By Jay Mwamba
It was a black Sunday for the Cosmopolitan Soccer League’s Irish clubs as their first teams all lost in spectacular, albeit controversial, fashion at the weekend.
From 10-man St. Barnabas’ 5-1 shellacking by New York Hungaria at St. John’s University to undermanned Astoria Gaels’ latest routing — 8-1 at the hands of Barnstonworth Rovers — the weekend results were as stunning as they were emphatic.
St. Barnabas veteran Larry Carolan declared the Saints’ championship run over after their shocking 5-1 loss to Hungaria.
"Today we blew it," he said after his first team failed to show up at St. John’s, forcing the reserves, 2-0 winners in the opener, to play back-to-back games.
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Paddy Murphy, who along with Sean O’Flynn connected in the reserve victory, was drafted to play in goals, but lasted only 10 minutes before being ejected for dissent.
Reduced to 10 men, the already fatigued Saints were no match for Hungaria, who reeled in goal after goal through Koko Kovacs (25th penalty), Peter Harangi (30th, 85th pen.), Attila Bacso (55th), and Mario Nemet (75th). Tommy Whitty (62nd) got the Saints’ face-saver.
Even in defeat, St. Barnabas won the admiration of Hungaria coach Mike Jambrik for their determination.
"A very tough game," Jambrik said. "They were down to 10 men in the first half and they still kept coming."
The result elevated Hungaria (8-4-3, 27) into second position on the First Division standings, two points behind New York Dinamo who tied New York Athletic Club 1-1.
St. Barnabas (7-3-1, 22) remain fifth, six points adrift of the leaders.
"Bizarre" was the only word Shamrock veteran and two-goal hero John Guildea could think of to describe his nine-man side’s shocking 5-3 loss to bottom side Banatul S.C. at Downing Stadium.
And this after the Shamrock reserves had had their way with the visitors’ second team, which they thrashed 4-0, courtesy of Owen Sullivan, Leo O’Connor, Niall Swan and Brendan Riley.
"We went in with the wrong attitude since we were playing the bottom club," Guildea said. Murphy’s law kicked in after that.
Banatul led 2-0 after 20 minutes and got a big boost when Shamrock had a player red-carded in the 25th minute. It was 3-0 when Guildea pulled one back after the break (52nd), but any hopes of a Shamrock comeback seemed irrevocably dashed when they lost another player (57th) for dissent.
Banatul went up 4-1 two minutes later, only to see Shamrock claw back into contention with a Tim Cummins free-kick (72nd), followed and a tap in by Guildea from a Johan Lannon cross (85th), which reduced the arrears to 4-3.
Shamrock swarmed forward in search of a late equalizer, but were punished on the break initiated by a wild clearance.
The bad officiating and expulsions aside, Guildea said Banatul’s outstanding goalie was a big factor in the final result. "Their goalkeeper had a fabulous game," he said. "He was the difference."
With the loss, seventh-placed Shamrock (4-8-2, 14) slid back into the relegation zone.
Koha knocked off second from the bottom Lansdowne Bhoys 6-1 at Erasmus Field to improve to 8-0-3 (27) in Division Two (West). Lansdowne forfeited the reserve tussle.
Fatos Selimi (25th, 55th), Qazim Hakramaj (66th, 70th), Valdet Kelmendi (75th) and Nikola Gjokaj (80th) tallied, but Koha boss Omer Hakramaj, was still not satisfied.
"Despite the six goals, I’m not happy with the result. We could do better," he said.
Koha remained six points behind leaders Ripensia-Romania who shrugged off Tihimor Serpionov’s hat trick in a 10-3 romp over Concord S.C. at Red Hook in Brooklyn.
Astoria Gaels, bottom in Division Two (East) were also forced to call on their weary reserves for their first team fixture against Rovers, which the latter won 8-1 at Randalls Island.
, "We were outplayed again," manager Jimmy Ralph lamented. He also lost debuting goalie G.R. O’Brien early in the game with a broken nose.
Mattias Gustafsson and Brian McLaughlin both netted hat-tricks for Rovers, while Andy Horan and Ron Baskin each added a goal.
Gaels, who had a goal from Michael Koyle in their reserves’ 4-1 loss, replied through Ryan McDermott (70th).
And in the Third Division, Willie Murphy had Shamrock on course for their second victory in seven days before B.W. Gottschee’s Abib (75th) struck the equalizer in a 1-1 affair at Downing Stadium.
