By Jay Mwamba
Shamrock S.C. eked out a 1-0 win over lowly New York Croatia on Tim Cummins’s late strike last Sunday to move clear of the relegation zone in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League First Division.
Cummins, back with Shamrock after missing the first part of the season because of college eligibility rules, finished off some sterling work by veterans Paul Wilson and John Guildea with five minutes to play at Downing Stadium.
Wilson, Shamrock’s sweeper-coach, won the ball in midfield, exchanged passes with Guildea, who also doubles as assistant coach, and then laid the ball off to Cummins who knocked it past the Croatia goalie.
The goal made up for Cummins’s earlier effort, which ended up in the net but was called back for offside.
Shamrock (4-7-2, 14) triumphed for the fourth time in the league, and opened up a four-point lead over their closest rivals, third-from-the-bottom Polonia (10), who gifted last-placed Banatul S.C. its first victory of the season, 3-2, at Kennedy Field.
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"A fairly even game," Guildea summed up the Shamrock-Croatia encounter. "It was physical, but not dirty, and both teams had a couple of chances."
Croatia forfeited the reserve fixture.
Shamrock’s third side posted an exciting 2-1 triumph over Third Division rivals Central Park Rangers at Randalls Island to inch back into the No. 3 position (9-4-1, 28).
Naill Carolan was the Shamrock star, canceling out Yuval Lion’s 24th minute icebreaker with a goal on the half-hour, before bagging the winner in the 85th minute.
"It was a pretty tough game and the hungrier team won," said Rangers president Paul Clayton.
Lansdowne Bhoys were left depleted by the weekend’s Gaelic football tournament in Van Cortlandt Park, which attracted most of the players, and they paid the price against Second Division (West) leaders Ripenisa-Romania.
After anchoring the reserve side in its 4-2 defeat, Kevin Madden had to muster the same group of players for the first team fixture, which Ripensia easily won 7-1 at Grover Cleveland High School in Maspeth.
Such were his senior side’s woes that Madden picked goalie Emlyn McAleer, who was kept busy between the posts, as Lansdowne’s player of the match.
Madden and Ollie Hoare connected in the reserve tussle, while Peter Mullaney (78th) got Lansdowne’s consolation in the senior match. Lansdowne (8) remain second from the bottom in the West after the loss.
Norman Pile recorded the first hat trick of his CSL Second Division career in a 6-0 Manhattan Kickers romp over relegation-bound Astoria Gaels at Randalls Island.
Pile was on target in the 35th, 75th and 90th minutes. Pat Holmes (15th) and Joe Whiteman (55th, 65th) were Kickers other scorers.
"We were just outpaced. Kickers were the faster team," Gaels manager Jimmy Ralph conceded.
Ralph, however, had something to cheer about in his reserves, who blanked the Kickers second team 3-0, courtesy of Andy O’Mahoney and Mike Mehall.
"It was a pleasure to see them play," he said.
Two years after taking New York Athletic Club to the U.S. Men’s National Amateur Cup semifinals, Ronan Downs got the CSL champs off to a winning start in the 2000 competition with a gutsy 4-2 penalty win over tough Brooklyn Italians at the Verazzona Complex.
Chris Mitchell brought NYAC back from a 2-0 deficit to force the penalty shootout with a second-half brace (55th, 75th).
"We dominated the game. (Brooklyn) were young, but they did well. Their goalie was super," Downs said.
Because of their Cup assignment, NYAC’s league match with St. Barnabas was postponed. This allowed New York Dinamo (8-1-4, 28) to take over the leadership following their 6-1 rout of Bronx rivals New York Albanians at Evander Childs High School.
Bruce Thomas, a strapping 6-foot-4 forward, did most of the damage against the Albanians with a devastating hat trick (10th, 55th, 60th). Tony Camaj (15th), and Jaro Munoz (35th, 70th) also scored.
Albanians, whose miserable outing was completed by the 3-0 pasting of their reserves, netted a face-saver through Sadri Gjonbalaj (70th).
