Lansdowne Bhoys defender Karim Russell challenging Shamrock SC left back Dan Giorgi for the ball. Hess Boys Photography
May 16, 2017
The Lansdowne-Shamrock rivalry takes on a deeper meaning this Wednesday as both sides will fight to break out of a surprising two league-game winless run and for the top-seed in the league at Verrazano Sports Complex Field 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Lansdowne lost their last two games in the league after going 46 games unbeaten, falling to Cedar Stars Academy, 2-1, and to NY Pancyprian Freedoms, 1-0.
“I think it's behind us now,” Bhoys striker Ovan Oakley said about his side’s losing run in the league.
He later added: “I feel like every game we play in the league is tough for us. Teams try their very best to win against us and make it difficult. Shamrock will be no different. I don’t think we are worried about the losing streak. We lost two games out of maybe our last 50 games. The bhoys are confident in their abilities to win matches.”
Lansdowne Bhoys striker Ovan Oakley. Lansdowne Bhoys Image
Despite two straight losses in the CSL, the Bhoys have been excelling in the cups as they defeated FC Motown 2-1 in the Werner Fricker Cup Region I semifinal and Brick Lions FC 8-0 in the U.S Amateur Cup Region I semifinal.
Lansdowne’s Irish rivals, Shamrock's winless run consists of a 1-1 tie to Manhattan Celtic on April 29th and a 1-0 loss to NY Greek Americans on May 7th.
As Oakley shared for Lansdowne, Shamrock center back Charlie O’Loughlin expressed that his side is not discomposed by their winless run.
“The streak is not a concern as we have proven across the season that we are a good side with consistent performances and results,” O’Loughlin said. “We always play to win each game and this game will be no different.”
Shamrock SC defender Charlie O'Loughlin. NY Shamrocks Images
The Bhoys sit over Shamrock in first place by one point with two games to go in the regular season. Hence a win is crucial in the two Irish-based clubs’ hope to top the regular season and get the best playoff seed. But both sides have their eyes set far beyond topping the league.
“Obviously having the best playoff seed is important heading into the playoffs,” Rocks’ O’Loughlin said, “but it is not the be all and end all. We will continue to prepare in the same manner either way and plan to have New York Shamrocks Men joining our Women's team as champions come the end of the season.”
Bhoys’ Oakley also brushed off finishing first in the regular season when asked about it by sharing that his side’s end goal is to win the CSL.
“It is extremely important that we win [against Shamrock]," the Jamaican said. “Whichever way, I feel like the ultimate goal is to make it to the final and win the final. But as I said we are focusing on one game at a time. Our coach, Austin [Friel], makes sure that we do not lose focus. And I think we will be fine.”
Last time the two sides met, Lansdowne blanked Shamrocks 1-0 on Nov. 19th.
Lansdowne Bhoys—Ibrahim Diaby (CM): Diaby played for Shamrock in the first half of the season, he’s still their third topscorer this season with five goals.
Shamrock SC—Kwesi Mills-Odoi (FWD): Mills-Odoi leads the Rocks in scoring with seven goals.
Shamrock SC forward Kwesi Mills-Odoi. NY Shamrocks Images
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