Rocks Women move closer to league title

  • One more win needed for Rocks Women
  • First team back on top of Division 1
  • Over 30s take over conference lead
  • Legends fire five past Kickers
  • Honors even at Metro 1 Irish Derby

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Three Shamrocks teams are on top of the league this morning thanks to well earned victories on a busy Sunday for the club.

Rocks Women captain Teresa Ferraro led by example with her eighth goal of the season and Georgia Frost scored a stylish headed winner in a hard fought 2-1 win over Metro Women’s League Division A champions CPR White in what was effectively a title decider at East River Park in Manhattan.

Paddy Geraghty’s are now eight points ahead of second placed CPR with just three games left to play and they can finish the task in two weeks after a break from league action for next Sunday’s State Cup semi-final.

“We were average today if we are honest,” admitted Geraghty.

“The positive side is we battled hard and and took our chances at the right time. We are now one win away from the league title so we will work on getting better at training and be ready for a huge State Cup semi-final next week.”

Meanwhile, the first team returned to the top of CSL Division 1 with a hard fought a 3-1 at Doxa in New Rochelle late on Sunday night.

Kwesi Mills-Odoi won and converted his own penalty after he was taken down with 15 minutes on the clock but Doxa battled back and leveled it just before the break

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Goalscorer Stuart Colbert

Both teams struggled to gain a foothold in the second half and it took a surging run from center back Stuart Colbert who broke through and finished low and hard after a one-two with Andy O’Connell to regain the lead. Charlie O’Loughlin wrapped it up with a bullet header after 80 minutes, a superb Alejandro Fritz cross setting up the defender turned striker for his second goal in two games.

“Scratchy game and a scratchy performance but a win is a win,” said Kevin Grogan. “A big goal from Stu when we needed it. Lert came on and excited for us. We learn every game.”

The curtain raiser ended in a tough 2-1 loss for the reserves with Doxa scoring against the run of play at the end of both halves to deny John Riordan’s team a result. Darren Coleman finished well from a Joey Aronovsky cross to make it 1-1 but the visitors could not manage a second and Doxa’s winner arrived from a break in injury time.

“We were very unlucky,” said John Riordan. “They scored their first against the run of play and we dominated the second half. We’ll regroup for Thursday night – huge week of games coming up in the league and State Cup.”

Elsewhere, Shamrocks Over 30s are a step closer to securing a play-off semi-final after their 4-0 win at Hoboken combined with a stalemate between their closest rivals ensured Paddy Mc Carry’s men are now two points clear at the top of their conference.

Johnny Keogh, Tayfun Gokmen (free kick), Nei de Oliveira and Leo Coimbra all scored to ensure an important win ahead of next weekend’s trip to Germania in Poughkeepsie for the State Cup semi-final.

“It was a very poor first half showing by us but we got in at half-time, said a few words, made a couple of changes and ran out easy winners in the end,” said Paddy Mc Carry.

“Our man of the match was Domnick Mc Cartan at center back. With Celtic drawing, we are now top of the conference and it’s ours to lose. Happy with the win and the clean sheet. Focus now turns to the State Cup semi-final.”

At St Michaels, just ahead of his 40th birthday, club stalwart Donal ‘Ducky’ Kelly scored his third goal in three games in a thrilling 5-2 win for the Shamrocks Legends over conference rivals Manhattan Kickers.

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The Shamrocks Legends team that beat Manhattan Kickers 5-2 at St Michaels on Sunday.

Ducky pounced to make it 2-0 after Marcus Nascimento’s brilliant opener in a result that blew the play-off chase wide open for Emmett Harvey’s men.

An impressive Kickers side deservedly make it 2-1 but Karol Hughes finished a close range free kick earned after a brilliant Eoghan McParland run through the center. Hughes’ excellent finish stretched the lead to three before Kickers narrowed it again but the Legends were comfortable in the end. Paddy Geraghty’s brilliant free kick in injury time pushed the home side’s goal difference up a little.

“On the back of a really good win against Gjoa, we knew going into this game against Manhattan Kickers what was at stake,” said Emmett Harvey.

“We dominated the game for the most part and we played some lovely football. Every player played their part and gave 100% and it’s hard to single out any player but Kevin Mc Partland rolled back the years and was outstanding in goals.

“We will enjoy this win and then our focus is on our next game against Doxa. Some really well taken goals by Karol Hughes, Ducky, Marcus and a beautiful free kick from Paddy Geraghty.”