"Bruce Thomas is back. He was unstoppable," Dinamo boss Kristo Curanovic gushed over his star forward, back from injury.
New York Hungaria (24) nudged Albanians out of fourth place on goal difference after overwhelming Fairfield/Westchester United 4-2 at West Beach in Connecticut.
Mario Nemet, Koko Kovacs and Peter Harangi (two) tallied for Hungaria, whose reserves lost 4-3. Paul Edwards and Carlos Torres replied for Fairfield.
At Kennedy Field, Leszek Koronowski (18th) and Grzegorz Dabrowksi (78th) were Polonia’s marksmen in their 3-2 loss to Banatul.
Eric Oram (18th, 34th) and Vicine Prado (70th) kept Eintracht’s promotion express rolling at full speed with goals in the Second Division (East) leaders’ 3-1 decision over Nag’s Head United at Randalls Island. Sean Conaghan (55th) converted a penalty for Nag’s, who took the reserve meeting 1-0.
Eintracht (9-1-1, 28), are now four points clear of Kickers (8-2, 24), who had that win over Gaels, and five points ahead of third-place CD Iberia, who tied 1-1 with Ukrainian S.C. at McCarran Park in Brooklyn.
Iberia’s Primitive Rey (27th) and Ukrainian forward Mykola Nodanocz (29th) scored in that game. The Ukrainian reserves won 1-0.
Barnstonworth Rovers, meanwhile, chalked up their first win over New York Wanderers in two years, thanks to goals by Mattias Gustafsson (65th) and Brian McLoughlin (84th) at Roosevelt Island. Rovers’ reserves also triumphed 2-0.
Koha stayed within six points of Division Two (West) front runners Ripensia with a 6-0 thrashing of Concord S.C. at Erasmus Field.
Fatos Selimi (35th, 60th, 80th) had the requisite hat trick, while Valdet Kelmendi (15th), Baka Uraj (30th) and Nikola Gjokaj (75th) each added a goal. The Concord reserves run off 3-1 winners.
Also in the West, Clarkstown S.C. dispatched Homenetmen 1-0 at Randalls Island on Danny McNulty’s 65th goal, while Kevin Longacre accounted for all B.W. Poughkeepsie’s goals in their 5-2 trouncing of Bergen Kickers in Poughkeepsie.
Lowly CD Iberia (4 points), second from the bottom in the Third Division, ended Guyana Juniors’ 100 percent record with a 1-all tie at Floyd Bennett Field. Lashley Lloyd (15th) had Guyana (34) ahead before Alex Martinez leveled from the penalty spot.
Guyana now lead second-place Sunnyside Genclik (29) by five points, after the latter’s Cem Sahin inspired 4-0 annihilation of B.W. Gottschee at Randalls. Sahin struck in the 20th, 30th, 55th and 75th minutes.
There were also big wins for Ridgewood, who knocked off Anatolia 3-0 on goals by Edward Libkin (9th), Nastu Vasile (55th) and Dan Ciabuca (78th); and Barnstonworth Rovers, who beat Brooklyn Stars 2-0.
Veteran Krimean Turkish player-coach Metin Takil, who’s 41, made his goalkeeping debut against Chile FC, and was happy to settle for a 1-1 draw.
"I was a little bit nervous the first 10 minutes," confessed Takil, who gave up a penalty. Raph’l Sicheran was the Krimean scorer.
Glendon George led Pele Masters to a 1-0 victory over Scala Brasil with the only goal of the match at Randalls Island. Pele Masters’ sister club, Guyana Veterans, battled to a goalless draw with Banatul at Floyd Bennett Field.
At Downing Stadium, Fred Bischoff (10th) and George Lesmes (65th pen.) earned B.W. Gottschee a 2-1 decision over New York Greek-American/Atlas, whose Jose Luis Leva (30th) connected.
And at Travers Island, Pancyprians won a seven-goal thriller against New York Athletic Club. Dino Marguelidis, Martin (two) and Marios starred for the visitors, while NYAC replied through Kevin Welsh, Peter Howlett and Bill Saporito.