Shamrock Bowl XXIV
Saturday 7th August, Tallaght Stadium.
The Dublin Rebels defeated the University of Limerick Vikings 15-0 in Shamrock Bowl XXIV, played in Tallaght Stadium on Saturday 7th August. The Rebels defense dominated the game intercepting the Vikings four times in the second half. The game was played on front of a Shamrock Bowl record crowd of 1,500 which included Robert Huber, President of the European Federation and Mayor Eamonn Maloney. Rebels defensive back Brian Carter was named the games Most Valuable Player.
The Rebels first score came early in the first quarter. After blocking a Vikings punt, they got the ball on the Vikings 44 yard line. After two runs by Aaron Smith, Rebels quarterback Andrew Dennehy found receive Barry Flinn in the endzone for a 32 yard touchdown pass to give the Rebels a 6-0 lead. The Vikings causes a turnover of their own later in the quarter, when Craig Brouder recovered a Rebels fumble. However the Vikings failed to capitalised and the Rebels regained possession.
Early in the second quarter, the Rebels extended their lead to 9-0 with a 26 yard field goal by Ian McDonald. Both teams ran the ball well for the remainder of the half with Adrian Garvey and James Twoomey picking up yardage for the Vikings and the tandem of Smith and Sam Hodgins picking up yardage for the Rebels. However, both secondaries played well, preventing either team from getting into the endzone.
Both teams exchanged punts in the third quarter as the defenses continued to dominate. The defensive domination was more due to skilful pass defense and some big hits from the front seven of both teams rather than offensive miscues. Early in the fourth quarter, Ross McCooey of the Rebels intercepted the Vikings at midfield – his second of the game – however the Rebels failed to capitalise, missing a 34 yard field goal. On their next drive, Vikings quarterback Liam Ryan had to leave the game and was replaced by Marc Ashworth. From that point forward, the Rebels defense began to dominate. Game MVP Brian Carter made an interception, however, Brendan McCarthy of the Vikings stopped the Rebels ensuing drive with an interception. The Rebels sealed the win, when following an Andy Flynn interception, running back Sam Hodgins scored a touchdown with a 19 yard sweep left play after having already run for two first downs to get into scoring range.
The Dublin Rebels win means that they are the first team to win six Shamrock Bowls. Rebels GM Fergal O’Hanlon said that he is delighted with his teams victory which comes on the back of a perfect regular season record. After presenting the Shamrock Bowl trophy, IAFA President, Greg Loughran commended both teams for putting on a hard hitting, yet very entertaining game of football.
Click here to view play by play blog by Action81: http://action81.com/blog/?p=2499
Extended highlights of the game will be broadcast on Setanta Sports during the coming week – please check your TV listings for details.
Photos by Ariane Boudias