Ireland: Admirals sink the Knights in Cork – AFI Week 11 Round Up

By Jimmy English

Big wins, surprising wins and statement wins. That was the theme in the world of Irish American Football this weekend.

The trio of games taking place were supposed to be a lot closer score wise than they actually ended up. In their Dublin derby, the Rebels halted the Panthers unbeaten run, while down in Cork the Admirals absolutely annihilated the Knights to stay in the hunt for the playoffs. Oh, and the Rhinos keep winning as well! Find out all the scores and juicy details in our game round up below!

Photo: Conor Brennan

Dublin Rebels 36 – South Dublin Panthers 12

One of the most anticipated jousts of the weekend was between the undefeated Panther and the reigning national champions. Sadly, it didn’t turn out to be quite the thrilling encounter we had hoped for. The Rebels dominated for the duration, with the first half marred by frankly poor officiating. Ty Henry’s offense displayed its typical efficiency as the signal caller connected with Grant Schutte, Greg Johnson and Andrej Barlfa for scores,while adding one himself on the ground. Conversely, the Panthers were down to their 3rd string Quarterback. And it showed. Both Conor Murphy and Matty O’Meara gave their best efforts, but were simply overcome by a feasting Rebels defense. Joe Krause, Jason Kolokithas and Cathal Keane all snagged interceptions, while Tomi Ogunyemi recovered a fumble. They did eventually muster some points in the final period, when Chris Madden ran a kick the whole way back for a score. O’Meara added six shortly after to make things a bit more respectable at the conclusion. The Panthers are in the playoffs regardless, but will undoubtedly require Finn Kearns to be healthy if they intend on going all the way.

Photo: Vlad Vasilescu

Cork Admirals 44 – Belfast Knights 6 

Teams from up North have not played well on the road this season. That’s a fact. The Knights would have expected to put on a much stronger showing down south, but ultimately it was the Leesiders who emerged victorious, and in the process kept themselves in playoff contention. Jake Kennedy has emerged as one of the best young Quarterbacks in the country, and on Sunday he went 15/21 passing for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns. Two of those scores went to Liam O’Leary, with another to Declan Maye. Kennedy earned another score with his feet, as did his brother Ben. The younger Kennedy was making his debut, and put on a stellar performance with 13 rushes for 80 yards and a score.  Not to be outshone, the Admirals D was instrumental in the victory, with Adam Jere claiming a pick 6, Dylan Holland picking off another pass and returning it to the Knights 5 yard line, and both Ayo Mumuni and Matthew Sibanyoni forcing fumbles. Head Coach Alan Lomasney has done a terrific job in keeping his side motivated and hungry this season, and now it’s beginning to pay dividends. For the Knights, they might find some sort of consolation in a Liam Moores touchdown pass to Daithi McShane. But it’s a long drive back to Belfast when you’ve been that badly beaten. 

West Dublin Rhinos 41 – NI Razorbacks 0 

For the second week running, the Rhinos earned an emphatic victory against a traveling northern team. Whatever has unfolded in the Razorbacks camp is not good, and after showing so much promise in their early days things seem to have fallen asunder. You have to hand it to the Rhinos though. When the opportunity has presented itself to put up big scores, they’ve seized it. A rushing TD from QB Ethan Foster on the first drive set the tone, with Craig Usher adding another score on the ground soon after. Usher earned a second through the air before halftime, as the Rhinos held a commanding lead. The first drive of the second half saw Gary Furlong haul in a 55 yard touchdown from Ethan Foster, followed by six points from David Wright. Volodymyr Fedorov would then rush in for the final time to close the game out. Their defense played a key role as well, as Fernando Canete, Pádraig Lawlor, John Lawlor, Karl McGlynn and Carmen Bechaneau all found their way to the QB, with Damien Kendrick recovering a fumble and Ryan Doherty grabbing a pick. Overall this was a superb performance from the West Dublin side, who have displayed an impressive resurgence down the stretch of the season.