POST-SEASON PREVIEW: Record Sunday sees Shamrocks sides set sights on 5 huge semi-finals!

Robbie Walsh Game - list of players.jpg

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.

If you’d like to sponsor the big game by placing an ad in our souvenir journal, email NYShamrockSC@gmail.com or click here: https://nyshamrocksc.com/2019/03/27/banquet-2019/

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

SUNDAY’S GAMES

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.

Frank Stapleton confirmed for Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game

  • Bradshaw and Shivnan get nod for the Rocks
  • Coleman pays tribute to departing reserves gaffer Dan Meola
  • Tough test for first team at home to league leaders
  • Over 30s, 1960 and Legends bid to make it two wins in a row
  • Table topping Shamrocks Green face double champs

Frank Stapleton of Manchester UnitedIreland and Manchester United legend Frank Stapleton is confirmed for the Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game at Gaelic Park on June 22! The Dublin-born forward cost United £900,000 when he signed from Arsenal in 1981 and helped his new club win the FA Cup in 1983 and 1985.

You can buy match tickets here: https://robbiewalsh.eventbrite.com
And you can meet all of the Legends if you buy banquet tickets here: https://nyshamrocksc.com/2019/03/27/banquet-2019/
We are pleased to also announce that Ger Shivnan and Paul Bradshaw will line out for the Shamrocks Legends XI.

Paul has played with the Shamrocks for a decade and still turns out every Sunday for our Legends. He’s a passionate Manchester United fan and can’t wait to play against his idols. He’s the only Shamrock in history to have a career ending injury and recover from a career ending injury in the same game. His left leg is held together by a combination of paper clips, prayers, and hubba bubba. Paul is joint favorite to score the first goal on June 22nd.

Ger has been an avid Manchester United fan since birth and is looking forward to sharing the field with his heroes. He’s originally from Roscommon, a place even most Irish people have never been. His goals for the Legends this year have been instrumental in the push for the playoffs and his main job for June 22nd is to provide enough sunscreen for all the bald(ing) members of the squad. He even volunteered to administer the sunscreen for anyone who can’t reach the top of their head. But that’s Ger… the consummate team player.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

SATURDAY
CSL DIVISION 1
Shamrocks v Pancyprian Freedoms (Randalls Island 70, 8pm)
CSL DIVISION 1 – RESERVES
Shamrocks v Pancyprian Freedoms (Randalls Island 70, 6pm)

SUNDAY
CSL METRO 2 – SOUTH
Barnstonworth Rovers v Shamrocks 1960 (Bushwick Inlet, 12pm)
CSL OVER 30 DIVISION – EAST
Shamrocks Over-30s v Pancyprians Over-30s (Randalls Island 74, 8am)
CSL OVER 39 DIVISION
Shamrocks Legends v Cozmoz (Frank Principe Park, 1pm)
NYMWSL DIVISION A
Shamrocks Green v NY Magic Reserves (St Michaels, 1pm)
Rovers v Shamrocks White (East 6th St, 9am)

It will be another busy weekend of football action for the Shamrocks. The reserves and the club as a whole bade a fond farewell to coach and committee member Dan Meola who earlier this week moved with his wife Natalie to a new chapter in Texas. Rob O’Neill will step up to a dual role alongside his 1960 responsibilities and reserves player Darren Coleman paid tribute to Meola for his stewardship of the team over the past two seasons ahead of Saturday night’s game against Pancyprians (Randalls Island 70, 6pm).

“On behalf of myself and all the players we would like to thank Dan Meola for everything he has contributed to this team in his time with us,” said Coleman. “He leaves us unbeaten with only four goals conceded this season so far, the least in any division in the Cosmo League. He will be very much missed by all of us and we wish him and his wife all the very best of luck in their new adventure! We will certainly continue the great work that Dan has put into this team going forward!”

The first team have a tough task ahead of them as they prepare to face the league’s top side on the back of two slender defeats against Doxa and Zum Schneider.

“They pay their players and have a high quality squad with players who boast professional experience,” said Coach Kevin Grogan.

“In saying that, on any given day we can compete with anyone in the league. Granted we have had a bad start to the Spring but as the weeks go on we will get better and better. April is a big month for us as we have a League Cup game and then play Hoboken and NYAC. In many ways this game is preparation for those games.”

Sunday will start with another game against Pancyprians as the Over 30s look to add to their winning start against their play-off rivals (Randalls Island 74, 8am).

“With the first game of the second half of the season out of the way, we can now get back to business, winning games in a push to win the league,” said coach Sean Mc Mullan.

Second-placed Shamrocks 1960 are looking to close a seven-point deficit behind top side Sandzak when they take on Barnstonworth Rovers in Williamsburg (Bushwick Inlet, 12pm).

