A vastly improved second half performance proved crucial to the 3-1 victory over Metrostars in the quarter-final. Having struggled in the first half to gain a foothold, the Rocks went 1-0 down with about 35 minutes on the clock.
But the home team started the second half with purpose and eventually scored two quick goals: a cheeky Paul McDaid back heel and a long range beauty from Braden Ruddy.
John Riordan was fortunate to see the penalty he conceded go high over the bar and then Colum McComish made sure of the win with a low drive to the bottom corner.
Meanwhile, in the second game of the day at St. Michael’s, a valiant effort by the first team was not enough to prevent them exiting the CSL League Cup after penalties at the hands of CPR Whites.
The game ended scoreless after 90 minutes and coach Glen Wrafter described it as “a fair result, given both teams dominated for spells of the game.”
The penalty shootout ended 4-4 after the first sets of five penalties but then the visitors scored the crucial winner in sudden death.
Penalty scorers for the Shamrocks were Sean Doran, Brendan Lane, Mohamed Fofana and Rob Gaynor, while James Hudson and Michael McGreevey missed their attempts.
“Desperately disappointing not to have advanced, but delighted with the performance,” said Wrafter.
“Erich Heintzen did very well making his debut for the Shamrocks in goal,” he added. “Rob Gaynor and Larry Slaughter were commanding at the back, and Michael McGreevey put in a man of the match position out on the right wing.”
A return to league action next Saturday night at Randall’s Island will see both teams play at Iberia starting at 6 p.m.