Category: Archive

CSL promotion is Lansdowne’s ambition

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Should that come to pass, Lansdowne Bhoys would have completed a remarkable ascent from the CSL’s putative Third Division to the First Division in just two seasons.
At the winter break, the Damien Dunleavy-coached Bhoys were in third place in the nine-team Second Division, six points off the pace and three behind Caribbean side Kandia (6-1, 18 points), who are second. The title winners and runners-up earn promotion to Div. One at the end of the season.
Although they lost a 4-3 thriller away to Mike Fitzgerald’s high-flying Manhattan Kickers after blanking Kandia 2-0 in the fall, it is the Second Division’s lesser lights that can take the credit for keeping Lansdowne off the top of the table.
The Bhoys start the decisive spring half of the season with another crunch match against Kandia at Van Cortlandt Park on March 28, while spotting a 4-1-3 (win loss, draw) record. Yet it could have easily been 7-1 if not for surprising ties with bottom side McCormack’s, SC Ukrainian and Roosevelt Island International.
All three stragglers posted identical 2-2 ties with the Bronx Irishmen, taking a little wind out of the Lansdowne sails that the Bhoys hope to regain when the season resumes.
Of a possible nine points at stake against the unheralded trio, the Bhoys could pick up only three.
“We dropped some points in the fall that perhaps we should have had in the bag,” club official Larry Carolan admitted last week. “We need to improve on that part of our game. Otherwise we have had a good first half to our season.”
Unlike the Shamrock first team, which may undergo an extensive makeover for the spring, the Bhoys are set to continue their promotion campaign with the same player and management staff.
It’s a core built around C.J. Doherty, a prolific scorer whose finishing over the years has been instrumental in the Bhoys’ successes, the evergreen Michael “Mogo” Flood, and veteran Brendan Moran.
Carolan singles out Doherty and Moran as Lansdowne’s top performers in the fall. Thus it would not be far-fetched to suggest that as the duo’s form goes in the spring, so will go the Bhoys’ fortunes.
Remarkably, Lansdowne have had no problems assembling a reasonably deep supporting crew for their star players, even as other Irish soccer clubs in the tri-state area continue to bemoan the dearth of Irish talent.
In fact, Lansdowne, whose chairman is Paul Doherty, were able to recruit enough players last summer to form a reserve team, as required of all First and Second Division clubs in the Cosmopolitan League.
“This is an area where we have not suffered; we had a very consistent turnout in the fall,” said Carolan, dismissing the player drought caused by fewer Irish footballers arriving in the United States.
With a few training sessions at the Pelham indoor arena to keep the players loose during the bitterly cold winter break, Lansdowne are bullish about their promotion prospects once they return to action.
Said Carolan: “I think that we will be in the running all the way this season. There are three teams who can win promotion. Lets hope it is us.”
In a nutshell, Carolan believes that Lansdowne need to do just two things to join Shamrock in the First Division: beat Manhattan Kickers and Kandia.
Kelly Ryan’s Bar sponsors the Bhoys, who play in a green-and-white-hooped strip.

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