“We’re looking forward to a tough match against a strong Barnstonworth side who gave us a great game in the first half of the season,” said gaffer O’Neill.

“We are looking to bring home another three points and continue our push for promotion.”

In the Over 39 Division, the Shamrocks Legends will complete the first round of games with a crucial game against two-time champions Cozmoz (Frank Principe Park, 1pm).

The position in the standings of the Legends on Sunday evening will dictate their final four games with the CSL forced to pair up teams according to their record thus far. The higher the ranking, the harder the run-in each team will face as they challenge for a top four berth and a play-off spot.

“Cozmoz have been the top team since this new division was brought in so this is a very tough way to round out Phase 1,” said player-coach John Riordan.

“But we will go all out for the win and then figure what happens next in the final four games of the season. It is not an ideal system but we are where we are. We have a strong squad but we’ll miss Antoin O Duibhir who scored twice last Sunday.”

Elsewhere, in the New York Metropolitan Women’s Soccer League, Division A leaders Shamrocks Green will play NY Magic Reserves at St Michaels with a 1pm kick-off. And Rovers will host Shamrocks White at East 6th St at 9am.

“We play the reigning league and State Cup champions this week so it’ll be a tough game as always,” said coach Paddy Geraghty.

“Hopefully last week’s game against Shamrocks White will stand to us. It was our toughest game of the season so far but we showed we don’t give up easily. If we have the same attitude and work ethic we’ll be tough to beat.”

Man Utd’s Wes Brown confirmed for June’s Legends game as Rocks return to action

  • Wes Brown will play at the Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game
  • Keady and McKeon drafted in for Shamrocks Legends XI
  • First team, reserves and Legends return to league action
  • Club secures new home field!

Wes Brown

Wes Brown will line out for the Manchester United Legends XI in the Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game at Gaelic Park on Saturday June 22.

With just under 100 days to go to the biggest event in our club’s history, Brown joins Brian McClair, Keith Gillespie, Clayton Blackmore and Kleberson for the veteran Red Devils’ first ever tour to New York City where they will take on a specially assembled Shamrocks Legends selection of players.

Brown holds five Premier League medals and two Champions League medals and he has also represented his country 23 times including appearing at the 2002 World Cup.

Two more Rocks Legends were also added today – Jim Keady and Anto McKeon will pull on the green jersey in June.

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-14 at 6.24.41 AM

Jim Keady pictured top left and Anto McKeon pictured bottom right

Anto was an ever present left back on one of the best Shamrocks teams in the club’s history. Back in the day he was a Roberto Carlos figure who could bomb up and down the field for 90 minutes. He says he’s more of a “stay back and hope no one runs behind him” defender now. We passed that information on to Keith Gillespie who says he’ll be hovering around Anto all day.

Jim was a colossal goalkeeper who starred alongside Anto in the early 2000’s. He’s now a prominent activist in New Jersey and believes his time with the Shamrocks prepared him for a career dealing with dodgy politicians and their uncalled-for tantrums. Jim keeps himself in good shape which will be useful since his defense on June 22nd will have a combined age of 206.

Meanwhile, Spring action begins on Sunday with all three teams in action facing their Doxa counterparts.

It will be a special afternoon at the newly revamped Frank Principe Park where the Shamrocks Legends will be the first team of the current era taking to the new field. This is a huge development for the club and a return to what was formerly Maurice Park after over 25 seasons of soccer.

The 1pm game is an important one for John Riordan’s fifth-placed team as they bid to leapfrog fourth-ranked Doxa who currently hold the final play-off spot.

“We are very proud to be the first Shamrocks team to play at Frank Principe Park,” said Riordan. “As a club, finding space to play on is always our biggest challenge and the work put in by club president Teresa Brink and club secretary Kailey Walsh is hugely appreciated. We are aiming to start there with a win – it’s very important on a number of levels.”

Elsewhere, the firsts and reserves head to New Rochelle’s Skidelsky Field for a double header at Doxa (1pm and 3pm).

Kevin Grogan’s men are currently three points clear in third spot but are missing some key players for this one because of work commitments. The last time these two sides faced off, the game ended in a 3-1 victory for the Shamrocks in mid-September. Doxa are third from bottom in the Division 1 standings.

“It’s a tough week for us with so many missing due to work but that’s the nature of the beast,” said Grogan. “It’s a great opportunity for our squad to dig deep in what is a massive game for us.”

The curtain raiser will pit second placed Shamrocks Reserves against second-last Doxa Reserves.

