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CSL Roundup Barnabas get off to fast start; Gaels prevail

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jay Mwamba

A goal in each half by Jimmy Ford and Freddy Fitzpatrick got St. Barnabas off to a winning start against Banatul S.C. on the opening day of the 2000-2001 Cosmopolitan Soccer League season last weekend.

The Saints triumphed 2-1 in the First Division tussle at SUNY-Purchase.

And in the reserve fixture, Simon Glynn’s four-goal haul inspired St. Barnabas to a 7-1 rout over their Banatul opponents.

Despite missing a few players from last season’s squad because of injury, illness and Gaelic football commitments, the Saints’ "A" team was in firm control against Banatul.

Ford blasted in a fierce rebound from a C.J. Doherty shot to draw first blood in the 25th minute. And after Renezani Niaize had leveled before halftime, Fitzpatrick won it on the hour with a close-range effort from a Mick Hennessy cross.

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St. Barnabas could have won by a larger margin, said Aidan Dennis, one of the marksmen in the reserve game.

"We dominated for long periods but couldn’t put the ball away," he said.

With center-half Ronan Frawley the only loss this season, the Saints expect to mount another spirited campaign for that elusive championship that New York Athletic Club’s coach Ronan Downs seems to have made his own the last six years.

Frawley has returned to Ireland to join First Division Athlone Town.

Saintly show

Simon Glynn, meanwhile, had his way with the Banatul defense in the reserve match, reeling in four goals in the junior Saints’ 7-1 rampage. Chris Boyne added a brace, while Dennis accounted for the other strike.

Gaels shine

Putting their nightmarish stay in the Second Division behind them, Astoria Gaels could afford to dress 10 players against CD Iberia at McCarran Park and still prevail 1-0.

Gerald O’Brien’s six-yard header (25th) from a corner did the trick in the putative Third Division (now Metro Division II) encounter.

"We are back to our winning form," the Gaels’ delighted manager, Jimmy Ralph, said. "It was a hard battling performance and a pleasure to watch."

Heroes abounded in the Gaels’ ranks. Ralph gave credit to the back four of Eugene Coyne, Mark Burke, Nestor Allen and Patch Mullery for shutting down the Iberia offense.

O’Brien also earned kudos from Ralph for his excellent goal, Coyne, "for winning everything in the air," and Vivian White for a solid performance in midfield.

League Cup holders Shamrock and Lansdowne Bhoys, the other Irish members of the CSL, had their first-week fixtures postponed.

Last gasp

There was a buzz of disbelief on both benches at Travers Island when the final whistle was blown at the end of Athletic Club’s 3-2 victory over New York Albanians. Barely two minutes earlier, Albanians had led 2-1 and appeared home and dry.

Needless to say, Albanians learned the hard way that it’s never over until it’s over when new NYAC signings Brian Dejoy and Stephan Greenburg, both second-half substitutes, struck inside the final 120 seconds to steal it for the defending champions.

"It looked like we were in major trouble with only two minutes left," a relieved Downs remarked. "But we couldn’t give up and we snatched it."

Among the First Division’s greatest rivals, the early-season showdown between NYAC and Albanians lived up to expectation. NYAC first went ahead through an Andre Parrish penalty (60th), only to see Albanians turn the tables, courtesy of Ronald "Ronaldinho" Dembo (64th) and Zef Biba (69th).

Albanians appeared to have three points in the bag when NYAC defender Glen Livingston hurled a long throw-in into the Albanian box in the 89th minute.

But there to connect with a header was DeJoy, formerly of Fairfield/Westchester United. Then with seconds remaining Greenburg struck to complete one of the most dramatic comebacks in recent league history.

"It’s a great test of the mettle of the team," Downs said. "Albanians played great. They were unlucky to lose."

The reserve game ended in a 1-all tie.

Fair edge

David Pabon (35th) and Jeff Rothlein (40th, 60th) were on the mark at West Beach in Connecticut as Fairfield/Westchester decisioned Polonia 3-2.

"The first 25 minutes we were a little rusty, then things started to come together," said Fairfield’s Gary Megennis, who also singled out midfielder Martin Munnelly for Man of the Match honors.

The reserves tied 2-2.

Freedom fighters

At St. John’s University, promotion side Koha coughed up a 3-1 lead to tie 3-3 with newcomers Pancyprian Freedoms. Koha took the reserve encounter 3-1.

Fahrudin Nikaj got the match off to a spectacular start with a long-range effort from the halfway line in the first minute. Fatos Salimi (40th) and Cazim Hakramaj (70th) also connected before Koha had a player ejected for a second yellow card.

Pancyprians seized the opportunity to strike back, scoring twice down the stretch to earn a point in their CSL debut.

Slack Ripensia

Second Division Ripensia-Roman also found prosperity difficult to handle at Overpeck County Park, missing the gaping goalmouth several times and paying for it with a 3-3 tie against Bergen Kickers after leading by 3-1.

Olmpiu Roman (35th) and Petre Nipetelu (55th) both converted penalties, while Adrian Ionete (40th) scored from a free kick. The Ripensia reserves won 4-1.

Ridgewood Romac knocked off B.W. Poughkeepsie 3-0 at Grover Cleveland High School in Maspeth on goals by Dan Ciabuca (two) and Dany Anton. Poughkeepsie took the reserve tussle 5-2.

Vet strikes

Michael Hanchar, Clarkstown’s 35-year-old veteran, was on target in the 65th minute to sink Homenetmen of New York 1-0 at McCarran Park. Clarkstown’s reserves won 2-0.

F.C. Japan, a merger of Jam’s and SICJA, came up a goal short in their 3-2 loss to New York Wanderers in Brooklyn. Jamie Zepparnick (15th), Steve Anderson (75th) and Miritti Muringi (80th) tallied for Wanderers, whose reserves fell 2-0.

Promotion side Guyana Juniors remained unbeaten in the CSL after a 1-1 draw with S.C. Eintracht in their Second Division debut at Canarsie Beach.

Eintracht’s Eric Oram (65th) canceled out Christopher Giles’ go-ahead goal for Guyana (35th).

"Guyana gave a good account of themselves and I think they’ll surprise a lot of teams," noted Eintracht’s longtime coach, Wolfgang Radermacher.

At Roosevelt Island, Barnstonworth Rovers thrashed Ukrainian S.C. 5-2 on goals by Will Sykes (two), Mattias Gustaffson (two) and Ron Baskin. But their reserves were pipped 1-0 by Ukrainian.

Nag’s forfeit

Shorthanded Nag’s Head United forfeited their senior game to Manhattan Kickers after the Kickers reserves had won 1-0 on Joe Whiteman’s 86th-minute header, at Red Hook in Brooklyn.

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