Week Two of the Bronx Irish Soccer League saw Fiona’s and the Lansdowne A maintain their perfect records. With only eight players, Lansdowne A did it the hard way against Gilligan’s, and managed to pull off a 1-0 win courtesy of a Kate McGrail goal. The winners had many chances to add to their tally, with Sadie Bolger unlucky on a number of occasions.
A revamped Southbend, meanwhile, took an early lead against Fiona’s through a Linda Higgins goal, Ger Mahon struck back after the second half kick-off and a tight battle ensued for the remainder of the match. A draw looked on the cards until a shot from Erin Tracy contrived to end up in the back of the net to give Fiona’s the points.
An Beal Bocht defeated the Parlour Moms, 1-0, in a game where the winners had the lion’s share of the possession but lacked the finishing touch. The sole goal came from a penalty resulting from a handball in the area. Justine Clifford and Jeanine Rynne were prevented from increasing An Beal Bocht’s lead by the solid play of defender-turned-goalkeeper Jane Kenny. The Parlour Moms came close to snatching a draw when Regina Neijman was set free on a breakaway but sent the ball just wide of Pauline Boylan in the Bocht goal.
Lansdowne B and the Starting Gate Harps fought out a ding-dong battle with the teams sharing the spoils in a 1-1 tie. The Bronx women took the lead when Trish Quinn goaled half way through the first half but Maureen Ennis in the Starting Gate goal pulled off a number of vital saves and kept her team in the game. Sandra Swinborne knocked in the equalizing goal from a corner just after the break and despite the best efforts of Ann Carr no more goals were forthcoming with two talented midfields cancelling each other out.
Saturday’s fixtures see an Beal Bocht vs. Gilligan’s and Lansdowne A vs. Parlour Moms at 11:30 a.m. At 1 p.m., O’Malley’s face Fiona’s and Lansdowne B play the Southbend.
Rovers 3, Oceanside 2
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This game featured end-to-end, exciting attacking football. Oceanside took the game to the Rovers early on and Damien Doherty was called upon to make several big saves. Not even he could stop Oceanside taking the lead on 23 minutes, but it stung the Rovers into action as Dave Quigley set up Tony O’Donnell to score from close range. Then controversy erupted as Donal Cullen was sent off for two bookable offenses. The Rovers reshuffled but it looked like an uphill task to hold on for a whole half. But O’Donnell has been on fire this season and he put the Rovers ahead with a brilliant individual goal two minutes before the break. Back came Oceanside and a superb overhead kick tied the game, 2-2 at halftime.
The second half saw the Rovers battling hard in midfield, Seth Morrisson having a terrific match. Substitute Boomerang Steve was sent away by O’Donnell with 15 minutes to go and the Australian scored the winner with a clinical finish. Oceanside tried to come back but ran into a brick wall of Patrick Brosnahan and Chris Simms. Full-backs Liam Flanagan and Brian Monahan were also excellent. Coach Niall Archbold has some gray hair now but was pleased with his side’s determination.
Meanwhile, the Rovers Reserves dominated their game with Oceanside but failed to convert a single chance out of 20 and lost by 2-0. Eventually, a deflected shot decided the game and a last minute counterattack resulted in the winners’ second goal.
The Over 30s had to come from behind twice in their tussle with Garden City but had to settle for a 2-2 draw. Gerry Carroll scored with a fine header and Alan Monahan with a brilliant free kick.
St. Barnabas 2, Hungaria 2
St. Barnabas’ mixed early season form continued on Sunday with a 2-2 draw against newly promoted Hungaria. Barely 10 minutes into the game Hungaria took advantage of a wayward midfield pass and punished St. Barnabas with a well-taken goal. Early in the second half Hungaria again hit jackpot when a 30-yard pile driver found its way to the back of the St. Barnabas net. Despite the two-goal deficit, St. Barnabas displayed its never-say-die attitude. Both Fran Morgan and Denis McGowan saw great efforts go agonizingly wide before Ian Hennessy finally opened the Barnabas account by slotting home an excellent through ball from eight yards. Just two minutes later Chris Gonzalex tied the game with a beautifully taken volley from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Despite dominating the final 20 minutes, a Barnabas winner proved elusive. Still unbeaten. St. Barnabas were unlucky not to pick up three points from this game. Best for St. Barnabas were Mick Hennessy and Ian Hennessy.
The Barnabas reserves recovered well from last week’s disappointing performance in overcoming Hungaria reserves at SUNY Purchase. Mike Hilton tore through the Hungaria defense after 12 minutes and calmly rounded the Hungaria goalkeeper to make it 1-0. On 25 minutes, a well-struck Sean Doyle corner kick was met by Aidan Dennis, whose diving header from close range put St. Barnabas 2-0 in front. Hungari, aided by some slack Barnabas defending, pulled one back on the half hour. A magnificent strike just before the halftime break put Hungaria back on level terms.