“The lads are excited to get back to playing competitive football again,” said coach Dan Meola. “We’ve had a tournament and some friendlies during the long layoff but nothing compares to League and Cup play. Everything that happened in the first half of the season must be forgotten. We all start with a clean slate in 2019 and no opponent should be underestimated.”

Rocks round out 2018 on a high note

WEEKEND SCHEDULE - 20181209Super sub Darren Coleman scored twice and Kwesi Mills-Odoi also chipped in to help the Shamrocks first team come from behind to beat CPR Whites 3-1 at Randall’s Island on Sunday.

CPR were deservedly 1-0 up at half-time but then Coleman’s free kick with a quarter of an hour to go set the game up for a thrilling finale. Coleman’s corner teed up Mills-Odoi for the second and then Mills-Odoi returned the favor setting up Coleman for the clincher.

The victory was the sixth in the league for Kevin Grogan’s men who are now clear in third after losses suffered by the Greeks and Lansdowne.

“It’s been a long fall season,” said Grogan.

“We didn’t peak in any way, shape or form but in general we had a great work ethic in games and got ourselves over the line and finished third – our goal was a top four finish.

“We don’t pay any players and the so-called big four teams do – to finish third is an excellent achievement. The challenge for our players now is to peak in Spring as individuals and then collectively as a team. On a personal note I’ll regroup over the next three weeks and see what the next steps are. I want to also wish our captain Zachary Gosse all the best for a speedy recovery after he picked up a bad injury for the cause.”

In the early game, the reserves also ended 2018 in winning style, Omar Aguilar and James Whyte both scoring in a 2-0 success over CPR Whites, their third against these opponents in the space of two months.

“Thankfully, football is a game of two halves and that couldn’t have been proven more true today,” said coach Dan Meola.

“We started the game in a manner not befitting of our talent. At halftime, the lads rallied around one another to produce a second half display much more aligned with our form. We’re all extremely happy to enter this winter break unbeaten in all competitions, but the hard work has only just begun.”

Shamrocks 1960 suffered their first loss of the season, relinquishing the top spot in Metro 2 South to title rivals FC Sandzak, also at Randall’s Island on Sunday.

Hughie McGowan opened the scoring early with a superb long range goal before Joe Connolly’s impressive volley had the Rocks 2-0 up. But Sandzak rallied in a dramatic game to make it 3-2. Connolly scored a second to level the contest but Sandzak struck back to grab the lead.

“It was a disappointing loss,” said coach Robbie O’Neill. “We never got going and to blow a tough 2-0 lead is hard to deal with but we get to fix all this next Sunday in the rematch. We’re on to Cincinnati.”

Neil Doran’s goal proved to be the match winner for the Over 30s in a hard fought clash with CPR Grays, Dominick Mc Cartan providing the assist to help secure a 1-0 result.

“It was a tough game we only had the bare 11 but we got wat we wanted 3 points before the break

The Shamrocks Legends rounded our their 2018 on a high note with a 2-1 win over America FC 1927 in New Jersey. Marcus Nascimento scored twice in the first half to help John Riordan’s men guarantee at least fourth when they resume their league campaign in the Spring.

Paul Bradshaw set up Nascimento for the first goal, his flicked header finding the Brazilian in space and allowing him to finish brilliantly to the front post. The pair also connected for the second after Bradshaw was upended by the goalkeeper, allowing Nascimento to score from the spot. America missed a penalty in the second half and scored with five minutes to go, causing panicky closing stages

“I couldn’t be happier with that win,” said coach John Riordan.

“America are a good team and their position in the table doesn’t do them justice. From our point of view, it’s a well deserved way to end the Fall. We have left a few points behind us but we managed to hold firm in this game and ride a bit of luck.

“Our goalkeeper Darragh Farrell was man of the match – he kept us in it and kept us calm. I want to give a special thanks to Ducky Kelly, Eoin Sweeney, Joe Connolly and captain Eddie Gilmartin for helping out behind the scenes. It’s been a transition period and they have helped make it a very smooth one.”

Rocks looking to finish off Fall season on a high note

For most teams, this will be the final weekend of 2018. Before we get together for our Holiday Party next Saturday at the Courtyard, there will be five CSL games up for contention tomorrow in Randall’s Island and New Jersey.

Kevin Grogan has targeted a win for the Shamrocks first team when they head to Randall’s island for a clash with struggling CPR Whites (kick off 2pm).

Notwithstanding a growing injury list, he has a strong squad to choose from as they aim to bounce back from two tough losses in a row against Pancyprians.

The Rocks are sitting well in third and will look to consolidate that going into the Spring.

“I’ve said for weeks that this is the big game for us,” said Kevin Grogan.

“A win gets us into the winter break where we set out to be at the start of the season. If we work as hard as we did the last two games, we will give ourselves a great chance.”

