By Jay Mwamba
If there were any lingering doubts about Shamrock’s title credentials in their second season back in the CSL top flight, the Irishmen dismissed them with panache last weekend. Squaring off with Pancyprian Freedoms, an amateur powerhouse in the nation, the Rocks run off 5-2 winners at St. Michael’s Playground.
Jamie Clarke, a GAA legend in Ireland, scored his second brace in a week to help see off the Greek-Cypriots in the top-of-the-table clash.
Kwesi Mills-Odoi, Damian Lopez and Alejandro Fritz were also on target as Shamrock improved to 7-1  in first place.
Pete Halkidis and Chris Megaloudis replied for Pancyprian, who consequently dropped out of joint second place with Lansdowne.
“I felt we scored five amazing goals and entertained the crowd and did our job ‘so well,’” said Grogan, who’ll soon be adding 22 year-old Northern Ireland midfielder Cónall McGrandles to his squad.
They remain five points clear of Lansdowne, albeit the Bhoys have two games in hand.
The Shamrock victory followed a 13-2 blowout by their John Riordan-coached reserves that brought the team’s two-match tally to an incredible 22 goals [they’d crushed Polonia Gwardia 9-0 the previous week].
In addition to a Pancyprian own goal, Joe Connolly notched a hat trick. Alex Wasilewski, George Lara and Brendan Lane had one goal apiece. And Darren Coleman, Andrew Scott and Paul McDaid a brace each.
At the Metropolitan Oval, defending champs Lansdowne defeated New York Greek Americans 3-1.
All four goals came in the second half.
Konstantin Mollering converted a Lansdowne penalty and after Adam Marcu had leveled, Skele Slyvester [65th] and Ciaran McGuigan [75th] connected to secure the points for the Yonkers Irish.
“[We] finished strong and could have had a fourth goal,” said club president William McGrory. “A good win, three points, job done, cup action next week versus Pancyprian.”
That Manning State Cup quarterfinal tie with Pancyprian is scheduled for 6 p.m. this Sunday at Field 75 on Randalls Island.
Earlier at the Oval, Romario Jones and Alex Minenko had ended the Lansdowne’s reserves 100 % record with a 2-1 Greek win. Conor Hunter [pen.] was the Lansdowne scorer.
Russell Cacho and former Pancyprian Andreas Chronis [pen.] netted in a 2-0 defeat of New York Athletic Club on Randalls Island to hoist Cedar Stars Academy into third place.
“NYAC had a great defense and was tough to break down, but we scored an early goal and a late PK guaranteed the win,” said Cedar coach-owner Oliver Papraniku.
The reserve tussle ended 1-1 with Jon Hemmert [pen.] on the mark for NYAC ‘B.’
“Tough night for us — two goals called back,” quipped NYAC boss Bill Saporito.
It took eight attempts — during which they tied five games — but Doxa FC finally have a win. It came courtesy of Danny Manz, from a Kurt Cameron through ball, at the expense of whipping boys Polonia at Joseph F. Fosina Field.
“Doxa had many more opportunities to score but were unlucky,” said manager Foti Bouklis. “Head coach Paul Grafas is working hard on restructuring his team with young blood. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of clicking together as our average player is 22.”
His reserves lost 1-0.
Also in the First Division, Manhattan Celtic and Zum Schneider tied 0-0 on Randalls Island after the Celtic reserves had won 3-2.
Jake Joseph’s fifth minute strike was the difference in the CPR Whites’ 1-0 decision over NYPD FC for the Division Two North leadership.
The Cops’ first loss saw them slip three points behind CPR [5-2-1, 17], but with a game in hand.
“A very good game between two teams that tried to keep the ball, but in the end we were good value for the points,” remarked coach Eli Vosha.
He had Ilya Kamesh, Vitaliy Firsov and Shahin Solhkonan to thank for his 10-man reserves’ 3-1 triumph.
Third place Panatha USA had goals from Samuel Glickman, Herson Guzman and Oral Smith in a 3-all tie with Sporting Astoria at Evander Childs HS.
Antonis Galouzis got both goals for the Panatha seconds in a 2-2 draw. Javian Brown and Damone Manning connected for Astoria.
Elsewhere in Division Two North, Bronx Supreme beat Brishna 2-1 on Prince Yeboah’s brace. The reserves tied 2-all.
VLAD THE SCORER
The early title race in Division Two South also featured a top-of-the-table encounter between Manhattan Kickers and Hoboken FC 1912.
Vlad Valiantsiukevich’s late goal [84th] nicked it 1-0 for Kickers at East River Park, lifting them six points clear [6-0-1, 19].
“Once again, Kickers would rely on the heroics of Brian Morris to create their best chance. [He] skinned a defender along the goal line and whipped a pass toward the penalty spot, where Vlad was waiting and confidently smashed home the only goal,” said Lucas Shanks.
Jeff Natale [28th] and Sam Omosuyi [86th, 89th] tallied in the Hoboken reserves’ 3-0 romp.
Bartek Dziuban struck four times in Stal Mielec’s 5-0 drubbing of FC Japan at McCarren Park that moved them into joint second in the South with Hoboken . Lukasz Sowinski had the other Stal goal.
The Poles were more emphatic winners in the curtain raiser, eclipsing Japan 7-1. There was another four-goal hero in Waldek Pyryt, a brace from Krzysztof Daniszewski and one from Norbert Bidzinski.
Adnan Zaganjor, Lukasz Prawdzik and Andres Munoz scripted a much needed win for New York Ukrainians, who saw off NY Ittihad 3-1 at Flushing Meadow Field.
