. Ryan
McKinley was a monster in goals, Amar was just a pleasure to watch as usual, Anthony
was a leader in defence, Joe Connolly worked his socks off, and Dan did his usual
terror-attacks on the opponents’ defense. Eamon, our man of the match, was an all-
round giant. I want to be around players like these every week.”