The biggest weekend of the Shamrocks season is upon us with five of our teams facing hugely exciting semi-finals in both the League and League Cup.
It is also the deadline to support the Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game which will raise money to make possible the return of a youth soccer program to the Rocks.
In three weeks, the hotly anticipated game between our legends and a selection of Manchester United Legends will take place at Gaelic Park on Saturday June 22.
Buy match tickets at the Courtyard Ale House or online here: https://robbiewalsh.eventbrite.com
Kent Ale House Meet & Greet Friday June 21 – https://legendsmeetgreet.eventbrite.com
Smithfield Post-Game Brunch Sunday June 23 – https://legendsbrunch.eventbrite.com
CSL DIVISION 1 PLAYOFF SEMI-FINAL
Pancyprians v Shamrocks (Belson Stadium, 8pm)
CSL DIVISION 1 RESERVES PLAYOFF SEMI-FINAL
Shamrocks Reserves v Zum Schneider Reserves (Randalls Island 74, 12pm)
CSL OVER 30s DIVISION PLAYOFF SEMI-FINAL
Between Rivers v Shamrocks Over 30s (Aviator Sports Complex, 7.30pm)
CSL OVER 30s LEAGUE CUP SEMI-FINAL
CPR Old Boys v Shamrocks Legends (Randalls Island 72, 6pm)
NYMWSL DIVISION A CUP SEMI-FINAL
Shamrocks Green v CPR Whites (East 6th St, 3pm)
For the second time in two years, the Shamrocks first team will take on CSL kingpins Pancyprians in Division 1 playoff semi-final (Belson Stadium, 8pm).
Kevin Grogan’s men finished the season strongly thanks to dramatic and deserved home wins over Lansdowne and Pancyprians in the Spring, earning a fourth seed and a final four showdown against the runaway regular season champions.
Indeed, Pancyprians have lost only once in 2019, that March 30 2-0 reversal to the Rocks which denied them the opportunity of accruing what would have been an astonishing 50 league points.
Coach Grogan has a strong squad to choose from this weekend but is realistic about the task at hand.
“We are very much underdogs but on our day we can beat anyone,” he said Friday.
“We have come a long way in four years from survival to playoffs to winning a cup and to now playoffs again. It’s been a long season but we can’t wait for Sunday. Belson Stadium will suit our style of play. We will as always work hard and try to win the game.”
On a day of big clashes, the reserves will be bidding to reach their first D1 playoff final since 2015’s promotion when they take on Zum Schneider Reserves at Randalls Island 74 with a noon kick off.
Coach Dan Meola has flown in from Texas to be reunited with his undefeated outfit who finished the regular season in pole position.
“After two weeks of rest and recovery, the lads are chomping at the bit to continue their season,” he noted.
“We are looking forward to the challenge and have no doubts about our quality and commitment. The hard work is only just beginning and the squad and I are only focused on winning. As I’ve mentioned many times, football is a game in which there are no easy opponents. Zum Schneider will be ready for the task as will we. I have every confidence in our lads and then some.”
Meanwhile, the women’s league champions Shamrocks Green, will take on CPR Whites in the Division A Cup semi-final as they aim to stay on track for a second undefeated treble in three seasons.
“We have our league cup semi final this Sunday against CPR Whites and we expect it to be our toughest game of the season. The ladies have been brilliant this year and are focused on finishing the season as strongly as we can. It’s great to be playing for trophies in June and we’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”
The Shamrocks Legends are also facing a League Cup semi-final against CPR’s Over 30s, their best ever placing in their fourth season of competition.
Having just missed out on the league playoffs, this is being seen as a very enjoyable consolation prize for John Riordan’s team.
“The lads have enjoyed the season and this will be a nice extension,” said Riordan. “CPR will be younger than us but we have played some football at times in the Spring. So although we missed out on our pre-season target, we can still be proud of a lot of what we achieved. So we’ll go into this one looking to enjoy it and see if we can cause a shock.”
The Shamrocks Over 30s are on the other of the draw, facing an Irish Derby semi-final against Manhattan Celtic Legends on Wednesday (Randalls Island 74, 9pm).
But before all that, it is Sunday’s league playoff semi-final against Between Rivers that will be occupying the minds of the coaching duo of Sean Mc Mullan and Paddy Mc Carry (Aviator Sports Complex, 7.30pm).
The Over 30s finished their regular season campaign on Thursday with a meaningless 4-1 loss to the Greeks while Shamrocks 1960 rounded out with a 2-0 win over NY Irish, both games at Randalls Island.
Lastly, the times for next Sunday’s State Cup finals have been confirmed with Shamrocks Green kicking off at Verrazano Sports Complex at 10am and the reserves taking to the stage at 2pm.