Category: Archive

Soccer Roundup Henderson’s haymaker halts Gjoa

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The Shamrock’s Billy Henderson has a memory to bring with him and perhaps help to shorten his long Christmas flight to Australia.

In the second half, Johann Lannon and Ger Watson took over the wings and it was one of Lannon’s runs that set up Henderson’s goal in The Shamrocks’ 1-0 victory at the weekend. The young Kerryman skipped past two defenders before finding his fellow midfielder in oceans of space.

Henderson had time to set himself up before unleashing a 25-yarder that even Rocks’ keeper Kevin McPartland wouldn’t have stopped.

In recent seasons, Henderson’s deeper midfield role has curtailed his scoring, but after discussing the Gjoa game with skipper Robbie Walsh on Friday evening, Henderson decided that he would venture forward more often. It was a decision that would put the Shamrocks bang in contention at the mid-season break.

Gjoa were on a high, having just won the State Cup, and they began with confidence on their home pitch beneath the shadow of the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge.

With the wind at their backs and a slight hill favoring them, the home team attacked for much of the first half but with little penetration. The Shamrocks seemed content to sit and await their chance in the second period.

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In-form goalkeeper Kevin McPartland had little to deal with, other than a few high crosses and a couple of shots. McPartland’s defense of Michael Bishop, Aiden Welsh and Robbie Walsh, marshaled by the once again excellent Paul Wilson, were in control and on the few occasions that they did need help, the ever industrious midfield was there to provide.

The teams went in level at nil after 45 and there was an air of confidence about the Rocks at the halftime team talk. The feeling was that Gjoa had been worn down and, with the elements now in their favor, the points were there for the taking. Johann Lannon and Ger Watson took over the wings and it was one of Lannon’s runs that set up Henderson’s goal. The young Kerryman skipped past two defenders before finding his fellow midfielder in oceans of space.

Henderson had time to set himself up before unleashing his piledriver.

Nowadays, when the Shamrocks go a goal up, they have every right to believe that they will garner at least a point from the game. Indeed, the only team to breach the Rocks’ defense more than once this season was Gjoa, who scored twice at Downing Stadium, but both those goals were from the penalty spot.

The usual after-goal period of pressure had to be endured and it was here that the abilities of Tim Cummins and debutante Fergal Barrett came into play as they won long clearances and held the ball up in wait for the midfield, easing the burden on the back four.

As time wore on, though, it became obvious that the away team were going to hang on. The introduction of John Guildea and Darren Thunder for the leg-weary Barrett and Henderson brought the side back into it and, at the final whistle, the win was well deserved.

It’s been five games now without a goal conceded and at the Christmas break the newly promoted New York Shamrocks have every right to believe they can scoop their second league title in as many years.


The Shamrocks’ day wasn’t a complete success as the high-flying reserves fell to a strong Gjoa second string by a score of 3-1, the best efforts of Niall Swan, Mike McCarthy and goalie Paudie Moloney not being enough when little seemed to go right for the Rocks.

The third string put up a spirited display coming from two goals in arrears to tie the Jams. Goals from Mark Coleman and prodigal son Dan O’Connell pulled back the deficit and all the signs of a return to form are there for the second half of the season.

St. Barnabas

St. Barnabas third team finished off their first half of the season in fashion with a 2-1 triumph over Serbia.

Despite their struggle at the start of the season, and their anguish for results, the Saints’ third team finally gelled together to produce the performance that they are capable of.

Led by their heroic captain Tadgh Donegan, the Saints were first to strike in the second half when a free kick was flicked on by Vinny Norton to Kieran Forkin, who calmly slotted it home. The lead was short lived, however, as the Serbs equalized the score within 10 minutes.

The third team was not ready to give up as they pushed forward for the winner.

Kenny Kavanagh was unlucky not to give the Saints the lead as his shot rebounded off the crossbar.

John Lynch and Larry Carolan both came close to giving the Saints the lead until Vinny Norton’s 30-yard drive finally sealed the win for the Saints.

Strong performances by sweeper Brendan McDouagh and goalkeeper James Joyce ensured the third straight victory for the third team.

Strong performances by John Egan, Tadgh O’Callaghan and Feichain Gilisen summed up the third team’s gutsy performance of the day.

Rovers 2, Lyndenhurst 1

Tony O’Donnell once again showed his class with two superb strikes to defeat Lyndenhurst.

The first was a brilliant, bending shot, using the defender as a natural shield to confuse the goalkeeper. For the second O’Donnell rounded the keeper and coolly slotted home what proved to be the game winner.

Lyndenhurst made a game of it in the second half, and a fantastic tackle from Paul McIlroy saved a certain goal. Damian Doherty was on form, making three outstanding saves, and Paul McGlynn was excellent at the back. Substitute Mick Kavanagh showed tremendous promise when he came on.

Rovers Reserves 4, Lyndenhurst 2

A strong Rovers side swamped Lyndenhurst on Sunday.

Paul Keogh scored early on and incredibly John Enright scored his first goal in 10 years as the Rovers jumped ahead.

Lyndenhurst scored on their only two attacks, the first a penalty after a mistimed tackle from Willie Dempsey, the second a glaring error from keeper Mick Carby. But the Rovers came back, with Dean Gibson chipping the keeper for the third, and Collum Sanders scoring the fourth with a nice shot.

Mark Hopper was great in midfield and Jack Lain played the game of his life. The pitch was fantastic.

Rovers Over 30s 2, Lyndenhurst 1

Nigel Cunniffe ended his barren spell with a brace as the Rovers old guard swept Lyndenhurst aside.

Mark Hoctor put Cunniffe through for the first, then the superb Marshall McAdoo headed down a corner for the Galway man to score the second.

Joe McGreavey saved the day with some great tackling, and Kieron Branagan made some good saves. Although Lyndenhurst pulled one back, Dave Quigley had a goal disallowed and the Rovers held on for the win.

The win was made possible by the superb work of head groundkeeper Charlie.

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