In the second game at the Queens venue, Shamrocks 1960 drew 1-1 with Lansdowne in their Metro 1 Irish Derby which heralded Dubliner Shane Homan’s first goal for the club. The hosts conceded 10 minutes into the second half from a Lansdowne thunderbolt.

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The Shamrocks 1960 team that took on Lansdowne at St Michaels on Sunday.

“We were unlucky not to snatch it at the end,” said Neil Mannion. “Credit to our man of the match Ruairi Lavery..”

In the first game of the day, Paige Osborne’s opening goal was not enough as NY Skulls came back to beat Shamrocks B 2-1.

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The Shamrocks Women B team that took on NY Skulls at Randalls Island on Sunday.

O’Loughlin winner clinches play-offs for Rocks

  • Coach Grogan lauds “amazing night” for club
  • O’Loughlin’s winner sets up semi-final berth
  • Over 30s & reserves continue play-off push
  • Legends host Kickers in crucial clash
  • Rocks Women and Whites set for title showdown

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The Shamrocks are headed to the CSL Division 1 play-offs!

Almost a year after avoiding relegation to the second tier and in just the second season of our long awaited return to the top flight, a well earned 1-0 win over Zum Schneider means the Rocks will finish no lower than fourth with five games still to play.

Charlie O’Loughlin made a scoring return to action after the big defender was sprung from the bench in the second half for an attacking role which would ultimately prove crucial.

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Goal hero Charlie O’Loughlin

The match winner arrived on the hour mark courtesy of a one-two between O’Loughlin and right back Laurie Child whose low return pass was converted from close range at the second attempt.

This weather-postponed make-up home game was dominated by the Rocks but Zum held out for 60 tense minutes in spite of great chances for Kwesi Mills-Odoi, Alex Wasilewski and Giuseppe Barone.

The away team were reduced to ten men late in the second half and although Kevin Grogan’s men couldn’t manage a second goal, there was never any doubt of securing this historic win.

“Amazing night for the club,” said Grogan afterwards.

“We have a guaranteed play-off game as well as a State Cup final in June. It was very much a club effort and let’s not forget the great work Glen Wrafter put in to get the Shamrocks back to the top division. His players did a great job to achieve that.

“I made some tough decisions along the way regarding squad selection and recruitment policy but I always made what I felt were the best decisions for the long term success of the club.

“Everyone has played their part. Stephen Doyle has been a key element in our success this season. A quality person to have alongside me.

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Rocks assistant coach Stevie Doyle speaks to the players after Thursday’s crucial 1-0 win over Zum Schneider in the CSL Division 1 game at Randall’s Island. Picture: John Riordan

ON TO DOXA FOR FIRSTS AND RESERVES

The second-placed Rocks now head to Westchester on Sunday evening for what should be a tricky clash with struggling Greek outfit Doxa (Skidelsky Field – 8pm).

The newly promoted side have been dragged into a relegation battle after three defeats in a row since the restart of the season but will present a dogged challenge to Grogan’s men who are now looking to finish as high as possible before June’s semi-final.

Indeed, with Lansdowne traveling to Massachusetts for a Fricker National Cup quarter-final, the Shamrocks can even regain top spot with a win.

Meanwhile, the reserves have two games in five days that should all but secure play-off qualification in their own campaign for the post-season.

First up is Doxa whose seconds are finding life tough in the top flight, winless in the league since October. A slender 1-0 victory was earned by the Shamrocks in November’s home game but coach John Riordan is wary of the trip to New Rochelle (Skidelsky Field – 6pm).

“It’s a difficult game from all points of view,” Riordan noted. “We’re missing a couple of key players and it’s obviously a tough journey for our fellas on a Sunday evening. But this is the first of four very important games for us between now and the first weekend in May so we need to accept all these challenges.”

OVER 30s CONTINUE PLAY-OFF PUSH

Earlier on Sunday, the depleted Over 30s champions will travel to Hoboken as they attempt to take one step closer to the play-offs (Laurel Hill Park – 2pm).

“We’ll be going into Sunday looking for another three points,” said Paddy Mc Carry.

“Hoboken away is always a tricky fixture. We are missing quite a few big players so this makes the task even harder. We will be without Sean Mc Mullan, Bingo O’Driscoll, Pat Kelly, Lonan Maguire, Paddy Geraghty and our leading goal scorer Johnny Mc Geeney.

“But we are boosted by the return of Johhny Keogh, Sean Riley and Tomas Maher. We have an extremely strong squad and that will be tested Sunday. It gives squad players the chance to step up.”

