*Shamrocks match reports, 5/19-5/20
The Shamrocks first team rounded out their CSL Division 1 campaign with a 3-1 loss to Manhattan Kickers on Saturday night. Dan Giorgi struck another penalty but the struggling Kickers kept their hopes alive of staying up in Division 1 with an impressive display. “It was a chance to look at a few players in different positions and give some players minutes,” said Kevin Grogan. “Not a great performance but we learned a lot about certain people and their commitment to the club. We are excited for our upcoming League Cup semi-final game and will be well prepared.”
Despite having secured a playoff berth, the reserves still needed a win to lock up second place. On a foggy, damp night, the Shamrocks battled through an up and down encounter to come out on top of a 3-2 scoreline against Manhattan Kickers. The impressive Junior Elleston scored two and set up the third for George Lara. After taking the lead, a resolute defensive display in difficult conditions helped the Rocks over the line. The victory, hard wrought considering the number of player absences on the night, ensured that the Shamrocks reserves ended the regular league fixture list as second in the division. Full plaudits go to rookie coach, Dan Meola and his gang of hardworking lads.
The over 30s saw off their regular season with a 3-2 victory over CPR Grays. Despite fielding a largely weakened side, McCarry’s men showed their strength in depth to recover from a 2-1 deficit to take all three points. Johnny McGeeney scored the Rocks first with his 23rd goal of the season and Dominick McCartan grabbed the winner, with an own goal by the opponents wedged between both of the aforementioned strikes. McCarry was very happy with a result that maintained an unbeaten spring run for the over 30s: “I have said from day one that this is an excellent side and if we play the way we can we will be very hard to beat. We finished the regular season with 12 wins, 3 draws and just 1 loss. Pretty good season so far.”
No lead was safe this season for the 1960’s and it showed again with a thrilling 4-4 draw against the Iranians. The Rocks took a commanding 3-0 lead early in the first half through goals from Danny Meola, Joe Flynn and Joe Connolly. However, the Iranians answered back through a long range free kick and a converted penalty. With the wind in their sails and in their faces, the Iranians tied the game early in second half after some miscommunication in the Rocks defense from a ball over the top. The Rocks kept pounding though and it was Leitrim man Hugo McGowan who gave them a deserved lead with a deft finish after some nice build up play through midfield. Needing the cushion of a fifth goal the Rocks kept pressing but it wasn’t to be as the Iranians drew level once again (I can’t remember how). Victory would’ve rendered moot as in the late kick-off, a Dana Dimon ninetieth minute OG gave Deportivo La Corona a 1-0 win over Gotham Argo which condemned the 1960’s to Metro 2 football next season.
The Shamrocks Legends were caught off guard by an early summer sun that left the likes of Justin Stanford pining for the sodden wet of dreary old Dublin, and which had Eddie Gilmartin agitated to a new level of crazed excitement. Despite the sultry conditions, however, the Rocks performed well and were totally undeserving of a 1-0 loss against a beatable CPR side. “I could do with a bit of CPR myself after those exertions,” bemoaned coach Emmett Harvey. “It was grueling out there and I think it was unfair of the ref to not allow me to use my umbrella. However, both teams had to face the same conditions and …” At this moment, Harvey passed out and, despite Eoin Sweeney’s efforts to revive him with smelling salts, we were unable to get the rest of the statement.