The Rocks completed a glorious comeback after the previous week’s 3-1 loss to defending champs New York Albanians with a methodical display against tough old rivals Koha on a bumpy ground.
Both the rampaging Tim Cummins and Hughroy Daley saw early chances go wide before David Fitzgerald bagged the opener in the 15th minute.
The goal was created by Darren Moen, who broke down the right side, rode two tackles and squared for the former St. Barnabas star to slot home.
Ten minutes later, another ex-Saint, Anton Mckeon, lobbed a clever ball over the Koha defense for Daley to smash into the net.
Content on protecting their two-goal lead, Shamrock sat back in defense after the interval. This, however, did not prevent them from extending their lead 7 minutes from time.
Goal No. 3 came when Daley chased a long ball into the Koha box, forcing the goalie and a defender to foul up. The Jamaican-born striker nipped in to score his second of the match.
The performance and result were a big relief to the Rocks, who had been left kicking their heels in frustration by the defeat to the Albanians and their aborted Sept. 15 opener against Manhattan Kickers.
“We’re obviously delighted with the result and to be back to our winning ways,” said Eltin Colman.
Shamrock, whose reserves were awarded a 2-0 forfeit decision over the Koha second team, had more to celebrate with the return of defender Paul Wilson, who missed last season due to injury.
Wilson came on in the 12th minute after Mike Bishop had succumbed to a knee injury.
There was no respite for the Shamrock thirds, who lost 2-0 to Krimean Turkish at Msgr. McClancy High School and remain winless and without a goal at the bottom of Metro Div.1.
Moroccan ace Youssef Bidane, a midfielder turned striker, struck in the 30th and 40th minutes to take the Turks to the top of the table with nine points from three wins.
“Our drought continues,” sighed Sean Keogh. “They scored two good goals and we had one disallowed from a free kick. We haven’t won a game yet and haven’t scored in a long time.”
Owen Sullivan, Jr., was the Shamrock player whose goal was called back.
Johnny McFadden and Mark Adams each scored to lead Lansdowne Bhoys to their second straight win in Metro Div. 1 action. The Bhoys beat Barnstonworth Rovers 2-0 at Van Cortland Park.
McFadden latched onto a searching ball from midfield C.J. Doherty (25th) for the icebreaker, while Adams finished off a move by Winston Durckett to seal the victory five minutes from time.
“This was a good all-around performance by the team,” said Lansdowne President Eamonn, while offering special kudos to his defense — with specific mention to Gary Duggan and Eugene Doherty.
Lansdowne went into the match on cloud nine after the previous week’s 4-2 romp over Manhattan Celtic. They now trail leaders Krimean Turkish by three points.
Astoria Gaels, who hold a 3-1 win over the Bhoys from their season opener three weeks ago, battled to a goalless tie with BW Gottschee at Wards Island, in another Metro Div. 1 fixture.
“No one really dominated,” said John Berine, who singled out midfielder Niall Sugrue for Gaels’ Man of the Match honors.
Gaels (1-1-1, 4 points) are now five points off the pace.
Also in the Metro Div. 1, high scoring Kandia trounced Gotham 5-2 at Wards Island on goals by Layton Mattis, Michael Lawes (three) and Tarique Wilson.
Troy Steadman’s second half equalizer earned ASA McCarthy a 1-1 draw with CD Iberia at Wards Island in Metro Div. 2.
At the top of the standings, Homenetmen (2-0-1, 7) moved a point ahead of United Bulgaria despite a 2-all tie with Bergen Kickers at the Overpeck County Park.
Blondey Deshong (20th) and Khacik Unanian (55th) connected for Homenetmen.
Bulgaria (2-1, 6) blew a chance to take the lead after crashing 3-1 to Div. 2 newcomers Rockefeller FC. Peter Angelov was their scorer.
GH Metros coach Rory Finn faulted some bad mistakes for his Over-30 side’s 3-2 loss to Westchester at Wards Island.
“It was very competitive, but we made some mistakes,” he said after Metros had been torpedoed by Andrew Beckford’s hat trick.
Steve Bodden starred for Metros with both goals (40th, 80th) in the losing effort. Finn’s men are now 1-2 (3 pts).
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Dubliner Ronan Downs is already eyeing another title for his formidable New York Athletic Club side after Sunday’s classic win over current champions New York Albanians at Travers Island.
In a typical display against their archrivals, NYAC came from a goal down in the second half to hit the Albanians with three unanswered strikes in a 3-1 romp.
“We were by far the better team and controlled the game from beginning to end,” observed Downs.
Indeed, NYAC were unruffled by Tony Camaj’s 55th minute goal against the run of play and replied in due course through new signing Mike Lewis (65th) and reserve forward Khouri Mullins (75th, 85th).
The result bought NYAC, winners of six of the last eight CSL championships, a share of the leadership along with the Albanians, and Pancyprian Freedoms on the six-point mark.
NYAC’s reserves also won 3-1.
At the Verrazona Sports Complex, Manhattan Kickers coach Mike Fitzgerald saw his side escape with a point from a 1-1 draw against First Division bottom side CD Iberia, thanks to substitute Mark Toews’ last gasp header (89th)
Toews nodded in a Joe Whiteman corner after Kickers had trailed their historic rivals for most of the second half.
The reserves tied 0-0.