Tag: Cork Admirals

REBELS TAKE ROUND 1 AGAINST ADMIRALS

DUBLIN REBELS DEFEAT CORK ADMIRALS IN RAIN SOAKED BATTLE

The forecast fluctuated all week, and no-one was sure prior to game day what weather would greet the teams as the Cork Admirals would make the road trip to Dublin to take on the Dublin Rebels.
But this is Ireland, so obviously, rain.

And rain it did, the entire first half of the game would have a consistent downpour throughout, and that led to a hard hitting and old school style affair. Games like these, with conditions like these, are usually decided by the turnover battle, and that proved as true as ever.

The Rebels received the opening kick-off, but after some tough running from Tailback Pete McMahon, the Admirals forced the punt.

On their first drive of the game the Admirals took advantage of their possession. After being stuffed on first down, a face mask penalty gave them great field position, and from there Cork QB Stephen Hayes hit Team Ireland under 20 receiver Jahn Dasini for the opening score. The touchdown going in from 40 yards out. The Admirals tacked on the PAT to take an early lead against the reigning champions.

Old school Slugfest

The first quarter remained a slugfest from there, with both teams trading short runs, incompletions and punts to bring it to a close, neither Defence breaking or bending.

As the second quarter got underway, with the Dublin team in possession, the turnover battle began to heat up. An errant throw from veteran leader Andrew Dennehy gave Cork their second interception of the day, the first being a long bomb earlier in the game, which could be considered more as a successful punt.

That brought the Rebels Defence back on to the field. Some hard hitting, and key tackles from DBs Kevin Fitzgerald and Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu, as well as Linebacker tandem Matthias Durot and Aybars Bayram made life difficult for the Admirals Offence, and gave the ball back to the men in black.

“Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu” Photo courtesy of VSquared Photography

Starting the drive on their own 27, the Rebels would maintain possession for most of the remainder of the half. Meticulously moving the ball through the running of duo Pete McMahon and Shamrock Bowl MVP Wellington Omorodion, combined with some passes from Dennehy to Tight End Ciarán Fitzpatrick, and Wide Receiver Andrej Barlafa. The Rebels were deep into the Cork redzone, but could not break the plane. Going for it on 4th down, the Admirals Defence stiffened, and did not let up.

A quick 3 and out from the Admirals, and great field position from a short punt, gave the Rebels one more opportunity before the half. Some good pressure from the Admirals D-line, hitting Dennehys hand mid throw led to a 3rd and final turnover for the Rebels Offence for the game. The Cork side kneeling out the half from there. The turnover battle at the half read 3-0 to Cork, and the scoreboard reflected it, the Admirals up 7-0.

Adjustments needed to be made at Half Time, and they were.

Second Half – Different Game

The second half had the visiting side receiving the ball, the rain easing off slightly. A short kick gave the Admirals a good starting point. However that’s when the returning 2016 Rebels Defensive MVP Kenny McCarty would make his presence known. A tackle for loss and the first sack of the game for McCarty on consecutive plays, forced the Cork team to punt.

“Kenny McCarty” Photo courtesy of VSquared Photography

The Rebels offence came out onto the field, this time with heir apparent, Jack Fagan under centre. Fagan called his own number, and broke his first play of the game for a 65 yard run to kick start the Dublin offence. Two players later the young QB would hit favourite target and fellow Podcaster Ciarán Fitzpatrick for the Touchdown. The wet conditions causing the Rebels to go for 2, was unsuccessful.

“Jack Fagan” Photo courtesy of VSquared Photography

After the ensuing Kick Off, the Rebels defense wanted in on the scoring party, and after a tackle for loss from combined “Team America” members McCarty and Conrad Cook, the next play the Dublin side pounced.

After being picked off twice by Cornerback Ricky Paisley in last years meeting, Cork QB Hayes, had wisely not targeted his side of the field all game, until now. A mistake. Paisley jumped the flat route like a cheetah pouncing on its prey, clean hands with the catch, and gone racing for 6, to give the Rebels the lead. The scoreboard this time dictating, go for two. Game Offensive MVP Pete McMahon, punched the ball in to give the Rebels the 14-7 lead.

