The Rocks’ first defeat of the season proved costly as they surrendered first place to CD Iberia, 4-1 winners over FC Japan. Shamrock [6-1-2, 20] now go into the three-month Cosmopolitan Soccer League winter break two points behind Iberia.
Fury’s victory was down to pure heart. Fielding just ten men and down to nine after an injury in the dying minutes, they overcame an early Paddy Geraghty goal [10th] to lead 3-2 at the interval.
Eric Anton replied twice for Fury and after Geraghty [30th] had tied the game at 2-2, Kevin Lehman quickly restored the home side’s lead.
“We lost concentration defensively and I’m not happy about it,” Shamrock coach Robbie Walsh said later.
His lads struggled to raise their game on resumption despite playing with an extra man. When they finally drew level, off a Karl Hughes penalty awarded for a foul on Sean Kelly, Lehman [75th] popped up to bag the winner.
“Fury played an amazing game. We played the entire game with 10 men,” the victors’ Kevin Clifford enthused. “Jay Soto did an outstanding job anchoring the out-manned defense for 90 minutes and [holding] on the last 20 minutes while we were down to nine.”
Walsh was livid.
“A mediocre performance,” he charged. “The [lads] have got three months to think about it.”
Walsh singled out Eoghan McPartland in defense as the only player who rose to the occasion.
“Credit to New York Fury, they went out and ground out a result,” the gaffer added.
At the soggy Metropolitan Oval, nine-man Lansdowne Bhoys also overcame the odds to pip Central Park Rangers 2-1 and end a three-match winless streak.
The First Division tussle came to a head in the last half hour after the Bhoys’ Tommy Smyth was sent off.
Kwesi Mills shot CPR ahead moments later but Aidan Morton quickly drew the Bronx Irish level. He started a move from his left fullback lair and three passes later scored from 25 yards.
Ten minutes from time, Damian Mescall whipped in a cross from the right that goalie Ben Lucki punched into Conor Hunter’s path. The livewire forward slotted home from six yards.
Lansdowne then had David Dunican dismissed for a second yellow [82nd]. They weathered some late pressure and once goalie Allan Reilly had denied Mills in stoppage time, the points were in the bag.
“The guys have been playing well, today they found their scoring boots,” said Paul Doherty, whose lads [3-4-2, 11] end the year third in the East.
“Special mention to Sean Purcell, Aiden Morton and Michael De Pra,” Doherty lauded his midfield trio. “We can now go into the break on a high.”
Said CPR manager Yuval Lion: “We controlled most of the possession. It was a hard fought game. Lansdowne play with a lot of heart, they’re a tough team.”
Kevin McGeeney connected twice after Jason Kennedy’s ice-breaker in the table-topping Lansdowne reserves’ 3-0 romp over CPR’s seconds at the Oval.
Man of the Match honors went to Keith “Foxy” Murphy, who filled in at center half.
“They were a decent side,” Aiden Corr lauded CPR.
Lansdowne improved to 6-1-2  atop the First Division [East] Reserve standings.
Shamrock’s Over-30s, meanwhile, end the fall third in Div. II, after a 5-1 blitz of Albion SC on Randalls Island.
Mario Angelucci hit a hat trick after Randall Friedman [20th] and Benny Ljuja [25th] had put Shamrock 2-0 up.
“We played well and took our chances. This performance gives us a lot of hope for the spring,” said Eoin Sweeney.
He had props for Muhsin Kagdaric who was outstanding at full back.
“Overall the team played well after last week’s disappointment,” Sweeney added, alluding to the 1-0 defeat by Westchester FC on December 6.