Ronan Downs saw his NYAC fail to reclaim the leadership when their top-of-the-table clash with Dinamo ended in a 1-all tie at Travers Island.
Andre Parris (25th) scored for NYAC, while Jaro Munoz replied for the visitors.
Downs was nonetheless pleased with the result. "We would have liked to get all three points, but a point is OK for us," he said.
Still, NYAC (27) dropped to third position, two points behind Dinamo, who have played one game more — and behind Hungaria on goal difference.
At West Beach in Connecticut, Ray Kelly (two), Steve Marcinkowitz (two), Gary Megennis and Matt Dellacroce steered Fairfield/Westchester United to a 6-2 victory over Polonia.
New York Croatia, meanwhile, upset New York Albanians 3-2 in Boonton, N.J. Robert Gretton, Rich Webb and Michael Saborski scored.
Clint Groom (25th) and Steve Anderson (80th, 85th) delivered a blow to Manhattan Kickers’ promotion hopes in a Division Two (East) with a 3-0 drubbing at McCarran Park in Brooklyn
"They wanted it a little more than we did," Kickers’ player-coach Mike Fitzgerald said, adding: "The ref didn’t help us too much."
"We were up for it today," commented Wanderers’ Eammon Reynolds, whose reserves lost 1-0.
Kickers (8-3, 24) are second in the East.
In the West, high scoring B.W. Poughkeepsie produced another goalfest, this time at the expense of Homenetmen who they crushed 9-1 at home.
Cesar Aguilera (40th, 90th, 77th) was the hat-trick hero, while three players: Kevin Longacre, Joshua Thomas, and Sean Murphy each had a brace. Majdood Popal (80th) connected for Homenetmen, whose reserves lost 4-3.
Said coach Dennis Skumpia: "I told them to slow down at half time. This team I have today is for the First Division."
Clarkstown were big winners as well, blowing out Bergen Kickers 4-0 on goals by Jason Bennett (two), Dan Krause and Tom Conlee, after the Bergen reserves had triumphed 3-2.
Also in the East, Ukrainian beat fellow stragglers Nag’s Head United 2-0 at Randalls Island. Nazmi Dorakovic (20th) and Bernard Pierre (65th) were on target. The Ukrainian reserves prevailed 2-1.
Guyana Juniors regained their winning touch with a 2-1 decision over Third Division promotion rivals Sunnyside Genclik at Red Hook. Kester Darlington (43rd) and Tallo Hudson (80th) struck for the leaders (11-0-1, 37), while Cem Sahim (50th) hit back for Sunnyside.
Ridgewood (31) overwhelmed Jersey City FC 4-1 at Grover Cleveland High School in Queens to replace Sunnyside in second place. Bichi Dumitru (25th, 32nd, 65th) and Eduard Laibner (30th) starred for Ridgewood.
Alex Parise and Henrik Ottosson did the damage for Central Park Rangers in a 2-0 victory over CD Iberia at Mitchel Field in Long Island, while Krimean Turkish edged Barnstonworth Rovers 2-1 on Louis Yvades (12th) and Raph’l Sicheran’s (25th) finishing.
Solas also bested Jam’s 2-1, thanks to Steve Wahrl (50th) and Greg Betz (55th), whose efforts canceled out Kaname Hasunuma’s goal ahead goal for Jam’s (43rd).
Jam’s sister club SICJA hammered Brooklyn Stars 6-1 at Grady Field.
East leaders G.H. Metros (29) stayed two points ahead of B.W. Gottschee with a 4-0 thumping of Fairfield/Westchester United at Rippowam High School. Steve Bodden (two), new signing James Brennan and Julio, scored.
"We’re on the good road again," the Metros’ delighted coach, Rory Finn, remarked.
Gottschee also won 4-0, against Serbia. Andy Depergola, Ed Silva, Pablo Perez, and an own goal, did the trick.
West pacesetters Guyana Veterans succumbed 2-1 to Pancyprians, who tallied through Chris (60th) and Philip (75th). Jerry Lee was the Guyana scorer.
Anderson (three) and Dudu pushed Scala Brasil into second place, behind Veterans, with goals in the 4-2 win over Banatul, while Pele Masters crashed 3-1 to NYAC. Frank Alfonso connected for Masters.
At Randalls, New York Greek-American/Altas defeated S.C. Eintracht 3-1.