The curtain raiser will see the in-form reserves take on a team they have already beaten twice this season – once in the league and once in the State Cup.

“We are coming off a dramatic State Cup Quarterfinal victory over NYAC and we want to keep this excellent run of form going,” said coach Dan Meola.

“CPR always present a challenge and will be out to avenge two losses to us earlier this season. We have a full squad again this weekend and we hope to end this half on a high note.”

Shamrocks 1960 will also be at Randall’s Island at the same time as the first team for a top of the table clash against FC Sandzak.

This will be the first of two games against the same opponents in a week for Robbie O’Neill’s men as they play Sandzak against next Sunday in a make-up game.

“These are the games you want to be playing in,” said O’Neill.

“It’s been a long lay-off between games but I am full of faith in our squad’s ability and we will be pushing for three points against a strong Sandzak team.”

Sunday will start with Over 30s action – an 8am kick-off against Central Park Rangers Grays at Randalls 74.

“We’re looking forward to the break but we most finish the season off with three points,” said coach Sean Mc Mullan.

“It’s very important to get the win.”

The Legends will make the trip to New Jersey’s Phil Rizutto Park for their final game of 2018 to take on America FC 1927.

“We have had a couple of tough results lately but we have performed beyond expectations,” said coach John Riordan.

“The key is to be in play-off contention once the spring comes around and a win helps us do that.”

Big wins for firsts, reserves and unbeaten Green

WEEKEND RESULTS - 20181118Not only are Shamrocks Green unbeaten after the Fall portion of their season ended on Sunday, they are through to two cup semi-finals and they will go into the Spring when play resumes in March as league leaders of Division A.

Chloe Wheeler and Georgia Frost each scored a goal in a 2-0 win over Rovers, their third victory in the space of two weeks over their formidable opponents.

“It was a good finish to a solid first half of the season,” said coach Paddy Geraghty.

“We have a lot to look forward to in the spring and we’ll start again in February. We had standout performances from Chloe Wheeler and Erin Cullen and we are especially happy not to have conceded a goal.”

Shamrocks White battled hard but came up short against Magic, losing 1-0 in the second of two games at St Michaels.

The most impressive result of the weekend was the first team’s demolition of NYAC at Randall’s Island on Saturday night.

A team goal of the season contender and Pax Ballard’s first for his new club opened the scoring in fine style after 17 minutes when Kwesi Mill-Odoi’s deft back heel allowed Barna Mako tee up Ballard who stroked up skillfully from just outside the box.

Five minutes later, Mills-Odoi found the same corner with a brilliant free kick to make it 2-0 at the half. NYAC pulled one back early in the second half but Travis Blair scored another nicely constructed goal just after the hour mark to hand the momentum back to the Rocks. In the dying minutes, two Dan Giorgi penalties punished NYAC ill-discipline.

“That was a very important win,” said Kevin Grogan.

“Three wins in a row gives us some momentum. Excellent work rate and discipline. Onto the next game.”

The reserves hammered NYAC 7-1 in the curtain raiser, a result that saw the second-placed Shamrocks open out a seven-point lead from the Greek Americans who lost 3-2 to leaders Cedar Stars.

James Whyte and John McAleenan both scored twice while there were also goals for Mike Fernandes, Micky McGreevy and Paul McDaid.

“We knew that NYAC were playing at less than their best this year and took the game to them,” said Dan Meola.

“Our squad has played well in both League and Cup action this year – getting better with each game. We will have the upcoming week off to recover from some niggling injuries and come back fresh for our remaining fixtures before our extended break. I want to wish all the lads and their families a Happy Thanksgiving.”

Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, the Shamrocks Legends failed to protect a 3-0 lead against Manhattan Celtic Masters at Pier 40, conceding a late penalty which allowed the home side level it at 3-3. Paul Bradshaw had scored twice before his pinpoint inswinging corner found the head of midfielder Antoin O Duibhir.

“It was very tough to concede so late but it was a fair result,” said Riordan.

“We started brilliantly and there is a lot to be positive about. Celtic will be in contention in the Spring and we are fourth with a game in hand going into December. We fought hard so it’s disappointing and it felt like a loss but we have to be content with the draw.”

The Over 30s drew 2-2 at Pancyprians with goals from Amar Daved and Bingo O’Driscoll.

“It was a hard game,” said Sean Mc Mullan. “The draw was a good result for us with missing seven starters. We will get the better of them the next time in the return game.”
Not only are Shamrocks Green women’s team unbeaten after the Fall portion of their season ended on Sunday, they are through to two cup semi-finals and they will go into the Spring when play resumes in March as league leaders of Division A.