A 1-2 punch just after half time that shook the Cork team.

The Rebels Defence had bought themselves a ticket back on to the field after the kick off, thanks to their score, but they wanted off. So on the very next play, they reacted quickest to a dropped hand off, and Conrad Cook came away with the ball to even up the turnover battle at three a piece.

However, the Cork Defence was not ready to give in, and made a strong goal line stand to stop the Rebels from gaining daylight on the board. McCarty had other ideas, and picked up his second Sack of the game and forcing a punt from inside the Admirals Endzone.

Turnover Fest

A booming punt sailed over the returners head, having adjusted his position from the games earlier, much shorter punts. As the readjustment was made to the ball however, it ricocheted off his foot, and the Admirals recovered. Hayes then targeted Paisleys side of the field just once more, but the Game Defensive MVP had his second interception of the game. That’s what Paisley does when Cork throws his way, he catches it. Get out of jail card cashed in after the muffed punt.

The slugfest continued from there, with both teams trading blows, but neither offense gaining much ground. One extraordinary play, when Cork had a quick completion on a short route, Cornerback Raphael Meyer punched the ball out, the returning McCarty managed to contort his body mid air to pluck the ball down. Fumble recovery or Interception? Answers on a postcard, either way it epitomized his game, and brought it into the 4th quarter.

Back in position, Fagan looked to move the chains and the clock. After runs from McMahon and Omorodion, and hitting BFF Fitzpatrick with some short completions, the Rebels punted.

Yet again that Defence wanted more turnovers, and on a tipped pass, Safety Keith Foster showed his safe hands, clutching the ball down, safely, out of the air. A 3rd Interception, and 5th turnover of the game for the Dublin side.

Fagan was back at it again, this time calling his own number to churn the time. And after an initial good tackle from the Cork Defence to stop the play, the Admirals #65 came crashing in from behind on the signal caller, extremely late, leading with his helmet and cracking the back of Fagans head. The referee made the targeting call and #65 was ejected from the game, meaning he will miss the return game in 2 weeks time in Cork.

Pinned Back

A little more time off the clock thanks to the automatic first and some runs from Omorodion, including hitting the truck stick, ate up some more time, and a booming punt from Game Special Teams MVP Sean Butler, had the Cork team pinned inside their own 5.

The Admirals proved they were for real, and would not have their spirit broke. Some quick passes, and runs up the middle got them out of initial danger, but that man McCarty again, a Tackle/Forced Fumble/Fumble Recovery, triple combo would give the Rebels offence the ball back, and surely end the game?

Some more hardnosed running from the McMahon/Omorodion tandem brought the game down close to the two minute warning, and after Butler again pinned the Admirals into their 5, the warning was called.

“Pete McMahon” Photo courtesy of VSquared Photography

The Cork team was not done, and on the first play inside the two minutes, Hayes dropped back into his own Endzone, and threw a dart, hitting Dasini again, in stride, and it was a foot race. Dasini took off and went 85 yards for the score, and an opportunity to change the result.

The Cork side admirably went for 2, but the Rebels said No.

The ensuing onside kick was chipped up into the waiting hands of Tight End Peter Keely, who claimed the ball, and gently lay down to put the game to bed.
One final kneel down brought the final whistle, to take the Dublin Rebels to 2 and 0 on the season, and a place on top of the divisional table.

The next Rebels game is another home tie, on April 22nd against division opponent, Trinity College. The game is due to kick off at 2pm in Sportslink.

By Paul Grogan

REBELS SINK ADMIRALS IN STRATEGIC BATTLE

REBELS ROLL OUT OF REBEL COUNTY WITH ANOTHER WIN

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.

HORSEMEN OF THE APOCOLYPSE

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.

REBELS LOSING AT HALFTIME

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.

BEASTMODE!

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