Steve Kovalenko’s side completed a clean sweep following the Ukrainian reserves’ 4-0 shutout of Ittihad ‘B.’ Ruslan Almazov, Adnan Zaganjor, Eduard Shidlovskiy and Uriah Cunha were on target.
In other fixtures in the second tier, Beyond FC topped City International 4-2 at Laurel Hill Park across the Hudson.
Deepak Mangwani, Mike Lim, Simon Czaplinski and Jesse Rose delivered for the hosts.
Ewan Ritchie had a goal — courtesy of Tyler Bonini — and an assist for City. He set up Ray Kuemmer’s strike.
Fabien Lombard and Simon Czaplinski scored in the Beyond reserves’ 2-0 win.
In yet another clash between the top two teams in a division, second place Korabi cut Williamsburg International’s lead to a point after a 3-1 decision on Staten Island.
Albert Rruci [two] and Daren connected.
Andreas Moudatsos scored for Williamsburg [6-1-1, 19] with help from Mark Gallagher.
On Randalls Island, NYFC Iliria had goals from Van Mehmeti and Suad Djega in a 2-2 tie with Deportivo Sociedade.
Rumiko Campbell had the Lansdowne thirds’ lone goal in a 3-1 Metro One loss to New York Croatia at Tibbetts Brook Park.
At St. Michael’s Playground, Shamrock 1960 coughed up an early two-goal lead en route to 3-2 defeat by Gotham Argo. Dave Harvey and Paul McDaid connected for the Rocks.
Federico Testi created Gotham’s first goal for NanaYaw Panford before Yosef Shamovsky leveled from the spot. Testi netted the winner.
Nick Codispoti notched a hat trick in the 7-0 destruction of NY Galicia at McCarren Park that took Mr. Dennehy’s to the top of Metro Div. Two East [6-1, 18].
Andres Sole [two], Filipe Lobato and Ronan Gardiner also tallied.
Richmond County, joint third in the East, held off SC Eintracht, whose Alex Hall scored, 3-1.
Missile FC, meanwhile, had a brace from Alexis Lens in a 2-2 tie with New York United.
A 4-0 thrashing of Brooklyn Bound at Prospect Park pushed Beyond FC three points ahead in the Metro Two West.
Osama Al Sayhbi, Farid Ordoñez, Sam Golzan and Rodney Lozier scored for the Jersey side [6-1-1, 19].
Forward Chris Kilcarr’s last second header preserved BW Gottschee’s 23-game unbeaten run in a 2-2 draw with Homenetmen on Randalls Island.
Miran Keheian and Vardan Tigranyan had Homenetmen two goals up by the second half when Greg Davis pulled one back for Metro Two West’s number two side.
“With time ticking down coach George Silva switched to three at the back to throw another player upfront and with 30 seconds left in the game the gamble paid off,” said John Ryding.
Brandon Silva whipped in free kick that Kilcarr headed home.
“It was yet another case of last minute heroics by a team that somehow finds the ‘smash and grab’ play on the rare occasions it finds itself trailing late in the game,” remarked Ryding.
Borrowing a leaf from their usually prolific scoring senior team in Metro One, Williamsburg International II pasted Barnstonworth Rovers 5-0 at Bushwick Inlet.
Matthieu Imbeault [two], Conrad Briceno, AJ Bello and Yann Micuta were on target.
There was also a third consecutive victory for Edison Calle’s NYC Metro Stars who hammered SS Lazio 7-2.
“Big victory for [us] with goals by Rodolfo Oliveira [5th], Guisseppe Romero [10th, 25th], Mamadou Diombera [20th, 55th], Juan Cungachi [67th] and Jonathan Coronel [75th],” noted Calle.
Johnny McGeeney scored twice in the Over-30 Irish derby as titlists Shamrock atoned for that 4-1 loss to Celtic Legends last month that ended their 31-match unbeaten run.
“A great team performance versus an excellent Manhattan Celtic side,” said Paddy McCarry. “The boys had to work extremely hard for the victory, both goals were fantastic from Johnny, the second being one of the best I have seen live; a 25-yard curler into top corner.”
Shamrock [7-1, 21] nudged Celtic out of first place in the East, albeit the latter  have a game in hand.
At Tibbetts Brook Park, the Lansdowne Over-30s were thwarted by an injury time goal in a 1-1 tie with CPR Grays.
Shane Moore was on target in the first half and the lead held until the stroke of full time when Graham Bambrough equalized.
In a result mirroring the Kicker-Hoboken Second Division fixture, Kickers Premier edged Hoboken FC 1-0 in an Over-30 tussle on Randalls Island.
Newcomer Mark Bau laid a pass to Khouri Mullings [65th] for the lone goal.
“If not for the acrobatics of the Hoboken keeper, Kickers would have won this match by three or four,” said Mike Fitzgerald. “We hit three posts and really pressured the opposition all day.”
He had props for the Premier backline of Colin O’Banion, Russ Osur, David Reischfeld, Brad Lupton and Alex Petrovic for recording the clean sheet.
OLD BOY STYLE
Brandon Levy [pen.], Matt Hureau and Ernest Subah starred in the CPR Old Boys’ 3-1 defeat of BW Gottschee.
Ernest Subah’s goal for the Old Boys under lights followed a brace earlier in the day in CPR Legends’ 2-2 draw with Manhattan Kickers Legends in an Over-37 fixture.
His first effort was canceled out by DJ Stewart, and after Joe Whiteman fired Kickers ahead, Subah leveled late [85th] following a defensive lapse.
Elsewhere, Shamrock Legends slipped 1-0 to Over-37 champions Cozmoz FC after a battling effort at St. Michael’s.
Predictably, Nedgy Nazon scored for Cozmoz.