- Geraghty praises understrength side for key CPR victory
- Lansdowne come out on top after exciting Irish Derby
- Over 30s survive Manhattan Kickers comeback
- 10 out of 10 performance for free scoring Legends
The Shamrocks Women are top of the league after Paddy Geraghty’s charges secured a brilliant 2-1 win over champions CPR White in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Top scorer Chloe Wheeler and captain Teresa Ferraro grabbed the decisive strikes, sending the Rocks clear at the summit of Division A, their fifth league win of the season,
“I’m very pleased with the result,” said coach Geraghty. “To beat the reigning League and State Cup holders while missing 5 starters shows how far we’ve come.
“We play our last league game of the fall next Sunday and we know a win will have us top going into the winter break. It’s a great position to be in but we must take advantage.”
There was no such look for the first team however on Saturday night in Tibbetts Brook Park in the Bronx where CSL Division 1 champions Lansdowne handed the Shamrocks their first loss of the season.
Anthony Grant’s excellent first half goal for the home side was the deciding factor and although the Rocks pressed well in an entertaining second half, Austie Friel’s men held out and closed the points gap.
But Shamrocks remain five points clear at the top after Pancyprians’ surprise 6-0 loss at Cedar Stars Academy, a result which kept the second placed outfit on ten points, level with Lansdowne.
“We win or we learn,” noted coach Kevin Grogan after the game. “We learned a lot yesterday. Im happy we responded with a good second half performance. Next week is the big game for us now. As a coach, I firmly believe we learn more from losing sometimes then we do winning.”
The reserves lost the opener 3-1 in spite of Alex Wasilewski’s superb early goal that had the visitors a goal to the good for much of the opening half.
Lansdowne equalized just before half-time and deservedly kicked on in the second half as the weakened Rocks tired.
“I was extremely encouraged by that display from our lads,” said coach John Riordan. “We came up here with a thin squad – we were missing 15 players so we had to improvise a little. And they did very well and we should have been 3-0 up in the first 20 minutes.
“Lansdowne are champions for a reason and they’ll be delighted with that win. Really appreciate our club president Sean Mc Mullan standing in goal for us. It was a huge help.”
Meanwhile, Sunday morning’s clash in the Over 30 Division saw Paddy Mc Carry’s league champions run close by Manhattan Kickers Premier, ultimately winning out 3-2 in a tightly contested game.
The Shamrocks were slow to capitalize on Jonny McGeeney’s first half penalty but his fellow top goalscorers Tayfun Gokmen and Sean Riley chipped in to ensure the three points and keep their team in touch with leaders Manhattan Celtic Legends.
“We made today’s game a bigger battle than in should have been,” said Mc Carry.
“Our scoring boots were not on at all today. We hit the post three times in the first half and once in the second half. We were 3-0 up and we let them back into it. We hung on at the end. I’m glad to get the three points – they are an excellent side. Bingo O’Driscoll our captain was brilliant for us today at the back.”
In the CSL Over 37 Division, the Shamrocks Legends hammered the Hoboken Legends 10-1 at St Michaels in an almost flawless performance for Emmett Harvey’s men.
Karol Hughes’ hat trick and captain Richie Brennan’s brace were supplemented by goals from Eoghan Mc Parland, Eddie Gilmartin, Benny Ljuita, Brendan Donoghue and Harvey himself.
5-1 up at half-time, the Legends added five more in a well played second half that was also highlighted by the return to action of assistant coach Eoin Sweeney whose stand-out contribution at right back was a perfectly delivered throw-in to a Rocks team mate.
“A wonderful and dominating performance from the Legends,” said Harvey/ “I don’t think I can single out a player for praise as it was an all round team performance. Solid at the back,,very strong across the midfield and plenty of goals.”
Elsewhere, there were disappointing losses for the women’s B team – who were unlucky to lose 2-1 against NY Skulls despite Cassie Esposito’s fourth goal of the season – and Rocks 1960 who succumbed 4-0 at home to NYFC Iliria.
- Grogan’s men head to Bronx for formidable challenge
- Top-of-the-table clash for Rocks Women and CPR White
- Mc Carry calls on Over 30s to produce against Kickers
- Robbie O’Neill returns for Rocks 1960
- Legends hoping to ride wave of State Cup win
Division 1 Champions Lansdowne welcome the Shamrocks to the Bronx this Saturday for a hotly anticipated Irish Derby showdown which is sure to be the game of the weekend in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League.
