By Jay Mwamba
St. Barnabas hit peak to thrash lowly Polonia S.C. 7-0 at
SUNY-Purchase last Sunday and climb into fourth position in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League First Division with three games remaining.
There was a big win also for the Saints second team (9-2-1, 28), who knocked off their Polonia foes 3-1 to close to within three points of Division One Reserve leaders New York Hungaria. Aidan Dennis and Sean O’Flynn (two) connected.
David Fitzgerald rediscovered his scoring touch for the first team, hitting a hat trick in the rout of the Poles (19), who are third from the bottom. He struck in the 30th minute and twice more in the second half.
Anton McKeon and Michael Flood each chipped in with a brace, also in the second half.
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"They were pretty short," Dennis said of Polonia, many of whose reserves saw double duty on the cool afternoon. "But we plan on going out with a bang."
St. Barnabas return to action Thursday night at 8:30 at St. John’s. They’ll play defending champs New York Athletic Club in a match of academic importance to the Saints.
St. Barnabas’ second team, however, could all but clinch the Reserve title with a win over their NYAC counterparts in the curtain-raiser at 6:30 p.m. That’s because the Saints reserves (28) have three games in hand to Hungaria, and one to NYAC, who have 30 points.
Hofstra undergrad Paddy Gearty hit a brilliant hat-trick as Shamrock ended the season with a wildly thrilling 4-4 draw with New York Albanians at Evander Childs High School in the Bronx on Saturday night.
Shamrock were down 2-0 to goals by Ronald "Ronaldo" Dambo (20th) and Jacques Boga (35th) when Gearty began his heroics.
The youngster pulled one back from an excellent free kick (36th) that left the Albanian goalie stunned. Then Darren Thunder chested the ball from a corner and smacked it into the net to tie the game before half time.
Gearty made it 3-2 after a solo run through the Albanian defense on the hour, but the home side hit back through Dambo (75th) to make it 3-3.
Gearty was not done, however, and once again waltzed through the Albanian ranks (80th) to put Shamrock ahead. Veteran skipper Naum Kove denied the visitors full points with a late equalizer (87th).
"It was the most entertaining game I’ve ever seen," said Shamrock reserve coach Eugene Smyth, whose team came away with a 1-1 tie on Owen O’Sullivan’s strike.
Shamrock President Scotty Shevlin called it a "game for the ages."
"Both teams played fantastic football," he said. "It was a wonderful game, a game for the ages."
Shevlin paid tribute to Shamrock’s supporters, some 80 of whom were at Evander Childs to cheer the two Shamrock teams on, and the club’s coaches, for their commitment this season.
With the result, Shamrock finished their 1999-2000 schedule with a 6-8-4 (22) record and in sixth position — for now — in the 10-club First Division. They return to action on June 4, against Banatul in the League Cup semifinals.
Eamon Reynolds’s New York Wanderers picked up three free points after relegated Lansdowne Bhoys forfeited their Second Division fixture at McCarran Park.
New York Athletic Club were knocked out of the U.S. National Amateur Cup by former three-time champs Philadelphia Ukrainians 2-0 at Travers Island, much to the disappointment of coach Ronan Downs.
"We were brutal. We just couldn’t score," Downs lamented. "I’m very disappointed. It’s certainly not our best performance."
NYAC reached the semifinals of the National Cup two years ago. Philly lifted the Cup in 1960, 1963 and 1966.
Player-goalie Mike Fitzgerald made two point-blank saves to preserve a 2-1 Manhattan Kickers’ victory over CD Iberia at Randalls Island that put his third-placed side (10-4-1, 31) back in the Division Two (East) promotion hunt.
Fitzgerald denied ex-Kicker Tony Russo in the second half as Iberia trailed 2-0 to goals by Norman Pile (35th) and Scott Conti (55th). Russo finally got on the score-sheet after converting a late penalty.
"We played our game in the first half, but the second half was back and forth," Fitzgerald said.
"The game could have gone either way," noted Iberia coach Raf’l SanMartin. "We missed a penalty shot and hit the post twice in the second half."
Iberia’s reserves won 3-0.
S.C. Eintracht (35) regained the East leadership from Iberia in their final fixture of the season after defeating Bergen Kickers 4-1 at Overpeck County Park. Tony Alessandro, Vicine Prado, Thomas Friebel and Andy Doczy did the damage. Bergen took the reserve encounter 3-1.
Mattias Gustaffson pumped in six goals as Barnstonworth Rovers recorded an 11-2 cricket score win over short-handed Nag’s Head United at Randalls. Brian McLaughlin, Ron Baskin, Stavros Zomopoulos, Andy Horan and Par Holmberg were also on target for Rovers (29), whose reserves prevailed 5-4.
Across the city at Erasmus Field, Qazim Hakramaj offered a riposte of sorts to Gustaffson’s goalfest with five of his own in Koha’s 12-0 massacre of Homenetmen at Erasmus Field.
Hakramaj struck in the 8th, 25th, 30th, 75th and 78th minutes. Herolind Hajdari (16th, 48th), and Fatos Selimi (20th, 50th) each weighed in with a brace, while Fikret Celaj (12th pen.), Nikolla Gjokaj (70th) and Ismet Gilaj (65th) had a goal apiece.
Nag’s, who fielded most of the reserve side beaten 5-4 earlier, tallied through Tom Ogorzelek and Justin Pike.
"It was a little bit rough and the score reflected it," observed Nag’s boss John Delaney.
Dino Margulides (two) and Philip (two) led Pancyprians to a 4-1 romp over Banatul at Con Edison Field.
Grayle Howlett and Dan Miller got two back for NYAC in their 8-2 pasting by Scala Brasil, while Jose Luis Leva connected twice for New York Greek-American/Atlas in a losing effort against G.H. Metros, 4-2 winners at Randalls Island.