IRISH DERBY FOR 1960

The long awaited Metro 1 Irish Derby sees Shamrocks 1960 host Lansdowne at St Michaels with a 3pm kick-off, the second of two games at our Queens hub.

“It’s now about trying to finish as high up the league as possible and representing the jersey with the pride and passion it deserves,” said player assistant coach Neil Mannion.

“That starts with an Irish Derby which shouldn’t take much motivation to get up for!”

LEGENDS BID TO CURTAIL KICKERS

The curtain raiser will be a vital one for the in-form Shamrocks Legends whose winning start to Spring has set up an exciting play-off push.

Emmett Harvey’s men will host first-placed Manhattan Kickers at 1pm needing a win to stay alive and also knowing that achieving victory will push the Rocks to within three points of the pace setters with three games to play.

“On the back of two really good wins, we are heading into this one with confidence and belief that if we play well, then we can get a good result,” said player-coach Harvey.

“Manhattan Kickers and SC Gjoa are the favorites for the title so we are under no pressure. We have a large but very strong squad to choose from and I know that every player will give 100% to the team. We are taking each game as it comes and we are looking forward to this fixture.”

WOMEN’S TITLE SHOWDOWN

Meanwhile, in the Metro Women’s League, it’s first against second as Division A champions CPR White host Division B holders Shamrocks at East 6th St (kick off 11am).

This is a must-win for the hosts but the target for Paddy Geraghty is to move his team one step closer to clinching the title.

“We have a tough game on Sunday against our closest rivals,” he noted. “We have a strong squad coming off a good training session on Tuesday so hopefully that will translate into a good performance.”

Sunday will begin early for the club when NY Skulls welcome Shamrocks B to Randalls Island 82 for a 9am appointment.

“We’re looking to get back to winnings ways,” said coach Keith Perez.

“The last game was a tough loss and it meant we missed out on a chance to take control of the league. Despite that result, our mission remains the same as we need to win out the remaining games. We have a short roster this weekend so our heart and determination will be tested but I expect the ladies to step up and bring back a favorable result.”

Life begins at 40!

It was an enjoyable day on Sunday for the Shamrocks Women’s team who celebrated coach Paddy Geraghty’s 40th birthday in style with a 2-1 win over CPR White in the State Cup semi-final!

Up the Rocks!

(Pictures by Aoife West)

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Coach Paddy Geraghty speaks to his players before their crucial State Cup semi-final against CPR White at East River Park on Sunday.

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Back row, left to right, Sinéad Hennessy, Erin Cullen, Chloe Wheeler, Teresa Ferraro, Shannon Fitzpatrick. Middle row, left to right, Caroline Carter, Christina Beck, Allie Cacciotti, Georgia Frost, Jackie Pounder. Front row, left to right, Anna Spangler, Jo Belluardo, Chelsea Harris, Jarielle Uter.

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Team huddle before the game.

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Getting ready for the big game at East River Park with the Williamsburg waterfront forming a backdrop across the East River.

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Celebrating the big 4-0 back at the Courtyard Ale House!

Penalties drama sends Rocks through to State Cup final

  • Firsts down Greeks in Met Oval thriller
  • Shot stopper Frankie’s heroics prove key
  • Wheeler brace clinches Rocks Women win
  • Reserves march on, set up Lansdowne semi
  • Over 30s keep back-to-back bid alive

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The Shamrocks can contest four State Cup finals in June after a thrilling weekend that saw the firsts, reserves, Over 30s and women’s team all advance to the next round.

It was almost midnight on Sunday when Frankie Tsasse saved a second penalty in a dramatic 7-6 shootout victory that sparked wild celebrations and sent the Rocks through to a June 4 Manning Cup showdown against CSL rivals Lansdowne.

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Frankie Tsasse

That Irish Derby will pair two teams that have never won this trophy and it is sure to be a memorable occasion. And Kevin Grogan will be encouraged by this impressive performance against a highly talented Greek outfit.

90 minutes of attacking football at the historic Met Oval could not separate two evenly matched sides – an early Andy O’Connell penalty put the Rocks a goal to the good after the superb Giuseppe Barone was taken down in the box but a Zachary Gosse own goal leveled it after half-time setting up the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

Sean Reilly, Andy O’Connell and Chris Uy scored the first three and both teams missed their fourth opportunities. Emil Thomsen made it four before a Laurie Child miss was evened out by Tsasse’s first save. Captain Gosse, Kwesi Mills-Odoi and defender Dan Giorgi all dispatched confidently before Tsasse ultimately denied that crucial final effort.