Table topping Rocks will travel across the Triboro Bridge as underdogs in spite of their unbeaten start to the season and coach Kevin Grogan has told his players that this match-up is no more important than the games that lie ahead before the winter break.
The squad is back to full strength courtesy of a weekend off which was the result of Port Jefferson Fusion’s forfeit in round one of the State Cup, sending the Rocks through to December’s quarter-final.
“It’s a big game because it’s the next game,” pointed out Grogan this week.
“Lansdowne are champions so it’s a good game to bench mark our progress. We anticipate having a strong team and squad. Strength in-depth is key in games like this. We have utilized the squad well so far this season and we will do the same this weekend.”
Due to US Open Cup commitments, unbeaten Lansdowne have two games in hand on the Shamrocks and will be seeking to make up ground on the leaders in front of what should be a good crowd of followers form both clubs.
“It’s genuinely just another game where we will be looking to work hard, play expansive football and try to win,” added Grogan. “Ultimately the league isn’t won or lost this week. It’s a long process and season and if we keep working hard and improving every week we can have a good season that the club can be proud of.”
The curtain raiser should also be an intriguing one with the in-form Lansdowne reserves bringing a perfect record into the 6pm kick-off. Unfortunately for John Riordan’s outfit, a dozen players are injured or away, leaving the squad light on options.
“Their reserves are league and cup champions so we have to go up there bearing that in mind,” noted Riordan.
“We are missing some really important players through injury and other commitments so we have to approach this as underdogs. We’ll enjoy the occasion and hope for the best.”
On Sunday, in Metro 1, Shamrocks 1960 will take on NYFC Iliria at St Michaels in what will be a welcome return to league action after last Sunday’s State Cup exit (kick off, 1pm).
“It’s back to the bread-and-butter now of the league against a side who are going well,” said player/assistant coach Neil Mannion.
“We’ve a few players on the sideline through injury; Michael Kumaresan (calf), Braden Ruddy (arm) and Kevin Farrell (liver) but we do welcome back to the fold from injury big safe hands Robbie O’Neill. We’ve enough talent and character in the squad to bounce back from what was a tough exit in the cup.”
The first of the St Michaels double headers will see the Legends take on their Hoboken counterparts at 11am.
The Legends enjoyed an excellent cup win at Oceanside last Sunday and will be keen to ride that wave going into this game against their New Jersey opponents who have yet to win a game in the Over 37 Division.
“They are undefeated in their last two league games so they’ll draw confidence from that,” insisted player-coach Emmett Harvey.
“We know that we can play some really good football and we all work hard for each other as a team. If we have that attitude going into Sunday we should have a positive result.”
Meanwhile, the early kick off at Randalls Island 75 will see the Over 30s Division champion Shamrocks take on mid-table outfit Manhattan Kickers Premier who come into this one with two wins and two losses
Coach Paddy Mc Carry is waiting on the fitness of center half Eugene Reynolds but is otherwise able to bring a strong squad.
“It’s a very important game for us,” acknowledged Mc Carry. “In my mind, Kickers Premier have been a top side in our league for years, one of the best and we always have difficult games against them. I expect the same Sunday. We have been playing very well since we lost to Celtic – that defeat refocused us. The players know they have to bring it every week.”
Without a doubt, the biggest game of the weekend in the Metro Women’s League is the face-off in New Utrecht between Division B champions Shamrocks and Division A champions CPR White (kick off, 3.30pm).
This top-of-the-table clash pits against each other two undefeated teams locked on 13 points each with four wins and a tie to their names.
“This is a massive game against last year’s league and state cup winners but we’ve wanted this game so we could test ourselves against the best,” said Geraghty.
“We have five players out through travel and injury so it’s a chance for others to do well and stay in the team. CPR are a quality team and we respect them but we don’t fear them and we know all the pressure is on them to get a result.”
Meanwhile in Division B, Shamrocks face NY Skulls at Bushwick Inlet Park with a chance of going top should results elsewhere go their way (kick off, 10am). Unfortunately for Keith Perez’s side, they have had three weekends without competitive action due to two forfeits and a weather postponement.
“It’s been a tough run of games even though it means we still haven’t lost since opening day,” said Perez.
“So we’re really looking forward to this one. We have to keep pace with the other leading teams so we’re aiming to win.”
