7 time champions, Dublin Rebels in action against the Craigavon Cowboys. Photo by Media 401 Productions
The breakdown series has reached the last chapter of the semi final previews, but it is by no means the least. The fourth and final team competing for the Shamrock Bowl this year is none other, than the Dublin Rebels.
As the most dominant and prestigious side in Irish Football history, the Rebels have won the Bowl a record 7 times, to become the iconic face of the Irish game. With 2 European trophies to their name and being one of the longest running clubs in Ireland, the Rebels have stayed competitive in the league for more than a decade. Their most recent appearance in the final came last year, as they were defeated 48-18 by the Belfast Trojans. Can they go one step further this season and win the Bowl for an impressive 8th time?
The Rebels started their campaign with a difficult game against the UL Vikings, when a touchdown in the last 7 seconds of the game helped the Dubs to a 14-13 victory. Since the opening game, the Rebels continued to win putting in strong performances against the Waterford Wolves and fellow North Division rivals, the Carrickfergus Knights and Craigavon Cowboys. Although they weren’t performing to their own high standards, they were still able to put teams away. Their first defeat of the season came against Shamrock Bowl Champions, the Belfast Trojans when a hard-hitting battle culminated in a close 34-19 victory for Belfast. Despite this, the Rebels would close out their regular season with an impressive 7-1 record and set up a wildcard tie with the Knights once again.
- RB Simon Mackey: What else is there to say about the guy? He’s a Beast! Topping the rushing charts with a tremendous 19 TD’s, Mackey’s ground and pound running style is proving near impossible to stop!
- QB Andrew Dennehy: One of the most experienced Quarterbacks in the game. Dennehy’s poise and accuracy has guided him into the top 3 for another year, as he passed for 10 T’Ds during the regular season.
- TE Paul Grogan: The Dublin side have a mix of experience and youth in their receiving corp, and with 3 T’Ds this term, Grogan will be a vital asset to the Rebels offence in the post season.
- K Ger O’Leary: At this stage of the competition, all points will be crucial. With 18 extra points converted and 2 field goals, the Rebels know they can rely on the steady boot of O’Leary when called upon.
- WR Chris Purdy: Purdy’s form for the Rebels has improved year after year. With some magnificent catches and 3 T’Ds to his name this season, QB Andrew Dennehy won’t be afraid to throw it to one of his trusted receivers.
The Rebels have been to this stage of the playoffs countless times through their illustrious history, so they will know what it takes to win. They faced off against an equally experienced Knights side in the wildcard round, prevailing with a hard earned 24-0 victory. This sets up a nicely poised game, as the Rebels will take on their opponents, Trinity College in a replay of last years semi final. Billed as the ‘MackDowell Bowl’, pitting two of the best running-backs of this era against one another, this game will be one to watch!
The Rebels beat the students at this stage last season, but will it be the same outcome this time? To find out, head down to Garda RFC in Westmanstown, Dublin for an action packed day of Irish American Football. July 27th, kickoff 3pm.