Daley, whose trey brought his tally to 11 goals in eight matches, sent Shamrock into a 1-0 halftime lead with a 30th-minute effort.
The Jamaican-born forward followed that up with a second strike on the hour after a defense-splitting pass from Dave Fitzgerald, who returned to the lineup after a three-week golfing jaunt.
Daley’s third, 10 minutes from time, sealed another dominating performance by the in-form Rocks (4-2-1, 13 points), who have now won three straight.
More important, it kept the third-placed Irish side within six points of league leaders and defending champs New York Albanians, 2-1 victors over Mike Fitzgerald’s Manhattan Kickers, with two games in hand.
“We totally outplayed them,” Shamrock coach Billy Henderson said of Rangers. “They couldn’t get the ball off us.”
Of Shamrock’s prospects in the league, Henderson predicted: “We’ll be hard to beat.”
The Shamrock reserves engaged in a wild shootout with the CPR second team that ended with Terry Lawless’s late penalty earning them a 4-4 tie.
Niall Swan’s speculative shot from 37 yards caught the CPR goalie off his line for the equalizer after Rich Enticott had opened the scoring for the home side.
There would be another piece of brilliant finishing from Mark Behan to reduce the arrears after CPR went ahead 3-1, before Lawless’s two late goals. Remy Granville (two) and Jim Kim were the other CPR scorers.
Shamrock (4-0-4, 16) remain a point behind Reserve leaders Athletic Club, who drew 1-all with CD Iberia.
Swan later knocked the officiating, while expressing fears that the result against CPR had dented Shamrock’s aspirations for the Reserve title.
New York Athletic Club boss Ronan Downs was able to sigh with relief after his undermanned side ended a rare two-match skid with a comeback victory over CD Iberia at Travers Island.
Missing several players, including Gregg Smalling and former MetroStars Brian Kelly and Mike Semioli, NYAC seemed headed for another loss when they trailed 2-0 early. But Adam Piotrowski pulled one back before halftime and on resumption, goals by Khouri Mullins (55th, 70th) and Dominic Hardy (65th) turned the scores around.
“I’m just glad to get the three points,” Downs later admitted. “We were the better team but defensive errors cost us.”
Downs’s woes started with the 3-2 loss to Shamrock two weeks ago. That was followed by NYAC’s 4-1 pasting by Koha in their previous outing.
John O’Driscoll and Willie Murphy ended the Shamrock third’s winless streak in Metro Div. 1 with a 2-1 decision over BW Gottschee at Wards Island. The struggling Rocks had to work for the three points in the bottom-of-the-table clash. Jesse Montero shot Gottschee (1-6-1, 4) ahead before O’Driscoll and Murphy hit back.
Shamrock also had a Bart O’Rourke goal called back by the ref who did not see it tear through the net.
Sean Keogh called the result Shamrock’s “long-awaited” win.
“We have a good team, we’ve just not been able to score,” Keogh said.
Although they now join Gottschee on the 4-point mark, Shamrock (1-6-1) remain in last place because of an inferior goal difference.
On a generally good day for the Shamrock organization, the Over-30’s were the only side to taste defeat. Darren Hennessy grabbed both goals in a 5-2 loss to Barnstonworth Rovers at Wards Island.
Third-from-the-bottom Astoria Gaels (1-2-5, 8) were denied full points at Red Hook by Youssef Bidane, who twice canceled out substitute Rob Ormond’s brace in a hard fought 2-2 Metro Div. 1 tie with Krimean Turkish.
Brought on before the interval for Brendan O’Reilly, Ormond won Man of the Match accolades for Gaels with his double strike in the second half. His first goal came when he finished off a Nestor Allen shot that had been partly blocked by the Krimean goalie (50th), while number two was a powerful turn and shoot move that should have clinched it.
However, Bidane replied in kind on both occasions for the Turks, despite the return of goalie Tommy Lynch and the presence of Paul Kyle in a rock-solid Gaels defense. The Moroccan took advantage of two lapses behind to score in the 67th and 78th minutes.
Gaels manager Dave Browne was not happy with the tie — his club’s fifth in eight games — but liked what he saw in terms of play.
“I see us improving,” he said. “We’ve stepped it up and are playing great football.”
He hopes that Ormond will be the answer to Gaels’ scoring blues.
At Wards Island, Keith Doyle’s free kick propelled Manhattan Celtic to a 1-0 victory over Barnstonworth Rovers and into second place in Metro Div. 1.
Celtic (5-3, 15) are four points behind frontrunners Lansdowne Bhoys (6-1-1, 19), who hammered Gotham FC 5-1 at Van Cortland Park. Tony Delorenzo was the Gotham scorer.
In Metro Div. 2, ASA McCarthy (4-2-2, 14) moved into third position after a 1-all tie with number two side Homenetmen (15) at Wards.
McCarthy led through Zander Price (15th) before Khachik Unanian leveled for the Armenian club.
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Brooklyn Celtic (16) lost vital ground to New Greek-American/Atlas (19) at the top of “B” Division West after a 2-2 draw with Guyanese side Pele Masters at the Shore Road Field.
Patrick Pierre and Ralph Glemand tallied for Celtic, who went into the match a point behind the Greeks.
Greek/Atlas edged Guyana Veterans “A” 3-2 at Flushing High School, courtesy of George Turos, John Stavros and Lucio Russo. Melvin Johnson and Trevor Burnett replied for Guyana.
The Rory Finn-coached GH Metros opened the floodgates at Wards Island where they outgunned BW Gottschee 6-4. Cesar (two), new signing Sergio Lopez (two), Javier and Steve Bodden lifted Metros to 2-2-1 (7) in the middle of the table.