Access the full article at First Touch Online
By Jay Mwamba
Lansdowne Bhoys and Shamrock pulled off an unprecedented Irish treble in New York State amateur soccer last weekend, scooping three trophies collectively in a 48-hour period.
The Lansdowne firsts ignited the Celtic sweep with a 2-0 win over hitherto unbeaten Pancyprian Freedoms at St. Johnâs University on Friday night to retain the CSL First Division championship.
On Sunday morning, the Lansdowne seconds hammered United FC 4-1 at the Verrazano Sports Complex to lift the DâArpino State Cup.
Simultaneously on Randalls Island, Shamrockâs reserve side blanked Mola SC 2-0 to bag the Saunders Cup.
Overall, the results brought the Irish trophy haul in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League this season to six. In addition to last weekendâs success, the Lansdowne first team had won the East division title, the Lansdowneâs thirds snared the Metro Div. One East championship and Paddy McCarryâs Shamrock veterans were crowned CSL Over-30 champions.
There was also the Shamrock first teamâs promotion to the First Division where they now join Lansdowne as the second Irish club in the CSL top flight.
Second half goals by Jamaican-born Anthony Grant propelled Austin Frielâs Bhoys to a repeat victory over Pancyprian and a second consecutive CSL title.
Lansdowne had hammered the Greek-Cypriots 4-0 to clinch their first title in last yearâs championship match.
âA dominant performance from us and fully deserved win,â summed up Friel after this latest triumph against a side that had gone undefeated all season.
The Yonkers Irish had the best chance in the opening half when Jason Gaylord hit the woodwork.
On resumption, a build-up involving Ovan Oakley, Joey Ogoo and Gareth Mcglynn resulted in the latter delivering a pin point cross that Grant nodded in [50th].
Lansdowneâs backline held off a Pancyprian fight back for some ten minutes before Oakley beat two defenders and cut the ball back to Grant who finished unerringly from 12 yards.
âOverall a great performance from Lansdowne and fully deserved win,â said Friel. âItâs very hard to retain [a] title but credit to the boys for the hard work they put in all season.â
Friel lauded his assistant coaches Dessie Beattie and Declan Reilly for the success.
Two days later, Friel, whoâs 33, notched a brace for the Lansdowne reserves in the 4-1 DâArpino Cup final romp over United FC âB.â
This after Declan Reilly and a Sean Kelly-enforced own goal had settled the Bhoys after a nervy start.
The Bhoys had goalie Colm Burke to thank for a 25th minute penalty save before Reilly drew first blood.
Yan Overman scored Unitedâs consolation goal.
Keith âFoxyâ Murphy, the Lansdowne reserve coach, was delighted at the victory and praised his side. âWell done to my boys for their hard work,â he said.
On Randalls Island, Daniel Cano and Cathal Monaghan scripted Shamrockâs 2-0 defeat of Mola on Randalls Island.
Mola were the better team in the first half and were unlucky to be scoreless at the break, said the Rocksâ John Riordan.
âThe fitness of the Rocks shone through in the second half though and a great move from left to right after 60 minutes set up Cano for a brilliant strike,â added Riordan.
Ten minutes later, Monaghan increased the lead with a low drive into the near post.
Mola rallied but in vain.
Said coach Stevie Doyle: âWe didnât play particularly well to be honest but the hard work done all season paid off in the second half and we deserved to finish off the season on a high note.
âIâm delighted with the win. [And] very proud of the lads.â
The Manning Cup had a new winner last Sunday when newly branded Everton FC Westchester Eagles [nee Clarkstown Eagles] edged 2013 victors United FC 2-1 at the Verrazano Sports Complex.
Emmanuel Gomez and Jesus Alvarez scored for Everton. Adam Himeno was on target for United, who won the State-wide competition in 2013.
âTough game,â quipped Everton owner and coach Oliver Papraniku. âUnited were a great squad!â
It was Unitedâs third appearance in the final in the last four years.
To reach the final Everton [as Clarkstown] dispatched Westbury 2-1, Hammered Serbia 5-0, knocked off Central Park Rangers Whites 3-1 and beat Lansdowne Bhoys 5-4 on penalties in the semi-finals.
United had seen off New York Irish Rovers 5-2, Glen Cove 4-0 and Pancyprian 6-5 on penalties in the last four.
Clarkstown changed its name last week after signing a partnership deal with the prestigious academy Everton Fc Westchester.
CD Iberia retained the CSL League Cup with a 4-2 romp over NYAC âBâ on Randalls Island to salvage what by their lofty standards had been a dismal season.
Javi Beiro, Julian Escobar, Jorge Mora and Chiki Vazquez tallied for Iberia who led 3-0 at one point.
NYACâs Jon Hemmert pulled one back before the Spaniards restored their three-goal cushion. Chris Barsky [85th] then cut it back to two.
âAfter a rough league campaign, it is nice to finish the year with some silverware,â remarked Juan Lago. âItâs not easy to win back to back cups in any tournament so it is a great team achievement.â
He had props for all 15 players available on the day as well as CSL general secretary Bill Marth and the league for âmaking this cup such a great tournament.â
Said NYAC boss Bill Saporito: âI think itâs fair to say we dominated the first half but ended up picking the ball out of the net twice. And of course, congrats to CD Iberia, which put together a very impressive run to the championship.
The cup final loss came three days after NYAC were dethroned as First Division Reserve champions by a souped up New York Greek Americans side.
Frank Lopez, Peter Touros and Dominc Iovino scripted the Greeksâs 3-1 victory in the delayed playoff.
âWide open game that we were in all the way,â remarked Saporito.â
Brian Kuritzky was the NYAC scorer, tying the game at one point after collecting the rebound off the crossbar from Junior Spinksâ 30-yard scorcher.
âThe Greeks started six first team players to zero for us. I guess their reserve team was busy,â observed Saporito.
Greek Americans face United FC in the championship match 9 p.m. this Thursday on Randalls Island.
The CSL will have to wait another year for its first Fritz Marth Cup triumph after Manhattan Kickers Premier succumbed 4-3 on penalties to EDSL side Czechoslovakia in the final.
âWe outplayed [them] for much of the game,â Fitzgerald lamented the loss.
Stu Kaiser headed Kickers ahead from a Nick Bill throw-in [18th] and with goalie Bernie Sheary stopping everything the Czechs fired at him, the CSL envoys took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The Czechs, however, leveled in the 65th minute and survived a late Kicker rally during which the Fitzgeraldâs men twice hit the woodwork and were thwarted by the goalie.
In the shoot-out, Sheary saved the first Czech attempt but the normally reliable Gilad Bloom crashed his shot off the beam and Kickers went down 4-3.
âItâs a long hard road, but we gave it our best. We will have to do better next time,â said Mike Fitzgerald.
It was the third attempt in six years by a Kicker team to lift the State cup for Over-30 teams. In 2010, Manhattan Kickers Over-30 became the first CSL club to reach the final of the Fritz Marth Cup, named for the late CSL stalwart. They lost 4-2 to Long Island powerhouse South Baisley.
Kickers Over-30s returned to the final in 2012 only to succumb 2-1 to Germania Poughkeepsie.