Ireland: Dublin Rebels & UCD Win Big

By Jimmy English

The season is motoring along nicely now, and despite the disappointing news during the week that the Antrim Jets were pulling out of their tie with the Louth Mavericks, there was still plenty of football to look forward to. As it turned out, the majority of results, including the much anticipated joust between the Rebels and the Trojans, ended up being blowouts! The only American Football Ireland round up in town is waiting for you down below… so keep reading!

Craigavon Cowboys 37 – Wexford Eagles 0

The Eagles made the long journey from Gorey to Portadown on Saturday afternoon to take on the league leading Cowboys in an intriguing match up. It turned out to be a fairly handy one for the hosts, who demolished their guests with a 30 plus point performance. Odhran O’Kane ran absolutely riot, racking up four total touchdowns, while David Radford tacked on another for good measure. All 5 scores came courtesy of Peter Loughran, who was back in top form after struggling in his last outing.  Their defense wasn’t sleeping either, as Seamus Hutchinson and Austin Ramsey reeled in an interception apiece. It was a very tough day at the office for the Wexford team, who had to contend with multiple injuries. The win put the Cowboys in pole position for now, but there’s a couple of teams still hot on their heels. “The Cowboys schooled us in what we need to be doing better to be able to say we belong in Division 1.” Eagles Head Coach Kevin Klatt commented afterwards. “Quite simply, they executed and we did not. It’s frustrating as a coach, never having been shut out before, and it was a long bus ride home. Having said all that, I have every confidence that the Eagles have the determination and talent that we need to bounce back.”

Photo: Jamie Martin

Dublin Rebels 46 – Belfast Trojans 0

The Rebels controlled this game from the very first snap to the final whistle, and were by far the superior team on the day. Ty Henry marched the offense down the field on their first possession, capping a strong drive off with a touchdown pass to Dan Johnson. Henry was moving remarkably well despite operating with only one knee, and it was quite a surprise to see him kitted out at all. The next play pretty much summed up the Trojans’ day, as a bobbled snap was recovered by their opponents and immediately converted into a second Dan Johnson touchdown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, almost the exact same thing happened on their next drive, only this time the ball was scooped byRebels defensive lineman Tomu Ogunyemi, who couldn’t believe his luck as he entered the endzone. It was all Rebels in the first half, and after a Grant Schutte rush for six just before the break, the Trojans found themselves in a 30 – 0 hole. It didn’t get much better in the second half, as Ciaran Fitzpatrick snagged a score early in the 3rd quarter off a pass from Greg Johnson who came in in relief of Henry, before Schutte crossed the whitewash for a second time. I was honestly expecting a bit more of a contest between two of the best teams in the country, as was everyone else in attendance. The Trojans suffered from dropped passes and miscues all afternoon long, despite solid play from QB Dom Lynn.  It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out for these teams!

UCD 56 – UL Vikings 0

Speaking of blowouts, UCD went absolutely OFF against the Vikings in Bellfield on Sunday. 7 different players found the endzone, as this intervarsity clash finished firmly in their favour. Tom McEniff, Brandon Atwell, Arun Mooney, Joseph Carroll, Cian Lawlor, Sean Douglas and Jack Finnegan all hit paydirt on an afternoon that UL will be keen to forget. It’s been a rough stretch of games to start the season for the men from the Treaty county, and this latest rollicking won’t do much to boost their confidence. A loss like this has to be disheartening, and we really hope they can turn things around and get something out of this season. UCD started strong and built their lead slowly, but refused to take their foot off the gas as the score got out of hand. After a slightly sluggish start to the season, they are well and truly up and running! Their next stop is Belfast for a date with the Knights, while the Vikings will be back in Dublin next week for a very winnable game against the Panthers.

Photo: Gregory Ufnal

Dublin Rhinos 0  – Cill Dara Crusaders 20 

It’s always a slobberknocker when these sides meet, and Sunday in Castleknock was no different. The Rhinos earned the advantage in the first encounter, but this time around it was the Crusaders time to shine on the back of an absolutely monster performance from Wello Omorodion. The former Rebel ( and one time Rhino) had a stellar outing, amassing  over 200 all purpose yards: 100 in the air and 133 on the ground, capped off with a pair of touchdowns. Quarterback Jordan Farrell played a key role in the victory as well, totaling 185 passing yards, while Karl Bracken added a score on the ground for good measure. Bracken’s contributions continued on defense, as he showed out with two interceptions and a blocked field goal attempt. “The players have learned from our tough start to the season in the nail biting loss and grown massively in the past month with 2 massive road wins and both being shut outs is just the icing on the cake.” Coach Richard Maloney told Gaelic Gridiron afterwards. “We are all highly excited to see what the rest of the season has in store and look forward to welcoming the Eagles on the 5th of May”.

Read original story in Gaelic Gridiron. Reposted by permission.