Category: Archive

Shamrocks and Rovers draw in friendly

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

It was a pity that the elements attempted to spoil Sunday’s friendly game between the two Sunnyside Irish teams, the Shamrocks and the Irish Rovers. The driving rain, although it affected the attendance at Downing Stadium, only went to add to the cut-and-thrust element of the game, which ended in at 1-all.

The Rovers started well and dominated the first 15 minutes with Tony O’Donnell and Jake Nicholls causing headaches for the Shamrock defense. Newcomer Cian Hickey settled in early, as he and his midfield partners took control. Tony O’Donnell had a goal disallowed on 15 and this scare seemed to awaken the dormant Shamrocks.

Ray Elsesser, out of the game since October with a dislocated shoulder, looked hungrier than ever on his return and his tireless running helped bring his team into the match and was a feature of the game in general. The first 15 belonged to the Rovers, the second to the Shamrocks, and when Joe Behan entered the fray for the ring-rusty Hickey, the game leveled off again and the sides went in scoreless at the break.

The Shamrocks made three changes in the second half, among them Eoin Sullivan junior at left full back. The Rocks had slightly the better of the exchanges in the half and only some excellent goalkeeping from Damien Doherty kept the sides level. First, he tipped a curling free-kick from Johann Lannon around the post, he then saved at point-blank shotfrom Ray Elsesser. Doherty, Lannon and Elsesser were three of the four contenders for the man-of-the-match award. The other one, Billy Henderson opened the scoring. A clever free-kick from Johann Lannon found Henderson, whose 25-yard shot flew along the wet surface and into the net.

The Rovers went into immediate pursuit of an equalizer, but it wasn’t until eight minutes from time that they were successful, Alex Byrne tapping home after a goalmouth scramble. So 1-1 the final, no bragging rights, but those who decided not to brave the elements missed a quality game of football from two extremely good teams.

Lyndenhurst 3, Rovers Reserves 2

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The Reserves played against Lyndenhurst’s first team and should have won this game, with Mick Carby outstanding in midfield. Mick Kavanagh tied the game at 1-1 with a spectacular volley after a nice pass from coach Brian Monahan. But the Rovers made some defensive errors and were punished for them. Paul Kehoe should have tied the game in the last minute but hit the bar.

Rovers Over 30s 3, Shamrocks Reserves 1

On a remarkably well-kept field, the Rovers dominated this game but found themselves a goal down at halftime. A second-half hat trick from Alan Monahan settled the issue. Robbie Kilbane was outstanding for the Rovers.

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