Giuseppe Barone and Sean Reilly starred in central midfield

“Amazing victory,” said the delighted Grogan.

“Very proud of the players. The work ethic was phenomenal and the discipline was excellent.

“It was an end-to-end game and the Greeks are a very good team as you would expect. Frankie pulled off two great penalty saves. I’m delighted for the club to be in a State Cup final. Well deserved. Great win. Great club! I feel privileged to be involved.”

COLEMAN EXCELS FOR RESERVES

There will also be an Irish Derby for the reserves in the next round after their 6-0 win over East Hampton in Long Island on Saturday earned a D’Arpino Cup semi-final for John Riordan’s men.

Darren Coleman tore the East Hampton defense apart in the second half after a scoreless first half, the Tipperary man netting twice and setting up two more as the floodgates opened.

It was 0-0 at half-time in spite of an early disallowed goal for birthday boy Nikle Guzijan. Coleman got the scoring underway five minutes after the break and then he set up fellow striker and team captain Paul McDaid who made it 2-0.

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Darren Coleman scored twice for the Shamrocks Reserves during their 6-0 win over East Hampton.

Sean O’Neill had been barely sprung from the bench when he scored with almost his first touch and he then completed his brace five minutes later. Coleman set up Johnny Hayes for 5-0 before scoring his second after an assist from O’Neill.

“We made hard work of it initially and the conditions didn’t help but that second half was very enjoyable,” said coach John Riordan.

“We knew we had to be patient and get that first goal. I’m glad our fellas enjoyed it and that we came away from a potentially tricky game with a big win. We’re looking forward to the semi-final now. It should be an exciting game!

“I also want to thank our founding members, Tony and Noel Halpin, and Paddy Rooney who all came out to support us. We enjoyed the celebrations at TJ Halpins after the game!”

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The Shamrocks Reserves visiting Tony and Noel Halpin (front left and right) at TJ Halpins in Centereach.

OVER 30s SURVIVE STIFF PORT JEFF CHALLENGE

Elsewhere, Marth Cup champions Shamrocks Over 30s marched on to their own semi-final thanks to a hard fought 3-0 win at Port Jefferson in Centereach.

Top scorer Johnny McGeeney scored twice while there was also a strike for Brazilian forward Leo Coimbra, sending Paddy Mc Carry’s men onwards as they bid to keep their back-to-back dream alive.

“This was without a shadow of a doubt the most physical game I have ever been involved in,” said Mc Carry.

“We held our composure and did not react and eventually we finished them off. It was a real battling performance by the whole squad.

“Lonan Maguire had a great game today for us in center mid and Johnny was his usual self, a lot of work up top and two great finishes.

“This is our cup and this team intends to hold on to it. I’m very pleased to be in the semi finals.”

THAT LEFT FOOT THOUGH…

Meanwhile, Chloe Wheeler scored two stunning strikes to send the Shamrocks Women’s team through to the final four.

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The Shamrocks Women’s team that beat CPR Whites 2-1 on Sunday. Picture by Aoife West

In what was a hotly anticipated clash of the two Division A high fliers, the current champions CPR took a lead after an error at the back.

But the Rocks gathered their composure and equalized through a brilliantly worked play involving Wheeler and captain Teresa Ferraro which allowed the team’s top scorer to rifle home a left-footed strike.

The Rocks deservedly took the lead in the second half, another left footer from the Californian which sealed a memorable win for Paddy Geraghty’s charges on what was a special day for the club legend, celebrating his 40th birthday back at the Courtyard Ale House.

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Coach Paddy Geraghty celebrating his 40th birthday at the Courtyard Ale House with the Shamrocks players.

“This was our toughest match of the season and a true battle for 90 minutes,” said captain Teresa Ferraro.

“They came out strong and tested us with an early goal. Everyone stepped up, we found our composure and fought back for a hard-earned W. Excellent win. We’re looking forward to the semi-final now.

“It was a team effort but Chloe’s goals proved what she is all about… that left foot though!”

Unfortunately, Shamrocks Women B could not gain a foothold in their title race, succumbing 4-2 to now outright leaders NY United. Cassie Esposito and Shannon Fitzpatrick were on the mark for the home team.

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The Shamrocks Women’s B team that took on United at St Michaels on Sunday.

In the Saunders Cup quarter-final, Shamrocks 1960 were unlucky with injuries, conceding three second half goals in a 3-1 loss to Koarbi in Staten Island. Dave Harvey had ensured a half-time lead for the Rocks.

“No complaints,” said player assistant coach Neil Mannion. “We’ll see out the league campaign now.”