Yet another Sinead Hennessy hat trick inspired the victory following on from Brittany Meade’s opener. Meade beat the offside trap midway through the first half and slotted home from just inside the box after an excellent pass from midfield.
The Rocks had plenty chances to extend their lead, but the score remained 1-0 at halftime. Hennessy then began to roll in the second half and her first goal was the result of a superb build-up involving Aoife West, Michaela Newell, Paige Osborne and Newell again who sent a pass over the defense to Hennessy, the striker dropping the shoulder brilliantly before hitting the net.
Her second was even more impressive, hitting the far top corner with a looping shot and she soon notched her 17th of the season, Ferraro’s well-played ball from the center circle finding impressive new signing Crystal Mena, who sent in an accurate low cross to the Rocks captain.
“A great performance from the ladies,” reflected coach Paddy Geraghty. “We limited Astoria to long-range efforts and Jessica our keeper didn’t have a save to make. We’re top of the league and we now have a final to look forward to in the spring. It gives us a lot to work towards over the winter.”
The Irish Derby at Randalls Island on Saturday night ended in a tough defeat for the Shamrocks after a battling performance failed to prevent a 2-0 loss to Manhattan Celtic.
Manhattan, who scored early in both halves in an entertaining encounter, now close the gap to the fourth-placed Rocks to two points going into the Thanksgiving break.
“Manhattan used their experience and deserved the points overall,” said coach Kevin Grogan. “We will bounce back, it’s only our second loss of the season. We are still a new team and it takes time to blend. We have a lot of good traits.”
The night started off perfectly for the Rocks, a 2-0 win for the Reserves against Celtic in the opener. Shane Moore scored in the first half and Daniel Cano wrapped up the points with 15 minutes to go, a brilliant finish from ten yards out ending a great sequence of passing.
“That was our best performance so far this year,” said coach Stevie Doyle. “We controlled the game from start to finish and what was most pleasing is to have kept a clean sheet. We worked so hard from the get-go and fully deserved the three points. Very pleasing on the eye the way we played and passed the ball around.”
Meanwhile, Rocks 1960 went top of Metro 2 after a 3-0 win against Gotham. Robbie O’Neill kept his third clean sheet in a row while the business at the other end was done masterfully by goal scorers Hughie McGowan, Dave Harvey and Dan Meola.
McGowan had the Rocks 1-0 up at the break and Harvey’s strike was the standout moment of the game, brilliantly curling home to the far corner from distance. Meola wrapped up the points with a superb finish on the break.
“It’s a great feeling to be on top,” said coach Andy Connolly. “We worked hard for this but there’s a long way to go.”
Earlier in the day, Sean Riley scored his third hat trick in a row to inspire the Over 30s towards a crucial top of the table win at Randalls Island on Sunday morning, convincingly beating second placed CPR Old Boys 4-2.
Top scorer Riley had the home side 2-0 up at halftime following two impressive goals. His first was a well-placed header on the end of an in-swinging Tayfun Gokmen corner. Shawn Baron brilliantly set up the second, sharing a one-two with Riley who shot home clinically.
Riley turned provider at the start of the second half, flicking a pass on to Gokmen who rounded the keeper and tapped home to make it 3-0.
CPR struck back 12 minutes later courtesy of a penalty, but Riley rounded out his hat trick after running onto an inch perfect Paddy Geraghty pass. CPR scored a late consolation, but now lie six points behind the Rocks with a game in hand.
“It was a great team performance by all 15 players,” said coach Paddy McCarry. “We played some great football and totally deserved the three points. If we keep playing like that, we won’t be caught in the league.”
In Brooklyn meanwhile, the Legends won their second Over 36 game in a row, a well-deserved 4-1 victory at Barnstonworth Rovers. Goals from Ger Shivnan, Benny Lujita, Bruno Angelucci and Stevie Doyle wrapped up the points for the Rocks.
“Delighted with our second win in a row,” said assistant coach Donal “Ducky” Kelly. “We kept our heads in difficult circumstances and took our chances when they came. We can look forward to testing ourselves against the league leaders in our next outing now.”