By Jay Mwamba
Showing more of the form that led them to the League Cup last season, Shamrock S.C. battled to an exciting 1-1 tie with Cosmopolitan Soccer League hotshots New York Dinamo in the Bronx last Sunday.
There was a goal in each half, Ray Elesseser shooting Shamrock ahead in the 10th minute and Dinamo hitting back through a Tony Camaj penalty (65th), and the disappointment, for the hard fighting ‘Rocks, of having a potential winning goal by skipper Robbie Walsh inexplicably disallowed in the 75th minute.
Despite this, the quality of the match at Allerton Field, as well as the level of Shamrock’s performance were good enough to leave the Queens side feeling smug.
"An excellent game. One of the best football games I’ve been involved in over the years," said Shamrock veteran John Guildea. "Overall, the draw was a fair result, although either side could have nicked it."
Guildea added that Dinamo, who are second in the First Division with 19 points, were a much better team this time around than when they beat Shamrock 3-1 earlier in the season.
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As for the ‘Rocks: "We’re definitely back on track," Guildea said.
Fergal O’Barrett, Aidan Bishop, John Walsh and Naill Swan connected for the Shamrock reserves who won 4-0 and moved into second position (7-3-1, 22) on the First Division reserve standings.
There was, however, a rare defeat for the Shamrock Third Division side which dropped out of first place after succumbing 3-1 to Guyana Juniors (8-0-0, 24).
Naill Swan had the lone Shamrock response to the Tallo Hudson (1st pen.), Christopher Stewart (44th), and Roger Benjamin (75th) led Guyana offense.
"They’re physical side and play right to the end. I’d like to see the other team that beat them," Guyana’s Leroy Beresford said with awe.
Second Division Lansdowne AC twice came from behind to force a 2-2 tie with visiting Homenetmen at Van Cortland Park.
Stephen Cassidy (68th) and Simon Hopkins (85th pen.) replied for the Bronx outfit after strikes by Aram Nourikian (67th) and Massis Tamazian (78th), respectively.
Lansdowne assistant coach Paul Doherty summed it up thus: "It was anything but skillful. Just a hard fought game."
Doherty lauded the midfield of Tommy Burns, Hopkins and Ronan Creaney for keeping the fifth-placed Lansdowne (11) in the game.
Winston Dapou’s late strike (80th) gave the reserves a 1-0 victory over their Homenetmen rivals.
The goal margins have shrunk, but Astoria Gaels’ losses continue to mount. English side Nag’s Head United handed Gaels their ninth straight defeat at the weekend, topping the Queens men 3-1 at Randalls Island.
Former Gjoa midfielder Sean Conaghan (two) and Hakim tallied for Nag’s after Derek McKenna (10th) had headed Gaels in front. "It’s a tough year for us," Gaels Pat Mulrey noted.
Nag’s reserves won 1-0.
Irish Rovers were knocked out of the Over-30 Carbone Cup by the Cosmopolitan League’s New York Pancyprians who chalked up a 1-0 victory. Dino Megaloudis (80th) scored.
"They were physically imposing, like rugby players, but played a good game," Pancyprian coach Steve Grech said of the Rovers.
Pancyprians are now through to the semifinals, where they will meet Glen Cove, who blew out B.W. Gottschee 8-0 in another third round encounter.
Rory Finn’s G.H. Metros joined Pancyprians in the semis with a 6-5 penalty win over Garden City. Clerio Braga (35th, 55th) and Steve Bodden (70th) were on target for Metros during a 3-3 regulation time tie.
The St. Barnabas reserves came up a goal shy in their Heidecker Cup second round tie with Islip. They lost 2-1. Vinnie Norton was the lone marksman for the Saints.
First Division New York Athletic Club also crashed 2-1 to Long Island side Athi Buenaventura in the Dr. Manning Cup at Travers Island. Billy Cronin (65th) scored for the Ronan Downs-coached NYAC.
Manhattan Kickers goalie Mike Fitzgerald saved three penalties in a post-match shoot-out with non-league Isidro Menendez at Randalls Island to lead his side into the third round of the Manning Cup via a 2-1 scoreline.
"We don’t practice (penalties) a lot, so I was concerned about how we’d react. But the guys reacted well," said Fitzgerald, who also doubles as Kickers’ coach.
Mark Toews (32nd) slotted in a Norman Pile rebound for the ice-breaker, but Menendez tied the game after a spell of pressure in the 73rd minute. Extra time failed to break the impasse.
Real Caribe ousted S.C. Ukrainian 3-0 in the Flamhaft Cup.
First, Second Divisions
Peter Harangi (1st, 76th, 85th, 89th), Joseph Kovacs (11th, 50th, 60th), and Akos Pal (6th) were on the mark for third-placed New York Hungaria (18) in their 8-3 romp over bottom of the table Banatul in Woodbridge, N.J.
The Hungaria reserves prevailed 5-4 in another free scoring affair.
Fairfield/Westchester United ended a four-week winless streak with a 3-0 decision over New York Croatia. Todd Jacobsen (30th), and Steve Marsinkowitz (63rd, 83rd) connected.
In the Second Division, West leaders Ripsenia-Romania (18) suffered a 2-0 defeat, only their second of the season, at the hands of Clarkstown S.C.
Sahin Cim (50th), Ferruah Orbay (74th) and Bartlomie Woiski (79th) led the Sunnyside Genclik charge in a 3-0 victory over Central Park Rangers at Red Hook that put the Turkish club (20) within two points of Shamrock in the Third Division.
A further point behind Sunnyside are SICJA, who hammered B.W. Gottschee 7-2 at McCarran Park. Shin Furutate (three), Kotaro Kunimochi, Hirotaka Kurihara, Toshi Tatezawa and Toshi Kamiya tallied for SICJA, while Steve Ziegler bagged both Gottschee goals.
Mauricio M’nes (17th) kept Chile FC level with SICJA in fourth place, with the only goal of the match against Brooklyn Stars, while Jersey City FC notched their third win of the season, 4-1 over Anatolia. Gerry Smith (15th, 25th), Phil Romano (65th) and Art Azyerov (70th) connected.
Also in the Third Division, Hayati Gul scored for Krimean Turkish in a 3-1 losing effort to Solas.
Ray Obermuller and Dexter Hazlewood handed Pele Masters a 2-0 victory Serbia S.C., on a slow day in the "B" Division.