Ibrahim Diaby and Jamie Clarke inspired a superb 5-0 Manning Cup victory over East Hampton on Sunday at St Michaels, the talented duo scoring two goals each to set up a springtime State Cup semi-final showdown with the Greek Americans.
The game was over by half-time and maybe even by the time Diaby’s deflected opener set the Rocks on their way. Clarke followed up with goals two and three, sending him to the top of the team’s goalscoring charts, bringing his tally to six in all competitions.
The Armagh man’s first was a well-placed low left-footed half volley and his second resulted from a run that cut in from the right, allowing him to beat the visiting goalkeeper at the near post with another left-footed shot.
The free flowing Diaby made it 4-0 long before half-time allowing Kevin Grogan to ring the changes. Substitute Alex Wasilewski made it 5-0 with 15 minutes to go, his composed finish from ten yards out resulting from what was his first touch of the game, shortly after coming on.
“I’m very happy with the win,” admitted Grogan.
“We dominated the first half. We lost a small bit of rhythm because we made a few substitutions in quick succession. We would usually stagger subs in order to keep that rhythm.
“I was very happy to see both of the Zorbo brothers on the field at the same time and I was delighted for Alex to get a goal on his first team debut. All focus on next week’s league game against Pancyprians now.”
McGRANDLES FIRES RESERVES TO VICTORY
Cónall McGrandles scored twice to help the reserves record a narrow 2-1 win their D’Arpino Cup Round of 16 game against Division 1 rivals Zum Schneider.
Guesting at center midfield due to being cup tied to John Riordan’s team, McGrandles made the most of a first half free kick which he rifled straight and low, outsmarting the Zum goalkeeper and ensuring his side took a deserved 1-0 lead into the break.
The German outfit rallied, however, and were full value for their equalizer midway through the second half, an unstoppable shot that flew past Jesse Corke into the top right hand corner.
The reserves regrouped and made their pressure pay with ten minutes to go when McGrandles allowed himself enough time to place a perfect shot to the bottom right hand corner.
“It wasn’t a great game but it feels good to be through to the quarters now,” said Riordan. “They pressed us and disrupted our flow and they were impressive in the second half. They’re a dangerous team and we have to be happy with a win, no matter how we get it.”
The reserves will now play East Hampton’s seconds with the winners set to face either Lansdowne or Manhattan Celtic in the semi-final.
TOP SCORER RILEY’S WINNER KEEPS CHAMPS’ HOPES ALIVE
Meanwhile, in the Over 30s Marth Cup Round of 16, there was a win and a loss for the club with Paddy McCarry’s champions edging out Integral 3-2 at Randalls Island and the Legends going down bravely 2-1 away to Glen Cove.
In what was a dramatic cup game, Integral took an early 1-0 lead but the Rocks leveled it ten minutes later when Alex Berne pounced on a rebound following a superb Johnny McGeeney free kick.
Integral then went out in front again after an excellent long range strike but they were reeled back again after failing to deal with a dangerous cross which caused a visiting defender to send the ball into his own net, making it 2-2 at the break. Sean Riley’s brilliant winner arrived with 30 minutes left on the clock, forcing the Rocks to dig deep until the full time whistle as they held on to their slim margin of victory.
“Today was a real battle for us,” said Mc Carry whose team will now travel to Port Jefferson in the quarter-finals.
“We were very rusty after our three-week lay-off and Integral certainly came to play. We had to cope with a lot of pressure for the last 20 minutes but our defense held strong.
“Tayfun Gokmen and Johnny Mc Geeney put in a hell of a lot of work and running. It was not pretty and we did not play well but as usual, this team dug deep for each other and we got the win and are through to the last eight in the spring. Great team effort from all 14 of them – very proud of the boys!”
STIGLICH’S LAST GAME ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE
Matteo Stiglich’s late consolation goal for the Legends was a silver lining at the end of a tough game, the Peruvian marking his final game with the club in perfect style before heading home to South America.
Dominant Glen Cove were deserved winners, taking a 2-0 victory into the dying stages before the impressive defender capped off a good display with that late strike.
“We traveled out to Long Island with confidence and belief because we know on our day we can give anyone a game and we did just that,” noted player-coach Emmett Harvey.
“On a terrible pitch against a strong team which is unbeaten in a competitive league, we knew we were up against it but played wonderful and battled brilliantly. With five minutes to go and losing 1-0, we knew we had to go for it. We bombed forward with the belief that we could get a result but Glen Cove hit us on the break to make it 2-0. Man of the match Matteo Stiglich signed off with his last game for the Legends and the last kick of the game with a brilliant finish to the bottom corner to make it 2-1. I am very proud of these guys and the commitment and effort was brilliant to see from every player. Special mention to Robbie O’Neill, Tomas Maher and Marcus Nascimento.”
PROUD PEREZ PRAISES ROCKS B AS EDGERLY STEPS UP TO SECURE A POINT
Elsewhere, the Metro Women’s League Division A cup semi-final was forfeited by Fuel FC, sending Paddy Geraghty’s league leaders through to the final and thus ensuring that last season’s Division B league and cup champions will round out 2016 undefeated.
Emily Edgerly’s late leveler salvaged a point in dramatic circumstances for Keith Perez’s Shamrocks B side, securing a well deserved 3-3 draw away to NYC United at East River Park.
The Rocks had taken an early lead with a goal from Colleen Cavanagh which was set up by Denise Wilson but United returned with an equalizer and took the lead after converting a penalty. Wilson then herself scored thanks to an assist from Valery Lux but the home team took the lead again at the end of the half from a set piece. A tight second half ended in perfect style for the Rocks, however, as Edgerly pounced to score her second of the season and salvage a point for her team.
“We battled hard on both ends of the field and created some great chances on the offensive end while holding the opposition scoreless in the second half,” said Perez. “It was a hard fought effort and I am very proud of them for not giving up and continuing to fight which resulted in Emily’s late goal.”