- Six teams advance to second round of State Cups
- Chris Burns celebrates fatherhood with stunning strike
- Over 30s launch Marth Cup defense in fine style
- Wheeler on fire as Women send seven past Astoria
- Legends earn come-from-behind victory at Oceanside
Six of the Shamrocks teams moved on to the next round of their respective State Cups on what was a perfect day for soccer, made all the more special by some impressive goals.
None more so than Chris Burns’ first half screamer for the reserves at Randalls Island, a little less than 24 hours after his wife Allyson gave birth to their son Christian.
That dramatic D’Arpino Cup game away to the Greek Americans would eventually end 2-2 after 90 minutes, setting up a tense penalty shoot out which saw the flawless Rocks spot kick takers grind out a 6-5 victory.
On a day when the first team enjoyed a day off due to Port Jefferson Fusion’s forfeit, the reserves enjoyed top billing late Sunday but were forced to come from behind twice in order to push the game towards the shootout.
Left back Burns (pictured above) took the initiative at 1-0 down and sent a 25-yard left footed rocket to the far corner to level it with a half an hour on the clock. And after going 2-1 down against the run of play midway through the second half, the Rocks rallied impressively, allowing debuting center back Conall McGrandles to scramble home a dramatic equalizer with just five minutes to go.
The ensuing penalty shoot out witnessed brilliant finishes from Darren Coleman, Joey Aronovsky, Conall McGrandles, George Lara, Mike Stone and captain Paul McDaid before the sixth Greek kick was saved masterfully by Jesse Corke.
“I’m very proud of the way the lads never gave up,” said coach John Riordan. “The Greeks love the State Cup and were losing finalists in June in this competition so they came to play. But we responded well and kept our cool in the shootout. I’m delighted the players got a good reward for their hard work.”
Earlier in the day, the Shamrocks Women put on a great display of attacking football, knocking seven superb goals past Division B side Astoria at St Michaels.
Four goals from Chloe Wheeler (pictured above), two from Jarielle Uter and an excellent chip from skipper Teresa Ferraro decided the fate of a courageous set of opponents who, in spite of a brilliant performance from their goalkeeper, could not contend with the dominant Rocks team.
Pictured above – the Shamrocks Women’s team against a wonderful backdrop captured prior to their 7-0 win over Astoria by Val Lux. Pictured below – two of the goalscorers from Sunday’s impressive victory: Jarielle Uter (left) and Teresa Ferraro (right). (Courtesy Nigel Frost)
“A good result,” said coach Paddy Geraghty. “We started slow but played much better in the second half. Anna Spangler and Michaela Newell both shared a clean sheet in goals and Galway native Caroline Carter had a great debut for us. Happy to progress and to do it injury free is a great bonus.”
Anna Spangler (above left) and Michaela Newell (above right) were praised by Coach Geraghty for each taking a half in nets with Jessica Kambic missing out due to a shoulder injury. (Courtesy Nigel Frost)
Sadly there was no curtain raiser at St Michaels as Shamrocks B advanced to the next round due to a CPR Red forfeit.
Meanwhile, the Shamrocks Legends took home a hard fought but well deserved 4-2 victory from their visit to Long Island’s Oceanside in the Over 30s Marth Cup courtesy of goals from Karol Hughes (two), John Riordan and captain Richie Brennan.
The home side took the lead twice against the run of play but the Legends dominated the second half and overran their younger opponents with some fine team goals.
“It was a very satisfying win because I know the players all give 100 percent and all they want to do is win,” said coach Emmett Harvey.
“There was some wonderful play and superb goals by John Riordan, Richie Brennan and a brace from Karol Hughes, making sure that we were coming away from Oceanside with a win.
“It was great to have Stevie Doyle, Ari Seidenstein and John Crowley back in action for the Legends and we were also strengthened by having Tomas Maher and Marcus Nascimento suit up.”
Elsewhere, the Over 30s began their defense of the Marth Cup in fine style, outgunning Garden City 5-1 in an electric display of soccer at Randalls Island early Sunday.
Sean Riley added two to his growing season’s tally while Alex Berne, Tayfun Gokmen and Johnny McGeeney all scored to ensure a comprehensive victory.
“We played some very good football,” reacted Paddy Mc Carry. “When the three boys up top – Johnny, Riley and Tayfun – are on form, they are hard to handle for any team. We are starting to play better and better and I’m very happy to be through to the last 16.”
Unfortunately, Shamrocks 1960 exited the Strumpf Cup at the hands of Gottschee for the second year in a row, losing 1-0 at Randalls Island.