Tag: 2016 SBC Champions

Atlantic Cup Poster


Going For European Glory – Atlantic Cup 2017

The Dublin Rebels are proud to announce our participation in the 2017 Atlantic Cup competition in Dublin.

The Atlantic Cup is a competition where the Irish National Champions are invited to compete against other European Champions in a mini-tournament format to crown the Champions.

As the 2016 winners of the Shamrock Bowl, the Dublin Rebels return to the competition, having been Irelands inaugural representatives in the competition, and having competed on several occasions previously in Belgium twice, and the Netherlands.

AC Banner


Unfortunately due to flight issues, the French team Les Diables Rouges, had to pull out of the tournament, meaning that this years Atlantic Cup will be a single game final between your Dublin Rebels, and 2016 Romanian Champions the Bucharest Rebels.

Come & Join us

All Details will be available on the event page, and we hope you all can come out and support us, as we look to top off our 2017 season with a second Championship






The Dublin Rebels came into the 2017 season off the back of breaking the Belfast Trojans stranglehold on the Shamrock Bowl. Winning the Championship, by scoring the game winning Touchdown with 12 seconds left on the clock. A first title since 2011, and with the promise of competing for National Championships again, was a big draw in recruitment.

The majority of the 2016 team has returned this year, with notable exceptions, Defensive player of the year Kenny McCarthy not returning, and the retirement of Fergal “Sunday” O’Hanlon. With the already returning squad, a strong rookie class, and the return of some veteran players, including human wrecking ball Simon Mackey, the Rebels would set up for a strong run at attempting to repeat the previous year’s lofty heights.


The opening game of the season brought a trip to UCD, the first meeting in two seasons, the last of which the students came out on top. The Rebels took the victory, with a debut score for RB Pete McMahon, and another rushing touchdown, from Sean Douglas, coupled with receiving Touchdowns from Peter Keely and Cathal Keane thanks to the arm of Andrew Dennehy, the Rebels took home the points, with a final score of 28-13. There were some negatives to the game, as it brought injuries to several key starters on offense, with Wello Omorodion, Sean Leamy and Paul Grogan, all missing future games.

Photo courtesy of Laszlo Gezco Photography


Game two brought the first meeting of this year’s two Shamrock Bowl finalists, when the Carrickfergus Knights came to Dublin. The game was a tight tense affair, with the Rebels offense giving up a plethora of turnovers to the resilient Knights. The game remained scoreless until the fourth quarter, when Simon Mackey provided one of the moments of the season, with the infamous “Swan Lake” play, where he leapt and spun into the Endzone to break the deadlock. The game was capped off with Pete McMahon adding another score to close the game out, 12-0.

The next game up was a trip to Kildare to take on the North Kildare Reapers. The game was notable for the emergence of young signal caller Jack Fagan, given the reigns to the offense, after a brief cameo from starting Quarterback Dennehy. A tough heart-filled performance from the home side, caused problems for the traveling Rebels at times, but in the end would succumb to a 37-0 defeat. Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu would continue his run of games with at least one interception through 3 games. It would also see the rare Defensive Tackle Interception, when Paul Kirkwood snagged one from the air. Scorers on the day were again, Pete McMahon and Sean Douglas(2), a first TD throw from Fagan to Ciarán Fitzpatrick, and a thunderous 30 yard run from Steve Walsh.


Up next for the Rebels, was a road trip to Shamrock Bowl Conference newcomers/returners, the Cork Admirals. The game would see the return of Grogan to the offense, and in what would be more impactful on the day, his punting. As this game turned into a strategic battle, field position came at a premium. The Rebels linebacking corps of Matthias Durot, Conrad Cook, Damien McHale, and Raphael Meyer would all rack up 4+ tackles each. The men in black would come away winners after rushing scores from Pete McMahon, and Dave “Rev” McMahon, as well as one through the sky from Dennehy to Fitzpatrick.

Dave McMahon
“#7 Dave McMahon” – Photo courtesy of Trevor O’Connell

At the half way point of the regular season, the Rebels looked to be in good shape for the second half of the season. With strong performers across the board, a number of key players to return and a record of 4-0, there was a lot to be positive about. Further south, the UL Vikings had really set the pace for this year’s Championship. They also boasted a record of four wins from four games, however could also count massive victories over the Reapers and UCD, 92-0 and 76-6 respectively. Despite travelling to Dublin, for both sides next game, meeting the current champions on their home turf, U.L. had a lot to be confident about. At least one of the teams would lose their perfect record on that day.

