Category: Game Report

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

Kickoff

HISTORIC 100TH REGULAR SEASON WIN

DUBLIN REBELS FIRST IRISH TEAM TO ACHIEVE 100 REGULAR SEASON WINS

On the face of it, last Sundays match up in Kilcock between the Dublin Rebels and the North Kildare Reapers was just like any other regular season match up, what was different about this match was its potential to set another historic benchmark for the Rebels.

The opening kick-off would be received by the away side, the drive stalling after some good play from the Reapers defence regaining the ball for their offence.

From there the stifling Rebels defence would take over, led by internet viral sensation Simon Mackey, who would record 6 back field tackles, 1 Sack, and 5 Tackles for Loss. This was helped by Shadowman Sports Defensive MVP, Paul Kirkwood, the Defensive Tackle eating up blocks all game, and coming up with one of the plays of the day, recording the rare DT Interception.

Paul Kirkwood D MVP
‘Defensive MVP Paul Kirkwood’ – Photo courtesy of Dublin Rebels

 

The Reapers opening offensive drive would come to an end when Cornerback Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu, came away with yet another interception, maintaining his run of at least one pick in each game this season.

On the next drive, the Rebels offence would kick into gear, and following runs from Sean Douglas, and Pete McMahon, would be knocking on the door of the Reapers red zone. Cue, Steve Walsh.

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A BEE!

Not to be outdone by fellow Defensive Lineman, Simon Mackey’s recent exploits carrying the rock, the big man would add to his own highlight reel. Walsh taking the hand-off from 30 yards out, would burst through the offensive line, and showing a light-footedness of a man half his size, floating over the turf for a huge gain, before changing, like a transformer, into a Mack Truck, and bulldozing over the Safety, coming up just short of the goal line. From here, and in much less spectacular but no less satisfying fashion, the veteran would crack the goal line for 6 points.

After the next defensive stop, the ensuing punt would reach the hands of Sean Douglas, maintaining his growing reputation as one of the most dangerous returners in the country, would take the kick the length of the field, crossing the goal line for the Touchdown.

Seán Douglas
‘Seán Douglas’ – Photo courtesy of Charmaeducs Photography

The remainder of the half would continue on in similar fashion, with the Rebels defence stopping the Reapers offence from gaining any momentum, and the offence, under the guidance of Ireland Under 20 Quarterback and Captain, Jack Fagan, racking up yards on the ground through Douglas and McMahon, both crossing the pylons for a further 2 scores, a single extra point added by Raphael Meyer in the days only successful kick at goal.

It wasn’t until late in the Half that the reapers offence would get going, QB Luke Bailey would hit some quick short passes to TE Rob Hall, who would tack on the yards after catch and take the Reapers deep into the Rebels red zone. Unfortunately, for the Reapers, an errant snap would sail over Baileys head, taking them out of range, and after a swarming pass rush swallowed up the QB, Kirkwood would snatch up the previously mentioned interception to end the half.

SECOND HALF

Kickoff
‘Rebels Kickoff Team’ – Photo courtesy of Charmaeducs Photography

The 3rd quarter, commenced and continued in unspectacular fashion, with little of note happening. Apart from some more good running from the Rebels backfield, and completions from Fagan, and back up QB John Sherman, to TE Fitzpatrick, the scoreboard remained as it did at the half.

As the fourth quarter approached, the Rebels offence would turn the screw, the Reapers, many of who commendably played Ironman football for the duration of the game, showing huge heart, as is their calling card this season, would begin to tire.

Another Pete McMahon rushing score capped off another solid balanced drive for the travelling team. The final score would come late in the game, when QB Fagan would link up with Shadowman Sports Offensive MVP for the day, Ciarán Fitzpatrick again for 6 more points.

Ciarán Fitzpatrick
‘Offensive MVP Ciaran Fitzpatrick’ – Photo courtesy of Dublin Rebels

As mentioned earlier, this game had potential to hit a historic milestone for the Rebels. And after this victory, the Rebels achieved their 100th Regular season victory in the Irish American Football League. A first and only in the game in Ireland, setting yet another standard in the Irish game for the Dublin Rebels.

The Scoreboard closed off with a score of Rebels 37-0 Reapers.

next game…

The Rebels go to 3-0 on the season, with a long trip to Cork on May 14th to meet the Cork Admirals.

by Paul Grogan

DUBLIN REBELS BEAT CARRICKFERGUS KNIGHTS IN TIGHT GAME

REBELS KEEP ROLLING AFTER TIGHT DEFENSIVE BATTLE WITH KNIGHTS

To say Sunday’s meeting between the Dublin Rebels and the Carrickfergus Knights was a defensive battle would be an understatement. The scoreboard only saw its duck broken in the fourth quarter.

While the reigning Champions defence dominated their side of the ball, the offensive unit made life hard for themselves. Receiving the opening Kick-off, the Rebels offence would take to the field missing several key starters from their line-up.

Pete McMahon, making his first start with his new team, continued where he left off in game one, racking up yardage across the ground, gaining a first down on the first play from scrimmage. From there the Defensive battle would begin. The Knights defence holding firm, led by MLB Spencer McDowell, who would also lead the offence on the day.

CERBERUS??

The Rebels would dominate the ground game throughout the day, the 3 headed monster of McMahon, Sean Douglas, and Dave McMahon rushing for over 180 yards between them on the day. Douglas adding over 100 yards total in the return game also.

Meanwhile the Knights ground attack remained in negative equity at the end of the game. This was due in no small part to an outstanding display from the Rebels defence.

