Dana and “all kinds of everything” sink the 1960’s

*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.

1960s Continue to Struggle

*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.

Chef is Chief among McCarry’s Warriors

Paddy McCarry’s over-30s are into another State Cup Final after they braved their way through a difficult semi-final fixture with Long Island Gaels. With the Gaels playing to strengths that rely somewhat on the awful conditions of a desperate home pitch, the Shamrocks faced a real tough slog throughout the 90 miutes. The game ended 0-0 and the match was then decided on the nail-biting drama of penalties. Thankfully for the Rocks, they had the great Sean McMullen in goals. While there were three penalty misses from a Shamrock team that ordinarily scores for fun, McMullen pulled off a heroic show all of his own by saving four of Gael’s penalties. A top scorer and player of the season for the Shamrocks reserves only a few years back, McMullen’s goalkeeping is also outstanding and his performnace in this game only underlines that fact. McCarry had the following to say: “Sean was the hero of the night and Neil Doran was not far behind in his contributions as center-half during the tough 90 minutes of play. To say I am proud of all these over-30s lads is an understatement. They deserve to be in the final and we had to beat some of the best over-30s teams to get there. It’s a privilege to be the manager of these boys and I’m looking forward to the final on June 3rd against Germina.”

The Shamrocks first team’s play-off chances ended on Sunday night after a hard fought 3-1 loss to the league champions Greek Americans at the Met Oval. Daniel Massey scored twice to punish two mistakes at the back to send the Greeks 2-0 up and the the home side extended their lead with an Andrew Weiner header. The Irish club was rewarded a penalty three minutes after the restart when Mani Walcott brought Aboubacar Kaba down in the box. Giorgi converted the spot kick, picking the lower right hand corner. Kevin Grogan’s men fought valiantly for a second but came up short on a tough night. “Bottom line is we made three mistakes and we didn’t finish our chances,” said Grogan. “I felt we did much better in the second half and got the better of them but we need to be more clinical around the box. We have a massive cup semi-final on June 3rd and we will use the next 2 league games to prepare for that game.”

In the reserve fixture, the Shamrocks let slip a 2-0 lead to allow NY Greek Americans to rescue a 2-2 draw. The Shamrocks took the lead with first-half goals from Brendan Lane and Gil Christensen, who took his finish with an impressive 25 yard strike. Despite remaining 2-0 and dominating by the hour mark, the Rocks allowed their opponents back into the game. Indeed, Meola’s men only avoided defeat when keeper, Kieran McGovern, made up for a personal error that lead to a late penalty for the Greeks by making a superb save from the ensuing spot-kick. The reserves remain strong in second place behind Lansdowne and will hope to build on this strong showing in the lead-up to the all important league play-offs.

The 1960s continue to have little luck in their ongoing scrap at the bottom of Metro 1. In a game that saw the Rocks lead in credible goal chances by about 10-2, Connolly’s men ultimately lost out 2-1 to a highly decent Mr Dennehy’s side. The Shamrocks took a very early lead through a composed finish by Eamon FitzGerald from a penalty, awarded after Dan Meola was taken down by the opponent’s goalkeeper. However, denehy’s scored on both sides of the half and, espite relentless pressure, the 1960s were just unable to find a response. There were strong performances across the field, especially from the likes of James Horan, Athony Carrabotta, Calvin Moyes, and Mick McAnea. Most impressive for the Shamrocks was Amar Daved, who, along with Joe Flynn, pulled the strings in midfield and helped to create a number of good chances.

The leggy Legends continued their impressive, spiked-Bovril-fueled form with an impressive 3-1 victory over Manhattan Celtic. Despite the absence of coaches Emmett Harvey and Eoin Sweeney, who were both spotted skipping down Broadway with shopping bags on their arms and a melodic tune in their throats, the Shamrocks were self-governing in the tidiness of their play and the steel of the team’s efforts. Andy Connolly, as usual, was a constant nuisance at both ends of the pitch, so opponents and teammates did well to ignore his aimless runs, fumbles on the ball, and yelping cries. The Shamrocks took a deserved first-half lead through a cheekily deft finish from the outside of the right boot of Ryan Thompson. Despite the constant pressure from the home side, whose opportunities flowed through the triumvirate of Gilmartin, Doyle, and Riordan in midfield, it wasn’t until 10 minutes into the second half that the Shamrocks advanced their lead. This time the finish came from the head of Connolly, who, in trying to run away from the ball, accidentally met it square on. Connolly’s cry of “ouch that hurts” was barely audible amid the din of praise and cheering from his teammates. The Rocks third goal was an impressive finish from Marcus Nasciemento. Finally, Connolly got his chance to leave an indelible mark on the game when he took advantage of a defensive mistake to help set the opponents up with a late consolation. The Shamrocks were not to be deterred, however, and so Eddie “I’m from Belfast” Gilmartin somehow convinced the ref to blow up early before Celtic got the chance to make a late rally.*

*the last comment was a joke and it should be made clear to all prudish, literalist, and lobotomized readers that the ref played the full 90 minutes.

