Jo Belluardo and Chloe Wheeler scored second-half goals to ensure a well deserved 2-0 win against Rovers, a team they’re going to get to know well over the next couple of weeks.
Scoreless at halftime, Belluardo opened the scoring five minutes after the break when she pounced on a perfect Wheeler through-ball, beating the goalkeeper at the near post with a low drive.
Wheeler then sealed the win with a header ten minutes later, captain Teresa Ferraro’s corner finding the top scorer with the perfect cross.
The Rocks will try to keep their unbeaten run going next weekend when they face Rovers again in the league before the same opponents line up for the State Cup final on June 4.
“After having hitting the crossbar twice in the first half we thought it could be one of those days,” said Paddy Geraghty. “Our defense gets special mention today. They kept Rovers without a shot on target and possessed the ball well.
“We’re excited with today’s result, but we have to remain focused on our goals,” he added. “We have a State Cup final on June 4, and we’re hungry for the triple crown”
Meanwhile, the Shamrocks Reserves recorded a 4-2 win over Lansdowne Bhoys at St. Michael’s in Woodside on Saturday.
The fourth-placed Rocks put a dent in Lansdowne’s bid to top the reserves division, but will have to wait a week before they know their semifinal opponents
NYAC have moved into first after a win on Sunday paired with a defeat for the Greeks. The team finishing top will play fourth-placed Shamrocks in the semifinal at the end of the month.
Andrew Scott opened the scoring early in the first half, while captain Paul McDaid marked his return to action with the second, latching on to a Nikle Guzijan knockdown from a Larry Slaughter free kick.
Top scorer Sean O’Neill made it three from the penalty spot, and Scott scored his second of the night after a George Lara assist.
“A lot of players really stepped up,” said reserves gaffer John Riordan. “It’s a win that gives some extra confidence, but it counts for nothing unless we can bring a display like that out in the league semifinal.”
Also on Saturday, the Shamrocks Legends rounded out their season with a huge 9-1 win at Hoboken in New Jersey.
Unfortunately their seventh league win in a row was not enough to see them through to the playoffs, missing out by a point after Manhattan Kickers won their Sunday game.
Top scorer Karol Hughes scored four and there was one each for Eoghan McParland, John Riordan, Brian O’Connor, Stevie Doyle and Colin Lee.
Johnny McGeeney scored four goals for the second week in a row, as the Over 30s routed CPR Old Boys, 5-1, at Randalls Island on Sunday morning.
Kevin Walsh also got himself on the scoresheet in the impressive win, a result which means the western conference belongs to the Greeks, who moved up to first place on Monday due to a forfeit going in their favor next weekend.
In Metro 1, Shamrocks 1960 lost 4-2 to Ridgewood Romac in Staten Island, with Hughie McGowan and Anthony Carrabotta on the mark for the Rocks.
While Kevin Grogan prepared to send his team into the fray against Lansdowne for a league game on Wednesday night, the playoff picture became a little clearer.
A win at Verrazano Soccer Complex will push the Rocks top with one game remaining, Saturday’s game against Cedar Stars Academy.
But after Pancyprians surprisingly lost at Doxa on Sunday, the Rocks are now guaranteed to finish no lower than second place, thus securing a home semifinal against Pancyprians, possibly on May 31.
Cedar Stars must win on Saturday or hope the Greeks lose in order to be sure of finishing fourth after they failed to beat Manhattan Celtic.
That 0-0 draw gave Celtic a lifeline, and it will be a winner-takes-all affair on Saturday night as Celtic and NYAC battle for survival. One or other team risks joining Polonia in Division 2 next year.