*match reports for weekend of 4/14 and 4/15
Paddy McCarry’s Shamrocks’ Over 30s took another important step in their path to success this season by beating Port Jefferson 1-0. The trip out to Long Island was made all the more arduous by windy conditions. In a hard fought game, it was the Rocks who found their port in the storm through the reliable Bingo, who slotted home a 50 minute penalty that was awarded when Mark Finn’s certain goal was stopped by a handball on the gal line. The Over 30s are now through to their 3rd straight State Cup semi-final. Paddy McCarry said that he was: “very happy with the boys today. They put in a massive shift in very tough conditions against a very physical team. We achieved another clean sheet also, which is a great habit to get into this time of the season.”
The Shamrocks women’s A team had a disappointing draw against league leaders NY Magic at St Michaels. The rocks were excellent in the first half and dominated possession. Chloe Wheeler scored the first goal of the game after perfectly volleying a long ball sent to the back post by Teresa Ferraro. The second goal was an equally as impressive volley – Kelci Hegg took a free quick near the touchline and Mikaela Howell one timed it into the roof of the net. Sitting on a 2-0 lead, the Rocks’ performance slipped in the second half and they let Magic back into the game. Magic scored off a corner kick early in the second half and then equalized in the final minutes to make the final score 2-2. With the draw, CPR move top of the league (28 points) and Magic fall to second (27 points) with the rocks 2 points behind in 3rd. The Shamrocks face CPR this Sunday in a must win match.
In an afternoon game at Randall’s island, the Shamrocks women’s B team put together a solid performance in a 3-0 victory versus Appletown FC. With both teams having just 11, the game was going to be determined by teamwork and effort. The rocks opened up the scoring about midway in the half by an excellent strike from Shannon Hopkins (assisted by Michelle Sabogal). In the second half, the ladies really worked to simplify their play and move the ball around, which lead to the rocks being too much for Astoria FC. Cassey Esposito added a goal to make it 2-0 and then Brandi Daniels made it 3-0 with an assist from Cassey. Keith Perez had the following to say: “The Rocks played well in a game with a limited roster. The players again showed unity in playing positions they normally don’t play. We will look to continue our winning ways next Sunday. Up the rocks!”
The Shamrocks first team advanced to the semi-finals of the Kilby Cup with a comprehensive 8-0 win at Beyond FC in New Jersey on Sunday. Center forward Travis Blair scored four times in a row during a dominant second half performance that saw the Rocks ease past their Division 2 opponents. Dan Giorgi opened the scoring with a penalty scored on the stroke of half-time and Kurt Cameron made it 2-0 with a calmly dispensed close ranger shot early in the second half. After top scorer James Whyte chipped in with the third, Blair went on his spree to make it 7-0 before the best goal of the day rounded out the scoring, Calvin Moyes’ clinical finish from just outside the box. “A great way to respond after a bad result last weekend,” said Kevin Grogan. “We played some good football. Delighted that our new signing Travis Blair scored four.”
The Reserves unfortunately fell 5-1 to New York Athletic Club, which has all the advantages and resources of playing in the top division. It’s a minor setback for Meola’s green and white army, who must now concentrate on claiming victory in the league. The Club is also disappointed that the opportunity of an all-Shamrock final is now off the cards. However, Rock lovers will look to the first team to bring the Kilby Cup to the trophy cabinet, which nowadays is starting to look more like a drinks’ cabinet.
On a weekend of cup games for the five men’s teams, there was disappointment also for the Legends, whose hard fought display in the rain on Randall’s Island was not enough against Manhattan Celtic Bhoys. Playing against a good team of over-30s players, and with the likes of Stevie Doyle and Eddie Gilmartin simply too old to play on rainy days (“I’m too busy watching re-runs of ‘Murder She Wrote,’” said an inflamed Doyle), the Shamrocks fell to a 2-0 loss. Despite having an Andy Connolly stunt double available in the form of Donal Kelly, and with good displays from Richie Brennan, Joe Connolly, Brian Woolywong, Marcus Nascimento and Ryan Thompson, the Shamrocks had to walk away from the rain with only the warmth of their pride to comfort them. “It was a good game, though it was hard to tell what was going on from where I was watching,” stated coach Harvey, who spent the whole rainy night listening to Oasis in Joe Connolly’s car. “It’s a defeat, but we’ll just have to roll with it and take our time, and don’t let anyone get in our way.” Then, in a rather bizarre moment, he shouted: “I am the walrus, coo-coo co-choo.”
There was defeat also for the 1960s, whose bad, bad luck was just further emphasized by a 1-0 loss to NY Ukraine Reserves in a game where the goal chances were about 10-1 in the Rocks favor. It’s been a really hard third season for the 1960s and they now have to concentrate on getting off the bottom of their division. “The entire team played out of their skins,” slurred coach Connolly who was found prostrate on the floor of the Courtyard Bar about 6 hours after the game. When fully recovered by about Wednesday, he further added: “these boys deserve much more than this. I can only blame myself for us not achieving more. These are the best players I’ve played with at the Rocks. I want to give special mention to Braden Ruddy, who did a wonderful job at left back. But now it’s onto Lansdowne on Sunday. No one is going to give us anything. It’s up to us.”