Fiona’s pulled clear of the pack with their third consecutive win to take a clear lead at the top of the Bronx Irish Soccer League.
In a closely contested game with Gilligan’s, just one goal separated the sides. A long downfield run from Mags Ryan ended with a pass to sister Ann, who made no mistake. Maudy Lynn showed best for Gilligan’s, but Ger Mahon in goal coped well with the attacks.
The Lansdowne A vs. B faceoff ended with the teams sharing the spoils in a 1-1 tie.
In another sister act, Kate McGrail’s penalty shot rebounded but Anne Marie made amends by burying the follow-up, leaving the A team 1-0 up.
Lansdowne B exerted fierce second-half pressure in search of the equalizer but had trouble cracking the A team’s defense, where another McGrail, this time Patty, was letting little through. With about 10 minutes left, the efforts of the B team were rewarded when Karen Becker goaled.
Meanwhile, An Beal Bocht earned a solid 3-1 victory over the Southbend.
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Early pressure from the winners forced a penalty after a Southbend handball, and Mary McEvoy converted. Shortly after, Mary Toohy made it 2-0 after dubiously beating the offside trap. Then the onrushing Mia Handy buried an inch perfect cross from Jeanine Rynne to leave it 3-0 at the break.
The Southbend asserted themselves in the second half with Sharon McCarthy and Fiona Fallon having the best of the exchanges. Mary Toolan grabbed a consolation goal for The Southbend when her free kick from 30 yards carried all the way to the net.
Next week’s matches see Lansdowne B vs. Fiona’s at 10 a.m. while at 11:30 a.m. The Southbend play Lansdowne A and Harps play An Beal Bocht.
BARNABAS The St. Barnabas third team got back to their winning ways with an 8-0 initiation of Scrufy United. The understrength United team were no match for the superior Saint’s side. Even though the Saints had all the play in the first half, they squandered many chances and only had a 1-0 lead at the break thanks to a Johnny Cheater goal.
The second half saw play get a little messy due to the downpour of rain making for a slick playing surface on the artificial pitch. Barnabas got their breakthrough goal 15 minutes into the second half off the head of Danny O’Connell. This goal seemed to guide the teams in opposite directions as the Saints played with more confidence while United seemed to realize the outcome of the game was already determined.
Barnabas continued to punish Scufy with a lethal scoring touch as hat tricks from Johnny Chester and Tadgh O’Callaghan and another goal from Tadhg Cosgrove finished off a triumphant day and kept alive the Saints slim hopes of winning the division.
Other strong performers were John Nolan, Kieran Folkin, John Egan, and Fenain Gilsen.
Next week the third team finish off their season with an away game against Astoria Gaels at Randalls Island at 9:30 a.m.
St. Barnabas will also be holding a one night soccer knowledge quiz on Sunday, May 17th at the Heritage Bar at 5:30 p.m. For information, call Brian Conway at (914) 237-1570.
SHAMROCKS The crossover fixture period began well for the New York Shamrocks when both first and second strings emerged victorious.
At this stage of the season the top four in the east and west divisions play each other and accumulate points in their own division which are added to the points already won, and the top team in each section gains promotion to the top level.
The second team got things moving along nicely with a goal in each half, securing a 2-0 victory over Homenetmen. John Walsh opened the scoring with a fine opportunist effort and the Homenetmen penalty area resembled a pinball table as the ball struck several defenders before ending up in the net for a goal which Austin Welsh had the audacity to claim. Best for the rocks were Adrian Garib, Brendan Reilly and Welsh.
The thirds started their game against SICJA at the same time as the first team on the adjacent pitch and a most courageous performance saw them come back from a three goal deficit to almost gain a share of spoils. An unlikely overhead kick from Roddy Cleeland and a penalty from the ever-efficient Bart O’Rourke saw the Thirds just fall short 2-3.
The first team found themselves in the unusual position of being a goal down at half-time. With an uncharacteristic blunder by keeper Kevin McPartland and several near misses, it was beginning to look like one of those days. John Guildea warned his troops against panic should they fail to score in the first five minutes of the second period. Panic they didn’t; score in the first five minutes they did.
A low cross by John Cannon was met by the lunging Tim Cummins 1-1. The understanding between the two-man strikeforce was underlined when a piece of Ran Elsessor ingenuity found Tim Cummins in the clear and he pounded the keeper before cooly slotting home.
Kevin McPartland made up for his early error several fold before the Rocks made it 3-1. Cummins and Elsessor linked up and the latter’s cross found Terry Lawless who put it away.
With 10 minutes to go, a cracking drive from Niall Swan, who had an excellent game, made it 4-1 and game set and match, you would imagine. But two minutes of madness in the Rocks’s defense saw a dead and buried opposition score twice.
Many on the line believed that the news filtering through about the Roddy Cleeland overhead kick had the lads stunned in disbelief and hence the goals. But the quality of this Shamrock side was truly exhibited when, rather than defend the now slender lead, they went and scored another via Terry Lawless, to leave the final 5-3.