Category: Archive

CSL Roundup Shamrocks defeat Banatul, reach League Cup final

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jay Mwamba

Shamrock stormed into the final of the 1999-2000 League Cup with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Banatul S.C. at Downing Stadium last Sunday.

Winners of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League’s premier cup last season, Shamrock will defend the trophy against First Division-bound Koha, who defeated New York Hungaria 3-1 in the other semifinal at Erasmus High School in Brooklyn.

Earlier in the week, the Shamrock third team had its run in the Harry J. Saunders Cup halted at the semifinal stage by New York Athletic Club "B", who eked out a 2-1 decision.

"We’re looking forward to repeating last year’s victory," Shamrock President Scotty Shevlin said after his side’s methodical disposal of Banatul.

John Walsh got the Rocks off to a good side after two minutes when he heaved himself up from the ground after he was fouled in the box to convert a penalty.

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Young Paddy Gearty made it 2-0 in the 17th minute after controlling a Johann Lannon cross and lobbing it over the Banatul goalie.

Then Michael Bishop sealed it five minutes from time when he connected from a pass by fellow New York State Under-23 squad member Tim Cummins. The defender celebrated his rare goal with a lap of honor.

"We played very well in the first half. Everything went our way," noted player-assistant coach John Guildea.

Banatul, however, refused to go out with a whimper. The Ridgewood side, which had gone into the match hoping to atone for its demotion to the Second Division by reaching the League Cup final, began the second half on a

fast clip and scored.

"They put us under a little pressure for the first 15 minutes, but we held on," Guildea said.

To reach the semifinals, Shamrock, penalty winners over New York Albanians in last year’s final, had disposed of Fairfield/Westchester United (1-0) in the quarterfinals, and Barnstonworth Rovers (3-1) in the second


Koha triumph

Five days after clinching promotion to the First Division with a 15-0 destruction of Bergen Kickers in Wayne, N.J., CSL rookie side Koha swept past Hungaria 3-1 to book their League Cup final date with Shamrock.

Nikolla Gjokaj (20th), Ismet Gilaj (50th) and Fikret Celaj (70th) produced the win for Koha, while Joel Kovac (65th) tallied for Hungaria.

Koha’s marksmen against Kickers were the free-scoring Qazim (four), Gjokaj (four), Fatos Selimi (four) and Herolind Hajdari (three).

"We’re ready for the final," Koha boss Omer Hakramaj declared afterward. "Shamrock are a very good side. We watched them last year in the final and that’s the team we like to play."

Like the 1998-1999 losing finalists, Koha comprises ethnic Albanians and Kosovars.

The victory over Hungaria preserved Koha’s unbeaten record in their maiden season in the CSL. Koha also boast of two unique distinctions: they are the highest scoring team in the entire League and boast of the best defense.

Saunders Cup

Shamrock’s Third Division side came off the worse for wear after two players from each side were ejected late in their 2-1 Saunders Cup loss to NYAC "B".

Fergal Barrett had just leveled for Shamrock in the 80th minute when the red card was flashed four times following an incident in the 83rd minute. Moments later, Kevin McCarthy scored the winner for NYAC.

"The [ejections] hurt us more than it did them," Guildea said.

Saintly finish

St. Barnabas finished the season in third place (10-7-1, 31) in the First Division after Fairfield/Westchester United forfeited their last match at the weekend.

Deja vu

Steve Bodden’s overtime goal against B.W. Gottschee at Downing Stadium earned G.H. Metros their second "B" Division title in three years.

Metros edged Gottschee 1-0 in a replay of the 1997 playoff final, which the former also won by the same margin.

"It’s been three years and the last time we won we beat Gottschee 1-0 in the final," Metros coach Rory Finn said. "It could have gone either way. They had many chances and we had many. But it took a goal in OT to decide it. It feels good to be champions again. The guys played their hearts out."

Gottschee could have taken the lead midway through the first half when first Tomas Feldhof fluffed a penalty kick, then Fred Bischoff had his header cleared off the line.

"Those were our two best chances," said Gottschee goalie Frank Lackner. "We’re a little disappointed. We played well and played tough, but it just wasn’t meant to be."

Finn named goal scorer Bodden and goalie Armandio Rodriguez as Metros’ co-MVPs for the year.

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