Sacks seemed to be the food the defence would feed on for the day, see they’re hungry. Lead by 2 each total for D-linemen Steve Walsh, and Captain Gary Twamley, the defence would rack up 3 more. The secondary not to be outdone, got involved with sacks for Senan O’Mahony and Kevin Fitzgerald, the latter pairing his sack with an interception on the day.

Another member of the dangerous Rebels secondary would take the Shadowman Sports Defensive MVP game honours, Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu, racking up 4 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 passes defended and an interception.

Dublin Rebels Defensive MVP - Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu
Defensive MVP – Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu

 

Knights quarterback McDowell was under pressure all day long, but did manage some success through the air, having 12 completions for 100 yards.

At the start of the fourth quarter the score remained deadlocked, the Rebels having the ball on the Knights 2 yard line. Having ventured into the Red zone through long completions from QB Dennehy to leading Receiver Cathal Keane, and the hard running of the three headed monster.

SWAN LAKE, ALMOST!

From here the next play would belong more on a Ballet stage than a football field. A running play given to veteran player and possible cyborg, Simon Mackey. The ball handed to Mackey, a bone crunching lead block from Steve Walsh, what happened next stunned the crowd in attendance. Mackey would leap through the air with the grace of Baryshnikov to hurdle a would be tackler, followed by a pirouette the Latvian dancer would be proud to call his own, and crossing the Goal line for the opening score of the game! Click here for video

After another defensive stop from the Rebels wall, Shadowman Sports Offensive MVP for the game Pete McMahon would continue his scoring form, high-stepping past tacklers for the Touchdown, and put the game to rest.

Dublin Rebels Offensive MVP - Pete McMahon
Offensive MVP – Pete McMahon

It wasn’t pretty, but the Champs win their 1st home game of the season and continue their quest for back to back Shamrock Bowls with a hard won victory over the long time rival Knights.

next game…

Our next game is April 30th, when a trip to North Kildare Rugby club to take on home side the North Kildare Reapers is on the cards. Kick off 2pm.

By Paul Grogan

REBELS START 2017 WITH A WIN OVER UCD

CHAMPS GET OFF TO A WINNING START AGAINST STUDENTS

It was fitting that the weekend of Saint Patricks Day would see the return to the gridiron of the reigning Irish National Champions, the Dublin Rebels.

The opponents on the day for the Champs were last year’s Semi-finalist UCD on their home turf at the UCD Sports Campus. The volatile Irish weather, which can’t decide which time of year it wants to be, decided to go through all four seasons during the game. This ultimately had little impact on the game as a spectacle or as a contest.

REBELS GREAT START!

The Rebels would get off to a great start, when after UCD won the coin toss electing to receive. Rebels Linebacker Matthias Durot would strip the ball carrier, and take back the rock. One of two forced fumbles for Durot on Special Teams on the day.

The Rebels offence took over in great field position, but failed to capitalise after some miscues while shaking off the off-season rust.

But the visiting Rebels capitalised shortly after, when Quarterback Andrew Dennehy would open his 2017 account, hitting Tight End Peter Keely for 6. The following PAT was unsuccessful.

‘Andrew Dennehy’ – Photo courtesy of Laszlo Gezco Photography

UCD struggled to move the ball early, the staunch Rebels defence consistently stuffing the run game, and constantly pressuring talented young QB Tom Donavan, racking up 6 sacks on the day, 2 each for Defensive End pairing, affectionately known as Twackey!

As half time drew closer, UCD looked to gain a foothold in the game. After Donavan hit some completions to his receivers, and made some yards on the ground, the red zone opportunity arose. In a strange play, a ball that seemed to be thrown to Donavan’s favourite target on the day, Conor Hanrahan, would pop up off his hands and into the waiting grasp of Steven Culligan for the touchdown. Hanrahan scooped over the PAT to give the students a 7-6 lead going in to the interval.

SECOND HALF!

The second half got under way with a bang. Sean Douglas taking the opening kick-off at speed and bringing the Rebels into great field position. On the very next play Douglas would spring into action again, reversing the field to bypass the UCD defence. With nothing but green grass in front of him, he would bring to life a number of brand new Memes. By simply tripping over nothing and tucking into a forward roll in spectacular fashion.

The Rebels offence would not miss out on the opportunity though. After carries from Rebel debutante Pete McMahon and Douglas, QB Dennehy would strike again. This time hitting young gun Cathal Keane in the end zone, wasting no time in taking up where they left off at Shamrock Bowl 30. Sean Douglas adding the 2 point conversion on the ground.

With a 14-7 lead, and the Rebels defence playing at such a high level. Recording 6 sacks and two interceptions on the day, thanks to Conrad Cook and Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu. This meant the Rebels Offence could take control of the game. Through the running of Douglas, Pete McMahon, and another Rebel newcomer ‘Rev’ Dave McMahon (no relation to Pete J ), coupled with several completions to Sean Leamy, the Rebels offence sustained drive after drive, capping them off with rushing Touchdowns for Sean Douglas, and his first of undoubtedly many for Pete McMahon.

‘Pete McMahon’ – Photo courtesy of Laszlo Gezco Photography

 

A late Alfie O’Sullivan rushing touchdown would bring scant consolation to UCD who drop to 0-2 on the season, but there’s a lot of football to be played yet, and undoubtedly this young team will have a say in where the Shamrock Bowl ends up this year.

next game…

As for the Rebels, a solid victory for the defending champions gets their season off to a strong start, and they can look forward to their next opponents, old foes, the Carrickfergus Knights, in Sportslink, Santry on April 2nd, kick-off is at 2pm.

By Paul Grogan