The game was an exciting affair for the neutral, as both sides clicked on offense, and after long drives, traded scores, and the lead back and forth. Ultimately it was the visitors and league pace setters, the Vikings that came away with the victory 28-22. A Pete McMahon touchdown, coupled with another “Rev” McMahon Touchdown and one more through the air from Dennehy to Keane would conclude the Rebels touchdowns for the day. A welcome sight for the Rebels was the return of Wello Omorodion, who would also get into the Endzone on a 2 point play. Ultimately this showed that the Rebels weren’t going to have it all their own way, and that the Vikings would be strong favourites to win the Shamrock Bowl at this point of the season.

Sitting at 4 and 1 on the season, with results throughout the league, the Rebels next game at home to Trinity meant that a win would guarantee Play-off football for the Dublin side. The Trinity side, depleted from the team they had earlier in the season, were still in the playoff hunt themselves. The Rebels would come away comfortable winners on the back of a strong running game and mean defence. The game finished 38-12, and made sure of the home teams spot in the play offs.


With two games remaining the Dublin Rebels sat second in the South Division behind the dominant Vikings. Those final two games would be, first against four time Shamrock Bowl winners the Belfast Trojans, and the return game away, to the Vikings. A tougher run in you will not find to end the regular season.

First the visit of the Trojans to Santry. With the scoreboard deadlocked at zero into the 2nd quarter, up stepped Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu, with another pick, this time doing for 6 points. After a forced fumble on the next drive, taken away from the Trojans, Dennehy would go to the air, hitting Jonas D’Agostin Kubis for the touchdown. The experienced signal caller was in scintillating form, connecting with 7 different receivers on the day. 14-0 down the Trojans rallied, and managed to bring the game to a 14-13 score line with a little over a minute left in the game. Needing to win in order to win the Northern division the Trojans had to go for 2. If they were successful it would have left Dennehy and his offense in the same situation as last year’s Shamrock Bowl final, down by 1 with a minute to go. The Rebels defence stepped up though, and the conversion attempt failed. After recovering the onside kick, the Rebels kneeled out the clock to take the win 14-13.

‘Rebels Kickoff Team’ – Photo courtesy of Charmaeducs Photography

And so, to the final regular season game. A meeting with the UL Vikings, in Limerick, the battle to take the division, and the number 1 seed for the play offs. The stage was set for a phenomenal game, the Rebels needed to win by 7 or more points to win the division, the Vikings would take it with any win, a draw, or even a loss by 6 points or fewer.

While the first meeting of the sides in Dublin saw the Rebels rely heavily on the success of their run game, this game would show just how balanced their offense is. With Andrew Dennehy under Center he would take to the air early, and often, connecting with Grogan, Keane, Fitzpatrick and D’Agostin, each on multiple occasions. While the Rebels defence, who had difficulty in the first match up stopping the Vikings O, began to wreak havoc in the back field, led by Linebacker Robert Smith racking up tackle after tackle behind the line of scrimmage, with the ever present support of Matthias Durot, and the beast that is Simon Mackey. Dennehy had himself a day, connecting through the air for three touchdowns and a 2XP, with Fitzpatrick on one touchdown and D’Agostin on the rest, and rushing for one 2XP himself. Those extra points proved to be the difference in the division. As the clock wound down, the Rebels defence found themselves backed up deep in their own redzone with a minute left in the game. After several defiant stops, the Vikings chose to go for the field goal, knowing the 3 points would win the division for them despite the loss. But the Rebels defence was not to be denied, and burst through the Vikings wall to block the field goal, securing the division, home field advantage, the number 1 seed and a Bye into the Shamrock Bowl Semi Final, where they would end up meeting the Belfast Trojans for the second time this season.

The last time the Rebels and Trojans met in a Shamrock Bowl Semi Final, the two teams combined for a total of 104 points, so this game held the air of promise and lots of scores. It did not disappoint.

The Rebels had no intention of letting up and came out firing on all cylinders. Showing the depth of their ability out of the backfield, the Rebels would jump out to a 24-7 lead, with rushing scores from Wello Omorodion, Pete McMahon and Sean Douglas. The Trojans battled back into the game, managing to get as close as 24-20, the Rebels offense dug in, and not to be outdone by his backfield mates, Dave “Rev” McMahon, would punch in the final touchdown for the Rebels. The Trojans managed to get into the Endzone again, with the score at 32-26, and Trojans ball, the game would end when that man Simon Mackey burst through the line and took down the Quarterback. The Rebels were going back to the show. As the current champions, you always have a massive target on your back, and coming through the season with a single loss in making it to the Shamrock Bowl could be considered a great success. But the Dublin Rebels would only be happy to retain their Championship!

