Courtesy of Sarah Thorenton
- Shamrocks Women advance to cup final
- Rocks 1960 move top of Metro 2
- Second win in a row for Legends
- Over 30s win inspired by another Riley hat trick
- Irish Derby ends in defeat for first team
The Rocks Women are through to the Division B Cup Final after a 4-0 win over Astoria in St Michaels.
Yet another Sinead Hennessy hat trick inspired the victory following on from Brittany Meade’s opener.
Meade beat the offside trap midway through the first half and slotted home from just inside the box after an excellent pass from midfield.
The Rocks had plenty chances to extend their lead but the score remained 1-0 at half-time. Hennessy then began to roll in the second half and her first goal was the result of a superb build-up involving Aoife West, Michaela Newell, Paige Osborne and Newell again who sent a pass over the defense to Hennessy, the striker dropping the shoulder brilliantly before hitting the net.
Her second was even more impressive, hitting the far top corner with a looping shot and she soon notched her 17th of the season, Ferraro’s well played ball from the center circle finding impressive new signing Crystal Mena who sent in an accurate low cross to the Rocks captain.
“A great performance in the from the ladies,” reflected coach Paddy Geraghty. “We limited Astoria to long range efforts and Jessica our keeper didn’t have a save to make.
“We’re top of the league and we now have a final to look forward to in the Spring. It gives us a lot to work towards over the winter.”
The Irish Derby at Randalls Island on Saturday night ended in a tough defeat for the Shamrocks after a battling performance failed to prevent a 2-0 loss to Manhattan Celtic.
Manhattan, who scored early in both halves in an entertaining encounter, now close the gap to the fourth-placed Rocks to two points going into the Thanksgiving break.
“Manhattan used their experience and deserved the points overall,” said coach Kevin Grogan.
“Again we worked hard. We will bounce back. It’s only our second loss of the season. We are still a new team and it takes time to blend. We have a lot of good traits.”
The night started off perfectly for the Rocks, a 2-0 win for the Reserves against Celtic in the opener. Shane Moore (pictured) scored in the first half and Daniel Cano wrapped up the points with 15 minutes to go, a brilliant finish from ten yards out ending a great sequence of passing.
“That was our best performance so far this year,” said coach Stevie Doyle. “We controlled the game from start to finish and what was most pleasing is to have kept a clean sheet
“We worked so hard from the get go and fully deserved the three points. Very pleasing on the eye the way we played and passed the ball around.”
Meanwhile, Rocks 1960 went top of Metro 2 after a 3-0 win against Gotham.
Robbie O’Neill kept his third clean sheet in a row while the business at the other end was done masterfully by goalscorers Hughie McGowan, Dave Harvey and Dan Meola.
McGowan had the Rocks 1-0 up at the break and Harvey’s strike was the standout moment of the game – brilliantly curling home to the far corner from distance. Meola wrapped up the points with a superb finish on the break.
“It’s a great feeling to be on top,” said coach Andy Connolly. “We worked hard for this but there’s a long way to go.”
Earlier in the day, Sean Riley scored his third hat trick in a row to inspire the Over 30s towards a crucial top of the table win at Randalls Island on Sunday morning, convincingly beating second placed CPR Old Boys 4-2.
Top scorer Riley had the home side 2-0 up at half-time following two impressive goals.
His first was a well-placed header on the end of an in-swinging Tayfun Gokmen corner. Shawn Baron brilliantly set up the second, sharing a one-two with Riley who shot home clinically.
Riley turned provider at the start of the second half, flicking a pass on to Gokmen who rounded the keeper and tapped home to make it 3-0.
CPR struck back 12 minutes later courtesy of a penalty but Riley rounded out his hat trick after running onto an inch perfect Paddy Geraghty pass.
CPR scored a late consolation but now lie six points behind the Rocks with a game in hand.
“It was a great team performance by all 15 players,” said coach Paddy Mc Carry. “We played some great football and totally deserved the three points. If we keep playing like that, we won’t be caught in the league.
“I’m over the moon for the players. The squad has been great all year and they deserve to be top of the league.”
In Brooklyn meanwhile, the Legends won their second Over 36 game in a row now a well deserved 4-1 victory at Barnstonworth Rovers.
Goals from Ger Shivnan, Benny Lujita, Bruno Angelucci and Stevie Doyle wrapped up the points for the Rocks.
“Delighted with our second win in a row,” said assistant coach Donal ‘Ducky’ Kelly.
“A battling performance by the whole squad. We kept our heads in difficult circumstances and took our chances when they came. We can look forward to testing ourselves against the league leaders in our next outing now.”
CSL DIVISION 1
Manhattan Celtic v Shamrocks (Randalls Island 70 – 8pm)
CSL DIVISION 1 – RESERVES
Manhattan Celtic v Shamrocks (Randalls Island 70 – 6pm)
CSL METRO 2
Shamrocks v Gotham (St Michaels – 1pm)
CSL OVER 30s DIVISION
Shamrocks v CPR Old Boys (Randalls Island 75 – 8am)
CSL OVER 36s DIVISION
Barnstonworth v Shamrocks Legends (Bush Terminal Park – 12pm)
METRO WOMEN’S LEAGUE DIV B CUP SEMI-FINAL
NY Shamrocks v Astoria (St Michaels – 11am)
It’s the biggest weekend of the year for the Shamrocks with five important games taking the club into a well earned Thanksgiving break.
