By Jay Mwamba
On a day when incessant rain decimated the Cosmopolitan Soccer League program, Shamrock opened the floodgates at Msgr. McClancy High School last Sunday to sink CD Iberia 5-3 and move into fifth place in the First Division standings.
Shamrock’s second straight win on the home stretch of the 2001-2002 season was keyed by Hofstra University undergrad Hughroy Daley, who netted a hat trick in the exciting encounter.
The score was tied at 1-1 when Daley got started. This was after a Mick Hennessy free kick had been headed into the net by an Iberia defender and the visitors had hit back through Bernando Rama.
Daley tapped in a rebound off the Iberia goalie on the half-hour mark to give Shamrock a 2-1 lead at the interval.
He reeled in two more goals (60th, 65th) on resumption to make it 4-2, after Iberia had once again drawn level.
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Shamrock were threatening a complete rout when Darren bagged No. 5 in the 70th minute. But the ejection of midfielder John Ward for a second bookable offense threw Iberia a lifeline, which they eagerly grasped in the form of a late Jose Rodriquez goal that made the score respectable.
Said official Eugene Smyth, “Shamrock played a physical game and did a great job.”
The result inched Shamrock (6-3-6, 24) past Barnstonworth Rovers and into fifth place on the standings in the ten-team First Division.
In the reserve match, Darren Thunder clinched the winner in Shamrock’s 2-1 come-from-behind decision. Aiden Bishop, the brother of first team player Mike Bishop, was the other scorer.
Scotsman Sean Conaghan, Jim Murray, Yves Limoge and late sub Paddy O’Sullivan connected in Brooklyn Celtic’s 5-0 drubbing of Brasil in the only Over-30 match not washed out by Sunday’s deluge.
Conaghan (35th) opened the scoring at Jacob Riis Park from a 35-yard free kick that screeched into the top corner of the net. Then came goals from Murray (55th) and Limoge (70th) before the veteran O’Sullivan came off the bench with 15 minutes left to notch a brace.
“They started with ten men and we took full advantage of it,” Murray said.
Second-placed Celtic (10-3-2, 32) cut idle Pele Master’s lead at the top of “B” Division (East) to three points.
First Division Barnstonworth Rovers held New York Athletic Club to a 2-2 draw at waterlogged Roosevelt Island that effectively ended the defending champs’ quest for a seventh title.
Rovers led early but were pegged back by Jeff Traola’s 25-yard scorcher (30th), and then fell behind to a superb individual effort by former New York/New Jersey MetroStar Brian Kelly.
NYAC, however, blew whatever remaining chance they had of catching title-bound New York Albanians at the top by conceding an equalizer to Rovers in the 75th minute.
“In my mind we were unlucky not to win. We gave up two soft goals,” said NYAC coach Ronan Downs. “We were the stronger side even with a depleted team.”
NYAC, in third position with an 8-2-5 (win, loss, draw) record fell 11 points behind Albanians (40), who beat Koha 4-2 at Erasmus High School to post their 12th win of the season.
Naum Kove (25th), Roland Demo (55th, 75th) and Rocky Bojovic (65th) tallied for the Albanians, whose defense was breached twice by Koha’s Fatos Selimi (15th, 60th).
Last crowned champions in 1990, Albanians need three points from their remaining two games to bag the title.