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‘Luck of the Irish’ with Shamrocks

Sharks FC – 2 Shamrocks – 3
Fraser Park, Wellington, April 29 2018

The luck of the Irish helped Shamrocks to a 3-2 win over old nemesis Sharks FC in a hard-fought Wellington Sunday Football League match at Fraser Park in Lower Hutt yesterday.

While both teams tried to play a high defensive line from the game’s outset, this strategy hurt Sharks FC as a strong tailwind made it easier for Shamrocks to play downfield, leading to the first goal of the day. A long cross from Hamish Eden of Shamrocks evaded everyone and rebounded from the right goalpost to land at the feet of teammate Dave Moore, who chipped the ball into the goal to make the scoreline 1-0.

A goal from Sharks’ centre midfielder Phil McIntosh drew the scores level midway through the half but Shamrocks regained the ascendency a few minutes later through Dave Moore, who headed home a well-directed cross from his brother and teammate Paul Moore. Dave Moore was in the thick of the action again just before half time when one of his crosses deflected off a Sharks’ defender’s shin for an own goal.

“The first goal was just blind luck”, said Moore. “It came off the post and went straight to me. The second was an awesome ball from Paul. I was just trying to get a little touch, but everybody missed it. I’d like to claim the third as well, but I’m not sure I can.”

The second half was a different story as Sharks worked to make the most of the wind advantage. Regan Petrie regularly found space on the left for Sharks but stalwart defense from Shamrocks’ players prevented any goals.

For a time, long shots were the only option thanks to clearances from John Rae and others, but a spectacular shot from outside the penalty box by Sharks centre midfielder Adam Manisy gave Sharks a second goal, taking the match to 3-2.

Despite the best attacking efforts of Sharks, which included their keeper Shane Taurua crossing halfway to join the offense in desperation, they were not able to equalise.

The friendly rivalry between Sharks and Shamrocks goes back several years. Shamrocks was founded in 1985 as the Wellington Irish Society team, while Sharks FC was founded by the Police College in the 2000s, with goalscorer McIntosh the son of a founding member.

Their encounter in the Division Three finals in the previous season resulted in a 4-5 penalty shootout in favour of Sharks, described by Taurua as “a classic”.

In other Wellington Sunday Football League action, Tuskan Raiders held off Lokomotiv Beer Quarter at Ascot Park to retain their place at top of the Division One table. Sudakas FC continued a strong run to claim second place on the table with a 5-0 victory over HHH United, while third placed Lazy 11 drew against North Wellington.

In the second division, V-Well FC maintained pole position with a win over Fireraiders, while Marauders FC dropped from second to fifth after a 9-4 drubbing from Zazaspor.

Wellington Chinese United moved up to third in Division Four after a 3-2 win over SVH, although a broken leg to an SVH player marred an otherwise exciting match. Expected Tolouse kept second place by winning 10-1 over Pirates FC. Harimau Wellington rounded out the top three in Division Four after The Dave Bakers forfeited the match.

A record 37 teams are currently competing in Wellington’s Sunday Football League, a community based 11 aside league founded over 40 years ago. A full table of results and fixtures can be found at https://tinyurl.com/WSFL2018.

Categories: Wellington Sunday Football League

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Fraser May

I alternate between club, indoor and street football. I'm keen on the social game and have been known to bother urban Wellington by playing street football at night. I usually play keeper or wing back, and I'm enough of a geek to enjoy football manager games.

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