Kevin Grogan and his players face a tough task in the Irish Derby at Randalls Island on Saturday night where Manhattan Celtic will be formidable opponents for the Rocks (kick off 8pm).
Likely to be without solid center back Tom Manz, the first team was strengthened this week with the signing of talented midfielder Nick Zorbo, brother of Joey.
Manhattan Celtic are just five points behind the Shamrocks following three league games in a row in which they have failed to win. However they pushed champions Lansdowne hard in late October and will be favorites at home against the Rocks.
“It’s the biggest game of the season against a quality Manhattan Celtic side,” said Grogan. “We will certainly miss Tommy Manz as he will most likely be out. I’m hoping though that (striker) Ateba (Morgan) can be back available.
“We are learning all the time and we will be prepared for this game. We are delighted with our long awaited new signing of Nick Zorbo.”
In the curtain raiser, the third placed Rocks reserves will be hoping to bounce back after a bruising loss at home to NYAC two weeks ago.
The hosts are six points back, without a win since the start of October, but Stevie Doyle will be taking no chances against their counterparts in what will be a 6pm kick-off.
“We need to win to make sure we stay in touch with Lanadowne and NYAC,” said Doyle. “But these will be tough opponents so I’ll be making sure our players go into Saturday ready for a battle.”
Sunday’s action begins with the game of the week in the Over 30s Division when Paddy Mc Carry’s Shamrocks host CPR Old Boys at Randalls Island 75 at 8am.
The two teams are effectively neck and neck with second placed CPR only three points behind the champions but with a game in hand, ensuring that this is a must win for the Rocks.
“Sunday is without a doubt the biggest game of season so far,” said Mc Carry.
“We set goals at the start of season to be top of league and in the last eight of the State Cup by the time we got to December. We have taken care of the State Cup part and if we win Sunday, we will be top of the league going into the winter break.
“We have player of the year Alex Berne and Danny Parkin back for Sunday. The only starter missing is Andy Horan so we have a very strong team out. The boys want the three points and so do I but CPR will be a very tough test but one I believe we will pass.”
The Metro 2 game between Shamrocks and Gotham is also a top-of-the-table clash with the Rocks looking to leapfrog their visitors into second place (St Michaels – 1pm).
Gotham had been enjoying a five-game winning streak in the league prior to their last game against Beyond which ended in a draw. Rocks 1960, meanwhile, have won three from three in all competitions in November and will be bidding to keep that good run going.
Once again, the Rocks Women are the curtain raiser at St Michaels, their final game of 2015 and a special one at that: the Division B Cup semi-final.
Astoria will be the visitors for the 11am kick-off and coach Paddy Geraghty is hoping the Division B league leaders will continue their good form in spite of last week’s courageous defeat against NY Magic.
“We have the biggest game of the season on Sunday,” Geraghty pointed out.
“It’s a chance to make it to a cup final which would be a huge achievement. We have a few players out of town and one or two carrying knocks so it’s a chance for others to step up. We had our best training session of the season on Tuesday and it shows me that we’re ready to put last week behind us and give it our best shot.”
Meanwhile, the Legends will be in Brooklyn for a 12pm kick off at Barnstonworth (Bush Terminal Park) where they welcome back some key players from injury.
“We’re looking forward to this one on Sunday on the back of a good win in the previous game,” said coach Emmett Harvey. “We have a couple of players ready to return to action and we have a large squad to choose from which is a big boost going into an important game.”
Shamrocks 1960 will move on to the last 16 of the Strumpf Cup after a well earned 2-0 win over Galicia at St Michaels on Sunday.
Hughie McGowan and Dave Harvey (penalty) scored second half goals to move the Rocks into the last 16.
“They were a tricky team to play against but we were very patient and took our chances well,” said coach Andy Connolly.
“We’re delighted to be in the next round and it’s a real confidence booster for the entire squad.
“I’m so proud of what these guys have managed to achieve so far and only wait with whetted appetite to see what they can serve up next.”
There was a tough 3-2 loss for the Rocks women’s team against a very talented NY Magic outfit in the State Cup – the first of a St Michaels double bill.
Christina Beck and Erin Cullen had the Rocks 2-0 up but Magic rallied in the second half and held on to advance.
“We played very well against the leaders of Division A,” said coach Paddy Geraghty. “I’m very proud of our team because we showed we belong at the next level. We still have two trophies to play for and we’ll prepare for next week’s Division B Cup semi-final just like we have been.”
The Shamrocks Over 30s moved into the quarter-finals of the Marth Cup. The game was unplayed due to CPR Grays not having player passes.
This coming Sunday, the champions will have their biggest game of the season so far when they take on CPR Old Boys as first meets second in the Over 30s Division.
“Happy to be in the quarter-finals,” said coach Paddy Mc Carry. “But the focus will be back to the league now and we’ll be looking to get a positive result.”