NY Colleges celebrate 1st silverware in Britain

[caption id="attachment_69875" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The New York Colleges squad that won the Division 2 Shield tournament in the British Universities championships."]


The New York Colleges victory in the final of the Division 2 Shield tournament was the toast of the Minor Board’s Dinner Dance at the Polish Center on Saturday night as co-captains Conor Hogan and Kevin McArdle proudly carried in the spoils of victory. This win, a drubbing of 0-20 to 0-6 of the University of Aberdeen in Manchester the previous Sunday, was all the sweeter as New York had suffered a heart-breaking defeat to these opponents at the quarter final stage last year. This was New York’s first outright success after being in the competition for six years.

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In the opening game, New York took on Liverpool’s John Moore University in Birmingham. The Big Apple students started strongly with Adrian Jusufi opening the scoring with a point. Another minor score soon followed as industrious work by Liam Deane drew a foul which CJ Molloy duly dispatched over the bar. Midway the momentum swung in favor of the Moore’s boys but they dropped several chances short and they were capably dealt with by keeper McArdle. Eventually they hit the target with a fisted effort but New York responded with a mini blitz as Molloy tagged on another free before great combination play by the two Shanes, Hogan and Hanley, set the scene for Deane to punch home a goal. Another Molloy point left New York leading by 1-4 to 0-1 at the break. In the second half John Moore’s, stepped up their performance and their production as New York were very much in the defensive mode. Costly frees and a goal soon had the game leveled up plus the Moores spurned several chances to go ahead. However New York also had a chance to grab victory at the buzzer after good support play by Conor Hogan and Sean Reilly led to a free, but the resultant kick skinned the outside of the post to leave the teams all square at the final whistle.

There was little time for recovery as New York’s next opponent was the University of Central Lancashire. New York struggled in the opening segment as they conceded two points Indeed, they could have been further in arrears but for some superb saves by keeper McArdle. However these saves seemed to inspire his teammates as the siege was soon lifted and Del Ferreira netted a fine goal. Now New York had the momentum as the resultant kick-out was quickly delivered to full forward Molloy. However the target man was hauled to the ground as he shot for goal, leaving Sean Reilly the task of clinically planting the penalty in the corner of the net. Lancashire responded with a pointed free but good work from Brian Givney and the Hogan brothers out the field did the spade work for the Molloy to tag on another point, leaving a goal between the sides at the break.

New York were under siege again in the second half as Lancashire battled back furiously to hit four unanswered points. Now with time running out, and down by a point, it looked as if an early exit was on the cards again for the New York boys. However it was left to the reliable left boot of CJ Molloy to land two late frees to seal the victory and propel his team into the next stage of the competition. New York were then drawn against the winners of Liverpool and Newcastle but heavy overnight frost left the fields frozen on the following day. New York, then as the highest placed second team, were matched in the Division 2 Shield against Aberdeen.

The Big Apple scholars began the final at a blistering pace with Donnacha O’Dwyer winning the throw-in and setting up Liam Deane for the opening score. O’Dwyer was very impressive throughout the tournament with his considerable array of talents being favorably commented by coaches and observers. Meanwhile Brian Twomey volleyed over a breaking ball in the second minute and he would add three more points over the course of the game. Brian Givney was also causing all sorts of headaches for Aberdeen with his ball winning skills around the middle and he was unlucky to be denied a goal in the 17th minute.

New York definitely kept the good wine until last as they hit for 12 points in the first half to a solitary point for the opponents, as they got huge performances from Kevin Daly, Adrian Jusufi, Brian Twomey and Frankie McDermott. The rout continued in the second half with some fine scores from Tom O’Brien, Daly and Molloy. Sean Reilly showed his undoubted class as he coolly split the posts with a “45”. New York cruised through the last quarter, and though Aberdeen came back with a few points, they were no match this time for a New York team that had the bit firmly between their teeth and plenty of fire in their belly. They finished with a very impressive tally of 0-20 while holding their vaunted opponents to 0-6. The tournament coordinator Ronan McCarthy, in presenting the shield, thanked the New York management for their hard work in making the trip possible on six successive occasions. This was New York’s first silverware and the players and management were thrilled with the win after all the training, effort and fundraising that had gone into the team. The management consisted of Eamon Deane (manager), while the selectors were Connie Molloy, Roger Slattery and Dennis Twomey. Eugene McArdle was the tour manager while Simon Gillespie coupled his role of trainer with that of reporter. The complete panel was as follows: Kevin McArdle, Tom Huvane, Donnacha O’Dwyer, Kieran Slattery, Jonathon Maher, Frankie McDermott, Daniel Lehane, Shane Hogan, Del Ferreira, Conor Hogan, Sean Reilly, Thomas O’Brien, Adrian Jusufi, Shane Hanley, Liam Deane, CJ Molloy, Brian Twomey, Kevin Daly, Brian Givney, Phil Kennedy and Dennis Kilkenny.

Sean Larkin RIP

Sean Larkin, a native of Ballinasloe, Co. Galway passed away on Jan. 19 after being seriously ill since the previous March. He was hospitalized at Sloan Kettering for a number of months. Sean was an alumnus of Garbally College, Ballinasloe (1968-1973), the Ballinasloe Hurling Club and CBS Sexton St. Limerick (1978-1987). He was a member of Local 94 Operating Engineers Union. Both Sean and his wife Joan were members of the St. Barnabas Club and the New York Minor Board. The late Sean was married to Joan, a native Kilgarvan, Co. Kerry and the father of Sheila and Shane. Joan is currently the seventh grade teacher at St. Paul the Apostle School in Yonkers and was previously a hostess at Rory Dolan’s and Mannion’s restaurants in Yonkers. Though it was extremely sad that Sean’s bountiful life ended prematurely, that great loss may be softened somewhat by the memories of his gregarious nature. However the harsh reality is that Sean’s cruel illness necessitated long hospital stays and intensive medical care resulting in astronomical bills. Now the friends of Sean are holding a benefit at J.P. Clarke’s at 947 McLean Avenue on Sunday, February 26th, starting at 2 pm to help the family cope with these very onerous expenses. In times of need the Irish and Irish-American communities are always to the fore in helping out. The Sean Larkin Benefit Committee is asking that you keep that generous and caring spirit working by coming out on Sunday to do whatever you can. The late Sean and his family have suffered much, their loss will never be repaired but your generosity will help lessen the financial hardship that the family must continue to endure. The late Sean certainly did his part with benefits, fundraisers etc. Now it is time to reciprocate.