Rebels on 3
Pumped up – Photo Courtesy of Laszlo Gezco Photography

The Dublin Rebels headed into their 12th Shamrock Bowl Final, in search of their record 9th National Championship, against old foes the Carrickfergus Knights. If you want to recall how that turned out you can read the game review “here

Title #9 – Photo Courtesy of Terry McCann Photography

By Paul Grogan



On Sunday, the reigning Shamrock Bowl champions Dublin Rebels made the long road trip to Cork, to take on the Cork Admirals for the first time since 2012. With the home side Admirals making waves early in the season after their return to the Shamrock Bowl Conference, the day held an air of promise to the great game ahead.

After the opening kick-off was boomed out far beyond the Endzone, the strong wind behind it would set out an important factor for the day.

The traveling Rebels would come roaring out of the gates, when back up Punter and human wrecking ball Simon Mackey, would start off with 2 backfield tackles including one sack to really set the tone, despite Defensive End partner Gary Twamley missing the trip. After going 3 and out the Cork team would have to punt, against that wind. Unfortunately for the Rebels this would also be the last play for Mackey, as he would pick up a knock that meant he couldn’t continue.

The Rebels offence taking to the field under the leadership of signal caller, Andrew Dennehy, would pick up just where the defence left off. From the first play from scrimmage, Dennehy would hand off to running back Pete McMahon, who would beat the entire Cork defence to the edge, and speed to the Endzone, giving himself an early birthday present, and maintaining his score in every game this season. The 2 point conversion attempt was failed after Cork ILB Harris Monagan got into the backfield.

On the ensuing drive, the Rebels defence continued to bring relentless pressure on the Admirals offence, again leaving the home side no choice but to punt. On this occasion the punt would leave the Rebels inside their own half for the first time in the game. After some good runs from running back Sean Douglas, Dennehy called for the pass, after a short completion again to Douglas, the shifty back would tack on a huge chunk of yards after the catch, to flip the field in the Rebels favour.

On the very next play, Dennehy would again go to the air and hit receiver Ciaran Fitzpatrick on the seam, bulling through the safety to break the plane for 6 points. Again the Cork defence would stop the conversion attempt.


The game would continue in a similar vein, the Admirals offence struggling to move the ball after hammering tackles from lineback-ing foursome, Conrad Cook, Damien McHale, Matthias Durot and Raphael Meyer.

After the following punt, the game would take a turn. On a second and long, the ball handed off to McMahon, Safety Cathal Buckley would hit the alley hard and punch the ball out, recovering his own forced fumble, giving the Cork offence their best field position of the game.

Cork quarterback, Stephen Hayes, would make no mistake, and after a quick pass to Tight End Paul O’Driscoll to pick up some important real estate, would give the ball off to running back Vladamir La Greca. Making the most of some good blocking from the big boys up front, the speedy back, would race in for the touchdown. Kicker Kieran Murphy would ping over the extra point to bring the Admirals within 5 points of the Champions.

With the home side starting to get a foothold in the game, the next drive was vital to the course of the game, the Rebels would again come out firing, and after good running from Douglas, and a completion to WR Cathal Keane, the Dublin team would find themselves inside the Cork redzone after a 30 yard run from Dave McMahon to bring the traveling side to the verge of the Endzone. That would bring the opening quarter to an end.

Cathal Keane
“#82 Cathal Keane” – Photo courtesy of Trevor O’Connell

On the next play, Dennehy took to the air, searching for Keane in the Endzone, contact in the Endzone brought a flag, and to the surprise of both sidelines, the call was for the home team. After the penalty, the Rebels failed to get back to the original line of scrimmage, and the Cork side would take over on downs.


The SBC newcomers would again make it count. After some more great defensive plays from the Rebels defence, and in a punting situation, the Admirals would call and execute the fake punt to pick up the first down. In almost identical fashion, the following downs followed a similar pattern, 3 stops, and this time the homeside found favour in the adjustment the Rebels made to their fake punt, and executed the fake in the opposite direction. After a final 4th down, the Admirals would pin the Rebels deep in their own Redzone.

After penalties and some good defence forced the Rebels to punt from their own 10, the Admirals again found themselves in good field position and finally hit pay dirt. First Hayes hitting TE O’Driscoll and RB La Greca for some good pick-ups, La Greca would find just enough room to punch in the score. The extra point was waved no good, to the surprise of almost everyone in attendance, as the kick seamed to split the posts again from Murphy.

At the end of the half the score sat at 13-12.

The third quarter would turn into a defensive slug fest and positional battle. Stops from both teams would lead to punting exchanges between the Admirals, and the returning Paul Grogan for the traveling team. The latter, punting into the wind again for the entire 3rd quarter.

