The Legends had a decent sized squad available in Sunday, but were also fortunate in that key players were available. With mediocrity assured regardless of the result, Legends Management decided to go back to the experimental 4-2-3-1 they had tried to some success back in the Autumn. The key was having 3 mobile defensive midfielders and a strong defensive base, but as feared as soon as the game started several players clearly appeared confused about the concept of a formation other than a 4-4-2. Within a few minutes it was just 2 players pressing the Shamrock back line as opposed to the 4 that the formation was designed to free up. Most of the action remained in the center of the pitch as neither side seemed able to create concrete chances. Frazier appeared eager to display his defensive chops in a debut in goal for the Legends, although with a strong back line in front of him he didn’t have much to do. The first half saw the Legends limited to a couple of chances, Pattinson lifting a chip a little too high over the onrushing keeper and then hitting a shot bereft of curl from the outside.
As the second half started it looked like the Legends 4 substitutes could make the difference as the heat started taking its toll along with the hard new surface rending every hard tackle in a bloody scraping. The Legends kept probing the Shamrocks high line as the referee appeared to be actually paying attention to the offside rule, calling it when necessary but letting it go as needed. The politicking by both sides was entertaining but the referee appeared more than equal to the task. In the end, the sole goal arrived via slapstick methodology. Harrison won the ball and after shaking off some hard tackles hit a hopeful ball into the area. The defender went to the ball then assumed the keeper would pick it up. The keeper was looking at the defender as the ball gently bisected both of them. All of a sudden Mckeown aroused from his slumber and lumbered forward to gleefully (temporarily) finish his Legends career with a final game winning goal.
All in all not as bad a season as it seemed in patches. There were several good wins over traditionally strong sides, and the team did well to finish right in the middle given the increased quality of the league and despite playing in the significantly tougher division.
Competition: Shamrocks SC Legends, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #74, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Very warm spring morning
Result: 1:0 HT: 0-0
Goals: 1-0: Mckeown Assist Harrison
Yellow Cards: Putting Frazier in goal had the added benefit of reducing his interactions with anyone else including the referee. This resulted in a rare booking free game. Rosenbloom meanwhile had a quick early booking, but despite some hard fouls later on this would serve as the only booking of the match for the Legends.
Red Cards: None.
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Fortunately none.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Morales came off hurt in the second half but fortunately the team had enough in reserve. Many people suffered from bleeding cuts though from the new harsh surface.
Old Man of the Match: Another good game by the team. Although it was tight, Simon ‘Harry’ Harrison edged ahead with his physicality and defensive prowess, also claiming a fortuitous assist.
Old Man of the Bar: No single individual here but a great overall performance.
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): El Presidente Faherty made an appearance despite the grueling work schedule to bid a post game adieu to Mckeown.
Statistic of the week: With the season over there were no major new statistics in the last game, although Venkataraman finished only his second ever CPR season since 2000 without a goal.
Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 15 (47%)
Team Bar Night: 4.5 out of 5. The best post game shenanigans for a while, with not just the usual suspects spending a good amount of time at the pub. Just when things appeared to be winding down, both the Oranges and the Women’s Whites showed up to add some more levity to the proceedings.
Team (No new profiles this week): Tim Frazier (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tom Pattinson, Manuel Casanova, Santiago Morales, Steve Teesdale (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Oli Roberts (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Simon Harrison, Bevan Rosenbloom, Mike Conboy