Ireland: Dublin Rebels win big – UCD & Cork Admirals keep the pressure on

By Jimmy English

The Dublin Rebels moved to 4-0 on the season yesterday, in a dominant display against a depleted South Dublin Panther side.  Ty Henry was the primary source of his team’s firepower, accounting for every Rebels score on the ground or through the air. Henry powered over the goal line for his first score early on in the game and quickly followed up with a 30 yard strike to David King for his second, taking a big hit as he did.

The Panthers made life hard for themselves throughout much of the game, giving up a safety on a muffed punt and losing not one but two fumbles – both of which were converted to Rebel touchdowns courtesy of a Dan Johnson snag and a Wello Omorodian rumble to the endzone.  The lone bright spot for Finn Kearns & Co came when the young QB rolled out of the pocket and connected with his receiver in the endzone for 6.

Their respite would be brief however as Kearns threw an unfortunate pick six towards the end of the half that gave the Rebels a 42-6 advantage at the break. He almost tossed a second one immediately after as well, but it was called back due to a block in the back.

Things went from bad to worse for the Panthers in the second half, as the Rebels returned the opening kick off for a score. There was little the visitors could do to gain any momentum, aside from a few strong runs by Ben Arulogun.  At one point there was a discussion amongst the spectators wondering when the mercy rule might be invoked.  This lopsided affair was getting ugly.  But the Panthers have never been a team to quit and they battled bravely on despite another two scores being put on them, one each to young Jack Basquille and Dan Johnson.

This was a complete victory by the Rebels and their second 60 point victory on the trot. A playoff spot and home semi final is all but guaranteed now, and we can almost certainly expect to see them back in the Shamrock Bowl come August. The Panthers on the other hand will be disappointed but hardly surprised at the outcome. It’s a rare thing to go on the road with 18 fit players and win, especially against a side that is firing on all cylinders. A two week break should give them time to regroup before they face the struggling Knights at home.  Final score in Stepaside: Dublin Rebels 61 – South Dublin Panthers 6.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division UCD got a crucial win on the road against the Minotaurs. A return to winning ways for the students puts them at 2-2 on the season and sets them up nicely for a visit to Portadown next week. They should handle the Cowboys easily enough and stay within reach of a playoff spot. Westmeath didn’t go down without a fight, putting up two scores and staying competitive.  Meanwhile, the Cork Admirals made the long trip up north to take on the Knights and won hard on the road on a scoreline of 22-12. Alan Lomasney’s charges are currently second in the table and would expect to stay there until they square off against the Rebels in June.

In Division 1 and 2 the Crusaders demolished the Jets (lol) 48 – 6 setting up an important clash with the Mavericks next week, while the Causeway Giants triumphed over the Pirates in a thrilling 8-7 victory.

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Original post in Gaelic Gridiron