2018 Year End Awards Banquet

2018 Year End Awards Banquet

Honoring: Joe Behan

Where: Astoria World Manor

When: Saturday June 16th

Time: 8pm

Buy your tickets now!  

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2018 NY Shamrocks Banquet Ticket

2018 Year End Awards Banquet Honoring: Joe Behan Location: Astoria World Manor Date: June 16th Time: 8pm


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Women’s B Bring New Glory to the Shamrocks

*Shamrocks match reports for weekend of 4/28 and 4/29, 2018

The Shamrocks Women B essentially secured the Women’s Division B title with a 2-0 victory against NYC United B at Randall’s Island. Coach Keith Perez qualified the victory with the following remark, “While we are still awaiting some league rulings, that shouldn’t take away from the incredible season that the ladies have put together.” It was a back and forth matchup until Anastasia Hagan opened up the scoring in the first half. That goal opened the game up and Shamrocks controlled the game from then forward, despite the score line. Sara Gomez added a second goal at the end of the second half to secure the victory. Perez further commented: “The ladies left it all on the field every game, and it showed with the results we had this season. I am very proud of all of them and they should be equally as proud of their individual and team efforts.”

The shamrocks women’s A team finished the league strong with a 9-0 win over Manhattan Kickers. Sharon Odofin led the team with 4 goals while Mikaela Howell added 3 goals to her impressive season tally. Tara Kiernan and Georgia Frost also scored. The Shamrocks face rivals CPR White on Sunday in the state cup semi finals, as they aim to defend their state cup title.

Dan Giorgi sealed all three points for the Shamrocks first team on Saturday night, his second half penalty proving the difference in a 1-0 win over NYAC at Randall’s Island. Kevin Grogan’s men extended their league lead over NYAC, all but confirming a minimum of a fifth place finish in the standings. “A fantastic win,” said Grogan. “Probably our best aim of the season. We were very disciplined and organized and our work ethic was phenomenal. We can still do better in the final third from a creative standpoint but we looked like a real team out there.”

The Shamrocks reserves continue struggling to regain form, losing 2-0 to New York Athletic Club. However, the Rocks great showing all season means that they are still comfortably in second and that they have the excitement of the league play-offs to look ahead to. Bemoaning the obvious difficulties of playing against a bunch of weight lifters and greco wrestlers in NYAC, coach Meola remains steadfast in his belief that Lansdowne can still be caught for the top spot by the time the regular league fixture list is finished.

The Shamrocks over-30s continue to steamroll all obstacles, a strong CPR Old Boys being the latest victim of McCarry’s marvelous men. There was an evenly battled first half, during which the consistently impressive Johnny McGeeney took the lead for the Rocks. The over-30s took full control after the hour mark, with yet another goal from Mark Finn and a rocketing Rocks third from McGeeney, whose 25 yard belter hit the top corner of the net. After a game where a large number of squad players were used, McCarry had the following to say: “Our whole squad is full of quality and no matter who we pick, they do the job. They are all pushing each other very hard and the competition within the squad is fierce. Glad of another clean sheet and we are playing very well, which is very important for our massive state cup semi-final versus Long Island Gaels next week.

Two Scotsmen, an Englishman, and an Irishman walked into the pub, after having gotten an Uber from Staten Island to Queens. But, despite the heroic endeavors of James Whyte, Calvin Moyes, Stuart Colbert and Neil Mannion, there was no real punch-line to laugh over for the 1960s as they suffered a cruel 3-2 defeat to Metro 1 champions, Ulqini FC. “The boys who helped us out from the first-team are real gents, gifted players, and true warriors in the traditional Shamrock mold,” remarked coach Andy Connolly. “In fact, all three together have some of the signs of brilliance that I had a few years back myself. Or, just imagine a Stevie Doyle before the operation.”

Speaking of Doyler, he, Emmett Harvey and their fellow veterans continue to creek and fumble their way through the fixture list of the over-38 section. Turning up in Union, NJ at 8 am on a Sunday under the false belief that there was a game of bingo, a cup of Bovril and some re-runs of ‘Antiques Roadshow’ to be enjoyed, the Rocks found themselves reluctantly embroiled in a feisty competition with division high-flyers, America FC 1927. But with nowhere to hide, and with Harvey promising the likes of Eddie Gilmartin and Donal Kelly a Rich Tea biscuit and a nap afterwards, the Shamrocks put on a storming display. They played like a team demented!! Or, at least like a team in the early stages of dementia. The age-defying John Riordan particularly impressed, cleverly setting up the Rocks opening goal for Marcus Nascimento, who took his opportunity excellently well. There was an end score of 1-1 to a tense and, at times, bruising game. Harvey, having come on for a very narky and obviously confused Gilmartin, ended up himself with fractured ribs. Now, though Harvey cited a particularly hard and match-saving challenge that he made as the cause, some players claimed that the injury had other, less heroic origins. One theory is that he was warming up too vigorously in the facilities provided (hmm, might explain his constant complaints about the locked bathrooms at St. Michaels?), while another is that he laughed too quickly at a Kerryman joke that he remembered Eoin Sweeney telling him during the week.


