After Rocks teams rattled off six wins from six across the city, the first team headed to the Bronx for the toughest 1-1 tie of the day.
Kevin Grogan’s men started brilliantly and took an early lead at the home field of last year’s league finalists Cedar Stars Academy, Kwesi Odoi Mills scoring his third goal in three games to give the visitors a surprise lead.
But the talented home side drew level superbly before halftime, setting up an entertaining second half where either side could have snatched all three points.
“This was a big result against one of the top two teams in league,” pointed out Grogan afterwards. “It was a bizarre game, but the players managed it very well. Many injuries, but injury management is part and parcel of the game.”
Chris Burns surged to the top of the goalscoring charts for the Reserves with his second strike in two games, a late winner that handed his side a deserved 1-0 victory in the opener.
After dominating possession and peppering the CSA goal, it was the veteran defender who settled the issue after central midfielder Johnny Hayes’ volley careened back off the crossbar.
“I’m delighted with the result, particularly since we were missing a couple of players through injury,” said coach John Riordan.
“We have a quick turnaround now to the replay of the game against Zum Schneider, added Riordan of the Wednesday night matchup on Randalls Island, “and they have had a couple of very impressive results, so we will need to be on our toes.”
Meanwhile, Shamrocks 1960 got off the mark with their first win and first goals of the season thanks to a 4-2 success at home to Deportivo Sociedade.
Craig Glynn scored twice while a Dave Harvey penalty and a goal from Michael Kumaresan made sure of the points for Andy Connolly’s side against their winless opponents.
“Great win and sets us back on track,” said Connolly. “The new players are gelling with rest of the squad.”
A Ger Shivnan brace helped the Legends get their season up and running, inspiring a very impressive 4-1 win at home to Manhattan Celtic in the Over 37 Division Irish Derby.
The away side took the lead, but Tyrone Kent deservedly got the scoring underway for the Rocks with a good finish from the edge of the box. Shivnan’s first was a header into the far corner, while his second was set up by Eoghan McParland, allowing the big Roscommon forward to fire the ball to the far corner from the edge of the box.
Assistant coach Ducky Kelly scored the superb fourth, a dinking shot over the advancing keeper.
“It was great to get our first win of the season against a good side in Manhattan Celtic,” said coach Emmett Harvey. “I can’t single out any individual player for man of the match as everyone played their part brilliantly.”
Earlier Sunday, the Over 30s hammered Megas Alexandros, 9-2, and will look ahead to next Sunday’s top of the table clash against Manhattan Celtic with confidence.
Sean Riley and Johnny McGeeney both scored twice, and there were also goals from Tayfun Gokmen, Shawn Baron, Dominick McCartan and the Brazilian pairing of Marcus Nascimento and Leo Coimbra.
“Three wins without a loss to start the season, we are very happy with that,” said coach Paddy McCarry.
In the Metropolitan Women’s Soccer League, there were excellent wins in Division A and B for both of the Rocks teams.
An early start at Randall’s Island saw Paddy Geraghty’s Division A team beat the Manhattan Kickers on a resounding scoreline, 4-0.
As with last Sunday’s 8-0 win, Chloe Wheeler was joined once again on the scoresheet by Georgia Frost, Sinéad Hennessy and Jarielle Uter.
“They caused us trouble from set pieces, but our fitness told in the end and we could have had six or seven,” said coach Paddy Geraghty.
The Women’s B team enjoyed an impressive success over Manhattan Kickers/Phoenix. Anastasia Hagan’s opener was followed by a Paige Osborne double that sealed the points for Keith Perez’s charges.
“We are really coming together as a unit,” said Perez. “If we continue to play at that level, this can be a very successful season.”