Results elsewhere ensure the Shamrocks stay four points ahead of ninth-placed Polonia (they lost 4-0 at NYC Rovers), but Grogan said he was disappointed by the performance and called for his team to recover in time for next Saturday evening’s big Irish derby at Lansdowne.
“We deserved to lose the game,” admitted Grogan. “We played our worst game of the season after playing so well last week in the first half against the Greeks. Consistency is king and we need to work hard on that aspect. We had no discipline in many ways today and that really disappointed me.
“There are four games left now and every point won or lost matters,” he continued. “The real characters need to come forward for us now. We can achieve our goal, but we need everyone working together as a squad.”
The reserves also suffered a major blow, beaten 4-3 after having led 3-1 thanks to goals from Colum McComish, Darren Coleman and Alex Wasilewski.
A win on Saturday allowed the Lansdowne reserves to leapfrog the Rocks into second. The top four teams will qualify for the play-offs, and fourth-placed NYC Rovers and firth-placed Westchester Eagles are within reach.
“It’s a game we should have won,” said Stevie Doyle. “But the heat took its toll and we ran out of steam. We will need everyone firing on all cylinders next Saturday because the game against Lansdowne is a must-win.”
Meanwhile, in the first game of the day, the Over 30s’ winning streak in the league came to an end, but a 1-1 draw at CPR Grays kept Paddy McCarry’s men seven points clear at the top with three games to go.
Alex Berne scored early after good approach play but the Rocks couldn’t capitalize on that and were denied all three points late in the game when CPR were awarded a controversial penalty.
The Over 30s have a weekend off and now need just two wins from their three games in May in order to be assured of retaining the title.
“We took a step closer to the league title even though we were unlucky not to win,” said McCarry. “We were unhappy with the penalty decision so that was very disappointing. But they needed to win and that didn’t happen so we’re set up nicely now.
“We’ll push on and pick up the points we need from our last three games,” he added. “We don’t need to worry about anyone else but ourselves.”
The women’s team also edged closer to a league title after an 8-0 win at Astoria.
A makeshift midfield performed brilliantly as Chloe Wheeler scored four, Sinead Hennessy grabbed two, and there was a goal each for Amber Waery and Brittany Meade.
The late game on Sunday saw the Legends lose 4-2 at Manhattan Celtic with Johnny Keogh and Richie Brennan getting their names on the scoresheet.
“It’s always a tough game against Manhattan Celtic, but it got even tougher at the start of the game when we only had 10 players,” said coach Emmett Harvey. “We played very well as a team, but two injuries towards the end of the game left us short for the last 30 minutes.
Shamrocks 1960’s opponents failed to show up with enough players, forfeiting the game to the Metro 2 East leaders.
In Metro 2 West, Gottschee and Williamsburg continue to fight it out for the all-important top seed. Both teams won on Sunday and Gottschee remain just one point ahead of Williamsburg. The winners of each division will advance to June’s Metro 2 final.