*match reports for weekend of 5/12-5/13/18
The Shamrocks first team pushed national champions Lansdowne close on Saturday night in an entertaining CSL Division 1 Irish Derby that ended 3-1 in favor of the Yonkers side at Tibbetts Brook Park. A brilliant opener in the first half had Lansdowne ahead at the break but the Rocks rallied and deservedly drew level through a scrambled effort from Kurt Cameron. However two late goals denied Kevin Grogan’s men a first win against the Bhoys since promotion and handed the Irish Consulate Cup to Lansdowne for the fourth year running. “Absolutely great effort,” said Grogan “We went toe to toe with them and deserved a point. They pay their players and have some big names in their team. Very proud of the Rocks last night. We worked very hard and had great support from fellow club members. We are very focused on our cup semi-final now on June 3.”
In the battle of the reserves, the Shamrocks showed great determination and character to overcome a 2-0 deficit to claim a draw with only 10 men on the field for the best part of an hour. Following Mick McGreevey’s goal before half-time, the Shamrocks came out roaring in the second half and totally dominated possession against league leaders, Lansdowne. Darren Coleman’s penalty even the game, and a late opportunity from the impressive Larry Slaughter was only kept out by the heroics of the Lansdowne keeper. The point guarantees second spot in the play-off rankings for Meola’s men. The display itself augurs well for the big games ahead, particularly should it go down to a Shamrocks v Lansdowne final.
Andy Connolly’s 1960s suffered yet another setback by losing 3-1 to their perennial bogey team, Gotschee. Despite playing well in the first half and taking the game to well organized and skillful opponents, the Shamrocks conceded two goals from defensive slip-ups. A rally from our metro lads late in the first half saw the score change to 2-1, as Dan Meola showed calm and leadership to slot home a penalty. More Shamrocks’ pressure in the second half was dampened by the awarding of a dubious penalty. At 3-1, Gotschee were hard to break down and constantly threatened themselves on the counter. The loss means things have gone from bleak to abominable for the 1960s in their relegation struggle. However, there’s a Hail Mary of a game coming up this weekend and hope is not all lost for Connolly’s men just yet.
Paddy McCarry’s over-30s fought through their second successive 0-0 game against their divisional main rivals, Manhattan Kickers, at Randall’s Island. The result is a formality as the Shamrocks set their sights on big games ahead in the league play-offs and the State Cup Final. However, the impressive display by the Rocks and their continued demonstration of defensive meanness, especially when added to their flair for scoring, can only further buoy confidence and send a warning to opponents as the big games approach.