The Astoria Gaels took on F.C. Jams last Sunday at Randalls Island and came away with a 3-3 draw.
The game opened at a snail’s pace with both teams playing unimaginative football. After 156 minutes, the Jams grabbed the lead. They won a throw in on the left, and after the Gaels failed to clear, a bullet shot was stuck in the net.
This woke up the Astoria lads. They started to use the long ball to effect and Vivon White and Steve Deharde were pinning Jams back with long clearances.
They tied it up after a half hour on a good goal by Derek McKenna, and Chen took the lead when Martin Reilly hit an unstoppable shot from 28 yards out that the goalie never even saw. Going in at the half 2-1 up, the Gaels thought they were on the pig’s back but Jams had other thoughts.
The Gaels were now attacking with good effect to start the second half, Brendan Donoghue and Nestor Allen were involved more and were spreading the wings well.
Jams offense was now strictly on breakaways but, after 15 minutes, it worked perfectly. They attacked down the wing and, on a mistake by Hyne in goal, the game was tied.
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After a good save by Eugene Hyne from a Jams free, the Japanese team went ahead on another breakaway.
The Gaels were now in a hole but Derek McKenna and Deharde would not accept that result. McKenna, on a sexy spin move, tied it at 3 with 5 minutes left.
A draw was a fair result on the day but Astoria will be pushed hard at training this week. Manager Jimmy Ralph, looking ahead to the Derby game next Sunday with the Shamrocks at 10 a.m. in Dowing Stadium, said, "It’s a point in the bank, but we have to step up for the Shamrocks next Sunday; it should be a real battle".
Astoria lineout: Hyne, White, Deharde, Hernon, O’Brian, Moore, O’Reilly, Canning, Donoughue, McKenna, Damian. Subs: Harris, Mulrey, Allen, Sweeney. Man of the match: Steve Deharde.