In the 58th minute Tim Yates used his explosive speed to break through the Hungaria defense and finished perfectly curling the ball past a despairing goalkeeper. Ten minutes later, he capped off a fine performance with a replica goal. Both Denzil Brown and Brian Conway were unlucky not to add to the tally in the closing stages.
Best for Barnabas were Tim Yates and Kenny Kavanagh.
The St. Barnabas third team were served their second consecutive defeat in a 1-0 loss against SICJA. The first half saw few chances created by either side in the defensive stalemate. The Saints’ goalkeeper, Brendan McDonagh, was forced to make a fine save early in the second half to keep the game scoreless. However, SICJA began to pick up the pace and were rewarded with a goal off a corner kick. Barnabas suffered another blow when they were reduced to 10 men after a player was sent off for disputing a call with the referee. Paul Callan came close to leveling the score with 10 minutes left only to see his effort sail over the bar. Courageous performances were by Tadgh Donegan, Vinny Norton, and John Nolan.
Next week the Thirds play away against Krimean Turkish at 10 a.m., while the first and seconds play away against Polonia at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Shamrocks 3, Gjoa 1
As has happened on so many occasions in the past, the Shamrocks’ first string needed a wake up call, in the shape of a goal against, to get them going. The opposition, Gjoa, went a goal up via the penalty spot, when Michael Bishop was adjudged to have fouled in the area. The tit-for-tat referee, could have given a free out when half the home team converged on the Gjoa goalkeeper, who could only parry to the waiting Ray Elsesser, who didn’t miss from two yards, making it 1-1.
Gjoa had their sweeper sent off for a vicious tackle on Ger Watson, but this didn’t stop young Watson from bending a superb free-kick from 25 yards around the wall and into the top-right-hand corner to give the Shamrocks a 2-1 lead. Then tit-for-tat again when the referee chose to even the numbers up by sending Robbie Walsh (a man with an impeccable disciplinary record) to the line for a clumsy tackle. The Rocks went in at the break ahead 2-1.
Two minutes into the second half, Elsesser made it 3-1 with a brilliant individual goal as he accepted a throw in, spun round his defender and curled a left footer into the roof of the net.
But the referee soon awarded a second penalty to Gjoa after a seemingly fair challenge by John Guildea. The penalty was converted and the Rocks were on the rack for much of the remainder.
The team continued to show the great commitment that saw them rise to this division and some stout defense by Paul Wilson, Darren Thunder and Michael Bishop, great goalkeeping by Kevin McPartland and tireless running by the remainder ensured that the Rocks held on for a most important victory.
The entire team played well but Elsesser deserves special mention not just for his goals, but for his unrelenting work rate.
As for the second team, for the second week in a row the Shamrocks found themselves amid controversy, but as was the case in Maurice Park the week previous, the controversy had little to do with the boys in green.
The return to Downing Stadium had been eagerly anticipated. However, it was marred somewhat by a Gjoa defender who chose to take the law into his own hands. The Shamrock Reserves, up 2-0, were awarded a spot-kick just before the interval. The offending defender kicked the ball from the spot, was booked, continued to remonstrate, then having been shown the red card for his protests, decided to probably end his season by felling the referee on his way to the dressing room. The dazed man in black had little option but to call the game. The Shamrocks must surely get these points.
The third string lost their unbeaten record when they fell by 1-0 to F.C. Chile. A defensive effort left Andy Marcoons stranded by the resultant chip and although a draw might have ben a fairer result, the lofty thirds were resigned to a first defeat and the efforts of Marcoons, Roddy Clelland, Bart O’Rourke and Willy Murphy counted for nought.
Second-half shakeup lifts Gaels
A week off seemed to have affected the Astoria Gaels in the first half last weekend against Scruffy United. But after falling behind by two goals, the Gaels regained their form after the break and surged to a 5-3 victory.
The first half opened slowly, with both teams feeling their way. Then after 20 minutes, Kevin Nagle broke through for a right-footed goal from 20 yards out. This woke Scruffy up, and for the rest of the half they came forward in waves. Within five minutes they equalized and added two more before the intermission, one on a beautiful free kick in the top-left corner.
With Scruffy up 3-1 at the break, Astoria manager Jimmy Ralph put Eugene Kyne in goal, Nestor Allen brought on up front, Lloyd Canning was switched to left back and Mark O’Donnell going to midfield. The switches had the desired effect. Nagle started to create havoc down the right wing and was getting some crosses in. George Doherty began dominating midfield. Allen pulled one back from a Nagle cross, then Doherty put an O’Donnell corner home with a precise header, the Donegal one-two.
Doherty got his second for the lead for Astoria, 4-3. Ralph again went to his bullpen, sending in Dave Hernon and Martin Reilly. The orders were simple: keep the pressure on. Nagle completed the scoring shortly afterward.
"A win is a win even when it’s ugly" Ralph said afterward.
Astoria Gaels dinner dance will be held on Oct. 31 at the Astoria World Manor with music by Raglan Road. Guest of honor will be Fr. Colm Campbell. For information about dance and journal, call (718) 997-9288.