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 charges are now eight points ahead of second-place CPR with just three games left to play. They can finish the task in two weeks after a break from league action for next Sunday’s State Cup semifinal.
“We were average today if we are honest,” admitted Geraghty. “The positive side is we battled hard and took our chances at the right time.”
Meanwhile, the first team returned to the top of CSL Division 1 with a hard-fought 3-1 win against 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
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. “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.”
Elsewhere, Shamrocks Over 30s are a step closer to securing a playoff semifinal after their 4-0 win at Hoboken combined with a stalemate between their closest rivals ensured Paddy McCarry’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 semifinal.
“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 McCarry.
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.
Ducky pounced to make it 2-0 after Marcus Nascimento’s brilliant opener in a result that blew the playoff 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 Harvey. “We dominated the game for the most part and we played some lovely football.”
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.
“We were unlucky not to snatch it at the end,” said Neil Mannion.
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.