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 five 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,” he added. “It’s a great position to be in, but we must take advantage.”
There was no such luck for the first team 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. I’m 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,” he added.
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 halftime 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,” Riordan added. “Really appreciate our club president Sean McMullan standing in goal for us. It was a huge help.”
Meanwhile, Sunday morning’s clash in the Over 30 Division saw Paddy McCarry’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 McCarry. “Our scoring boots were not on at all today. We were 3-0 up and we let them back into it. 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. Michael’s 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 McParland, Eddie Gilmartin, Benny Ljuita, Brendan Donoghue and Harvey himself.
Up 5-1 at halftime, 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 standout contribution at right back was a perfectly delivered throw-in to a Rocks teammate.
“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.