The second half was a more
even affair as the Ireland team got more used to the pace of the Bulldogs and began to
make plays on both offense and defense. Irish linebackers Alan O'Carroll, Warren Thompson
and Gareth Millar began to stop the Bulldogs and even managed to get some tackles for
loss. However the Bulldogs did manage to put two more scores on the board, both coming
late in the quarter. The first was an 11 yard pass from Mike Akrawi to Cory Hardcastle.
After stopping the Irish on their next possession, the Bulldogs scored again, this time a
9 yard pass from Akrawi to tight end Mike Lyall. However, the Irish had the better of the
final quarter as their defense began to get on top and their offense finally clicked into
gear. Carrickfergus defender Spencer McDowell and Belfast linebacker Chris Weir had a
couple of sacks and tackles for loss and Irish defensive backs Mark Helferty of Belfast
and Darragh Farrell of the Dublin Rebels made some good plays. Midway through the quarter,
the Irish got a break when Belfast's Warren Thompson recovered an Adrian College fumble,
however the Irish failed to convert it into a score in spite of picking up some first
downs through the air. Ireland's best performance came on the final drive of the game when
the moved the ball 90 yards in a drive of close to 20 plays. Ireland Coach, Phil DeMonte
took the unusual step of putting both his quarterbacks in the backfield and got results
when Andrew Dennehy caught two passes for first downs. Ireland receivers Paul McKillop
(Carrickfergus) and Conor Ryan (Dublin Rebels) also had some catches from McDowell and the
Ireland team managed to get a first and goal in the final minute of the game. However, the
Adrian College defense put up a brave goal line stand to prevent the Irish from scoring -
on the final play of the game, Stephen McDowell was stopped less than a foot from the goal
line after trying to punch in a quarterback sneak. After the game, Coach Jim Lyall was
presented with the Celtic Classic trophy which is on its way to Michigan.
Aside from the result, the game proved very positive as it gave players
and coaches from both sides a chance to meet and develop contacts. A least one of the
Irish players is expected to get a chance to play permanently in the USA as a result of
the contacts made and it is hoped that the Global Football organisation, who ran the game
in partnership with the IAFL, will bring more teams to Ireland in future years.
Venue: Greystones RFC, Co. Wicklow.
SCORERS (All Adrian):
1st Quarter: Williams 3yd run (6-0); Williams 3yd run (12-0); Jonston 22yd run +
Lindsay 1xpt (19-0).
2nd Quarter: Musielevicz 44yd pass from Himich, Lindsay 1xpt (26-0); Williams 3yd run,
Lindsay 1xpt (33-0); Servoss 5yd run, Lindsey 1xpt (40-0).
3rd Quarter: Hardcastle 11yd pass from Akrawi (46-0); Lyall 9yd pass from Akrawi + Lindsay
4th Quarter: No scoring.