Astoria Gaels started the ’98-99 soccer season off with a good win, beating F.C. Greenpoint, 3-1, Sunday in Brooklyn.
With Derek McKenna and Vivian White playing up front, after 12 minutes White broke in for the first goal with a shot from 20 yards out. After 25 minutes, Nester Allen fed McKenna down the left wing. His low cross was put away by Eugene Kelly for a 2-0 lead at the half.
The second half commenced with George Doherty and Mickey Sweeney controlling midfield. McKenna had a shot well saved while Sweeney went just wide. Greenpoint pulled one back against the run of play. Then with five minutes remaining Pat Mulrey broke from the back and fed Sweeney, whose cross was dumped by White to Kelly, who completed the scoring.
The Gaels play last year’s winners Barnstonworth this Sunday at 11 a.m. at Randalls Island.
Mixed bag for Rocks
After arriving late because of bus problems, the Shamrocks second team fell behind 2-0 at the half and 3-0 early in the second half before rallying for a 4-3 victory in Woodbridge, N.J., at the weekend.
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When Sean Duffy scored with a fine volley, it looked to be a mere consolation goal with barely 20 minutes on the clock, but Duffy’s goal seemed to resurrect the determination that won this team the second division title last season. Dennis O’Boyle made it 3-2 from a corner on 75 minutes and Emmet Macken, who seems to have a penchant for scoring late equalizers, leveled it with 10 minutes remaining. The same Macken was upended with six minutes to go. Austin Welsh, who showed some real fighting spirit on Sunday, coolly knocked home the resultant penalty kick to complete an amazing comeback.
The first team, meanwhile, settled for a point as Hungaria goalkeeper Laszlo Aspirany produced a string of barely believable saves in what ended a scoreless stalemate. Hungaria’s nil was down to some stout Shamrock defense coupled with an excellent display of assured handling from goalkeeper Kevin McPartland.
Hungaria’s Aspirany, a former youth international, turned away efforts from Ger Watson, Terry Lawless and John Guildea. Darren Thunder, might have, on a better day, scored a hat trick with his head. Lawless saw a 40-yard volley dip just over the crossbar as the Shamrocks seemed to do everything but score.
All in all, it was an inspired performance by the Rocks in this battle of the new boys in the premiership. A game that saw the return of Prodigal son Johann Lannon. Billy Henderson’s tireless running in midfield and Michael Bishop’s resolution in defense were some of the features of this fine Shamrock performance.
The third string got off to a flyer also with a resounding 5-0 victory over Scruffy United. A deft chip by Dave Kennedy opened the scoring and goals from Niall Carolan (2), Bart O’Rourke and Anto Holmes completed the rout.
St. Barnabas started the season last Sunday with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Brooklyn-based Gottschee. The St. Barnabas team included some new faces, brought in this season to make up for players who have returned to Ireland, as they aim to do one better than last year’s runner-up finish in Div. I of the Cosmopolitan League.
The first half of saw few chances created by either side, as a much improved Gottschee side choked the St. Barnabas attack. Player/coach Ian Hennessy made some changes at halftime, and the second half saw St. Barnabas create many good opportunities, all but one of which were spurned by a combination of poor finishing and a well-worked Gottschee offside trap. The deadlock was finally broken 10 minutes from time when a beautifully floated Paul Edwards free kick was volleyed home from 10 yards out by Hennessy.
Best for St. Barnabas were Paul Edwards, Denis McGowan and Anto Fitzpatrick.
The Reserves also started the season on a high note by comprehensively beating Gottschee Reserves, 4-1, at SUNY Purchase. A scoreless opening half was followed by four Barnabas goals within 20 minutes of the restart. Sean O’Flynn and Rhett Mitchell both scored twice to ensure the win, Gottschee scored a last-minute consolation goal from a penalty kick.
The third team got their league campaign started with an exciting 2-2 draw with Ripensia-Romania at Randalls Island. The newcomers to the league were first to draw blood with a goal in the 20th minute. However, the Saints leveled the score 10 minutes later when a corner kick from Feichan Gilsenan found a wide open Vinny Norton on the back post who calmly headed the ball home. Barnabas found themselves down 2-1 before the half and were fortunate not to be 3-1 thanks to a penalty kick save by goalkeeper Paul Curtis. The saints pushed forward in the second half in quest of an equalizer and were rewarded in the 70th minute when John Nolan poked the ball into the back of the net after a brief scramble in the goalmouth. Paul Curtis was called upon again to make a few fine saves before the end to preserve the 2-2 draw.
Other strong performers were Paul Callan, John Egan, and Pat Daly.
Next week the third team are away against Clarkstown at 2 p.m., while the first and second teams play away to SC Gjoa at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.