On Sunday July 16th The Dublin Rebels will take on UCD in a rematch of last year’s thrilling Shamrock Bowl contest, which saw the students get the better of their south Dublin rivals.
This year’s joust takes place in Cork’s Munster Technological University Stadium, the second year in a row that the championship game has been held outside of the capital.
With a 9-0 record through the regular season and semi final, the Rebel’s path back to the Shamrock Bowl has been rather straightforward. The boys in black and red were rarely challenged this season; their closest encounters coming against the team they’ll be facing in the title game, UCD.
“I have been pleased with the progression and buy-in throughout the season from the guys. We are a much different team then last year and many new leaders have stepped up” Ty Henry, the Rebels illustrious Quarterback and Offensive Coordinator tells us. Henry has been on fire this season, leading the league in both passing (31*) and rushing (13*) touchdowns.
The 2023 Shamrock will be the 3rd time these sides meet in 2023, and the 5th meeting overall in the past 14 months. They know each other very well and are unlikely to catch each other out.
“This will be our 5th game against UCD in the last 14 months so not many surprises. I think the clubs have pushed each other to higher heights with the others presence. And I believe that will be evident with the highest standard of play Ireland has ever seen in the Bowl on July 16th.”
Both UCD and The Rebels are playing at an exceptionally high level, and are undoubtedly the best teams in the country. Testament to this is their second straight appearances in the national championship game, and the emergence of a new struggle for dominance in Irish American Football.
For Henry’s UCD counterpart, Quarterback Arun Mooney, Sunday’s Final brings a sense of Deja Vu. “This game has a familiar feeling to the bowl game last year. I think both teams know what to expect from one another and matchup very well personnel wise. So it’s going to be an intriguing chess game between us.”
Mooney also had a prolific regular season, putting up 23 passing touchdowns. He’ll be counting on star players Sean McVeigh and Tom Donovan, both of whom caught 7 TD’s a piece this year, to step up in a big way. McVeigh in particular had a fantastic sophomore effort, accounting for 9 scores on the ground as well.
The students will need to be nearly perfect if they want to have any chance of defending their title. The Rebels have been unstoppable this season, and shutting Henry down ( if that’s even possible) will be the key to victory.
Mooney is eagerly anticipating his second Bowl game in a row, and knows what it will take to come home with the W.
“There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere you experience when you take the field on bowl day. It seems like every time we play them it’s a nail biter and I expect a similar game on the 16th of July. This game can’t come any sooner!”
The 2023 Shamrock Bowl gets underway at 3pm on Sunday July 16th in MTU Stadium, and tickets are available to buy here: www.universe.com/events/shamrock-bowl-xxxv-tickets-1VY9H3
Images Courtesy of Greg Ufnal and Lyndsey McVeigh