As the game rolled into the 4th, the score sat on edge with the smallest possible margin separating the sides. The change of ends and thus direction of the wind would change the course of play. The Admirals now driving inside the Rebels half would try to go long, the deep ball from Hayes hung up in the elements, and with the first of his two picks for the day, Shadowman Sports Defensive MVP, Ricky Paisley would grasp the ball from the air and take off down the sideline.

Ricky Paisley
“#5 Ricky Paisley” – Photo courtesy of Trevor O’Connell

The Admirals would rally and make the stop, forcing the punt again. This time, Paul Grogan now with the wind behind him, would launch the punt, inside the Cork 10 yard line. The Cork side would fail to leave their own 30 even after the kick away.


Dennehy would step back on to the field and after quick completions to Grogan and Keane, in the backfield, up stepped Dave “Rev” McMahon.

And boy, can the Rev run.

McMahon would take the ball, and like a hammer, would pound the ball in for 6 points. Like all of his RB stablemates, Rev wanted to keep being fed. Again taking the hand-off and force his will on the defence, to tack on the 2 extra points. Capping off a day where he would total 111yards on 15 touches, with a touchdown and 2XP, to be named the Shadowman Sports Offensive MVP.

Dave McMahon
“#7 Dave McMahon” – Photo courtesy of Trevor O’Connell

With the Admirals now chasing the game and being forced into passing situations, Paisley would take his second pick of the day, and after big stop to keep the Admirals in the game, ILB Durot, would pick off Hayes again, to close out the game.

next game…

The Rebels reach the mid-point of the regular season with a perfect record, and move on to a home contest against the UL Vikings in Santry on May 28th. In a game that will no doubt have a huge impact on the fate of the division, and the path to the Shamrock Bowl, it will be a game not to be missed.

By Paul Grogan



Dublin Rebels are delighted to announce that we have become official partners with Shadowman Sports.

Shadowman Sports, a revolutionary tackling system that enables more tackling reps while reducing player on player contact in practices and Dublin Rebels, the most successful team in the history of the Irish American Football League with eight national championship wins, have agreed to a Shadowman Sports branded MVP award. Both at the end of every game and the end of the year.

Shadowman Sports manufactures and markets proprietary tackling equipment that significantly reduces player-on-player contact, and thus the risk of injury, during team football practice for all levels of organised play, from professional through grassroots. The tackling system is now in use by more than 75,000+ athletes and 1,500 football programs throughout the United States, 70 Division 1 Collegiate teams, NFL teams including New York Giants, LA Rams and Oakland Raiders, and more than 1,500+ high school and amateur programs.

Dublin Rebels is the most decorated Irish American Football Team with eight national championships, six league titles and two European crowns. The Rebels finished the 2016 season with a 7-1 regular season record and went on to win the Shamrock Bowl in dramatic fashion.

“It is a great honour to partner with such a successful program like the Dublin Rebels. Partnering with the most successful club in the Irish American Football League further validates our belief that by using our innovative equipment in practice allows both coaches & players to get game speed reps without player-on-player contact. This allows for teaching proper technique and the development of player confidence in the tackle. We wish the Rebels continued success and look forward to continuing our partnership”. Steve Flanagan, President and CEO of Shadowman Sports.

“As National Champions our goal is to retain our title successfully and ensuring we fully utilise all necessary means in doing so. In order to do this, we need the best equipment and tools available to us, Shadowman is the best in the business and it is key for us in our drive to retain our title and to be the best there is out there. The first game of the season it was great to see every player available on the side-lines fully fit and was the biggest line up of players we have ever had at the start of a season and a big part of this was due to having Shadowman”. Vinny Dooley, Chairperson of the Dublin Rebels.



Shadowman Pro and Shadowman Jr. are the first moveable and detachable tackling systems that allow football teams at every level to reduce player-on-player contact during practice, enhance player longevity and increase game speed reps. Shadowman was invented and introduced to the football market after three years of research and development by J.P. Hartigan, a 29-year-old former rugby player and product design and technology expert from Limerick, Ireland. Shadowman is an air-filled humanoid, filled with water at the base to give the “body” an optimised low centre of gravity for tackling and displacement when coupled in the ring sled. Every last panel and contour is designed to give the tackler the best possible experience and feedback in the tackle. From the bent knee posture indicating the front and back position on the system, to the white optimal strike zone and the three target zones to guide players on head and shoulder placement, every part of Shadowman was designed with intent and care.

To find out more on Shadowman Sports and more of their products click here.