RFC, Belfast - Sunday 9th August 2009 - 2pm
UNIV. OF LIMERICK VIKINGS 9-6 DUBLIN REBELS
WIN SHAMROCK BOWL IN OVERTIME
Bowl XXIII MVP Adrian Garvey #36 breaks free on TD run
Vikings faced the Dublin Rebels in a rematch of last years Shamrock
Bowl and the game proved to be another close fought and entertaining
spectacle. It took place in Cooke RFC in Belfast in front of a large
crowd from all over the country. The Dublin Rebels had the better
run of form this year, handing the Vikings their only defeat of
the year early in the season in Limerick. The two sides also played
out an intense 14-14 draw in the return leg in Dublin. The third
meeting of the teams would prove to be the most dramatic and entertaining.
Sam Hodgins #8 takes a handoff
the pre-game ceremonies were completed the Rebels won the coin toss
and elected to defer so the Vikings recieved and Brendan McCarthy
took UL out to the 30 yard line. It must be said that both teams
special teams units performed extremely well on the day and field
position was the key of the game. On the Vikings first drive Ross
McCooey pressured Vikings Quarterback Liam Ryan and disrupted a
number of plays, forcing the Vikings into a 3 and out. The Vikings
kicker, Daniel Smith, pinned the Rebels back deep in their half.
The game was a cagey affair with both teams unwilling to risk turnovers.
The Rebels moved the ball with short passes from QB Andy Dennehy
to his recievers Barry Flinn and Mike Kresowaty. The Vikings secondary
did well to corral the receivers once the catch was made to ensure
no extra yards were gained. When the Vikings were on Offense the
ball remained predominantly on the ground with backs Adrian Garvey,
James Twomey and Jim Davis picking up solid yards behind the blocking
of the Vikings O-line. At the end of the first quarter the teams
QB Liam Ryan #17 tries to outrun Rebels LB Kevin Healy #43.
in the second quarter the running game of the Rebels kicked into
gear with former Vienna Viking, Florian Heiss and Sam Hodgins picking
good running lanes. Hodgins eventually broke one run through the
Vikings D and put the Rebels ahead 6-0. Vikings Middle Linebacker
Jim Davis blocked the extra point attempt. The Vikings then took
over on Offense and drove down the pitch with a number of aggressive
runs, one block by TE Marc Ashworth in particular showing the sheer
physicality of the game. Adrian Garvey punched the ball in from
11 yards out with an excellent second effort. The extra point snap
was bobbled and the teams went in at the half tied at 6-6.
JP Nerbun #12 tackles Rebels Florian Hess #23.
third and fourth quarters were dominated by intense physical battles
on both sides of the ball as neither team was willing to give an
inch. Jim Davis, Brendan McCarthy and Glen Carr stuffed run after
run by the Rebels while Ross McCooey, Brian Carter and Andy Flynn
replicated for the Dublin side. Carter and JP Nerbun had two interceptions
each as each team started to open up their offense as the game progressed.
Each team also missed field goals that would have won the game for
TE Paul Smyth #94 is tackled after making a catch.
into the fourth quarter the Vikings began to find running room,
breaking off some big runs and hitting long passes only to be repeatedly
called back for penalties which killed off drive after drive. The
Rebels skillfully defended the long pitch and kept the Vikings from
breaking the big play that would have clinched the game. As the
4th quarter winded down Danny Smith punted for the Vikings and the
ball was downed on the Rebels 1 yard line. The Vikings D, smelling
blood, sent the house at the Rebels who manfully got their noses
out of the danger zone and ensured the game went to overtime with
two strong runs by Florian Heiss.
house at Cooke Rugby Club for Shamrock Bowl XXIII
rules for IAFL overtime are the NFL sudden death rules. Basically
whichever team scores first wins the game. This added even more
tension and drama to an already amazing game. The Rebels won the
second coin toss and elected to recieve. Kresowaty was shut down
again on the return, this time John Mullen living up to his Rookie
of the Year status with a crunching hit. Dennehy took the ball on
his 25 yard line and went to the air. On one pass JP Nerbun stepped
in front of the short route and picked the ball off to give the
Vikings a chance at victory. A couple of Adrian Garvey runs put
the Vikings into field goal range and Danny Smith stepped up to
kick the 33 yard field goal to give the Vikings the victory. Click
here to watch the winning FG on YouTube.
game MVP went to a deserving Adrian Garvey who had over 100 yards
on the ground against a talented and physical Rebels Defence. The
Rebels and Vikings should be proud of the level of football on display
in the Shamrock Bowl, showing that Ireland has plenty of young footballing
talent. The future is bright for the sport in the country.
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