Sweeney on his Todd!

*NY Shamrocks match reports for weekend of 4/21-4/22

The Shamrocks women’s A team suffered a painful loss against league leaders CPR White, despite dominating possession. CPR opened the scoring against the run of play but Mikaela Howell quickly responded with a superb solo effort to level the score. The Rocks conceded two subsequent goals in the first half but regrouped and came out determined in the second half.  Teresa Ferraro scored the rocks second goal to make the score 3-2. However, once again, CPR scored against the run of play to extend their lead. The Rocks were superb in the last 20 minutes and had multiple goal scoring opportunities. Mikaela Howell found the back of the net again but the rocks ran out of time to get an equalizer and the game ended 4-3. Hopefully, the team can settle the score when the shamrocks will face CPR White later in the season in the state cup semifinals.

The Shamrocks women’s B secured an easy 8-0 victory at St. Michaels against a short-sided Astoria FC team. Colleen Cavanaugh lead the way with three goals, followed by Paige Osborne and Lee Stagg with two goals each. Shannon Hopkins ended the scoring with the final goal. “We hope the goal scoring will continue in our final league match up on 4/29,” remarked a happy coach Perez.

The Shamrocks first team were denied an important league win on Saturday night when CPR Whites struck late against the run of play to escape with a 1-1 draw. Tracis Blair’s exquisite first half strike had the Rocks deservedly in front after a dominant display but CPR never gave up and took a share of the spoils with ten minutes to go. “The players are disappointed and rightly so,” said assistant coach John Riordan. “The first half display in particular was impressive but we couldn’t quite find that second goal.”

It proved a highly busy weekend of football engagements for the ever-industrious Riordan, who led the Shamrocks reserves by moonlighting as player-coach in the absence of Dan Meola. With a number of key players on off-duty, busy making jokes about the ‘CPR Kit’ behind the bar at Meola’s wedding, the reserves battled with only 10 men against CPR Whites. Despite the scant numbers, and with Meola obsessively checking his whatsapp feed during a best man speech from his brother, Nick, that reduced Neil Mannion to floods of tears, the ever-resilient Rocks fought hard and were unlucky to come out of the tussle on the wrong end of a 4-3 result. More used to tying defenders in knots with his dynamic forward runs than tying wedding knots, Meola remarked: “Natalie is distraught. She had a points shave on the reserves with our local bookie, Pussy Five Fingers. After a few glasses of wine, she perked up and said, ‘hopefully my parley on the 1960s gets me out of this hole.’”

Unfortunately for Natalie and lovers of the 1960s everywhere, things continue to go from bad to worse for the Shamrocks metro team. With Meola pulling up in his car just before kick off as the theme song from High Noon blared in his speakers, and with Neil Mannion’s emotional state somewhat stabilized by a lick of porter, the1960s fought toe-to-toe with the auld enemy, Lansdowne. The story of a season of missed opportunities was played out again in this noon-time derby, as the failure of the dominant 1960s to grab opportunities for a lead soon saw them on the back of a 4-0 deficit. Tony Meola’s marvelous Henny Youngman routine on the sideline did just enough to confuse the opposition and allow the Rocks to snatch a late consolation. However, time is running out for Andy Connolly’s men, should they want to avoid the drop.

On a largely frustrating weekend overall for the club (the exception being the stellar display of the women’s B team), the Legends were very unlucky to lose 4-3 in a scintillating battle against top of the table Cozmoz FC. Despite their obvious difficulties with spelling (they must have a hard time finding fixtures on the CoZmopolitan Soccer League website?), the Cozmoz are highly articulate in attack and the Rocks did well to push them all the way in yet another 8 am showdown. The Legends got off to a comical start with a glaring miss from Brian Woolohan that might have made it onto the bloopers video for auditions to try-out for the Blind World Cup. With all nerves settled from the laughter aroused by Wilton’s slapstick routine (the boy’s a genius), the Rocks played manfully throughout a tie that was cruelly settled in the Cozmoz favor by the last kick of the game. The Shamrock goals were scored by Ryan Thompson, Paddy Geraghty, and John Riordan. In a frenzied state of undress, a highly excited Eoin Sweeney yelled, “Holy Jehosophat, that was a cracker. What was it: 3 each, or did we lose or what? I was too busy running round in the nip, old shtock. Where’s me jumper?” A more calm assessment was offered by Emmett Harvey, who, after breaking a week of silence, fasting, and meditation, mused: “it may seem like an unfair result. But, if I’ve learned anything this week, it’s that the Cozmoz just works in those kinds of strange ways.”