The Cork Admirals finished off their regular season with a 40-6 victory over Dundalk Mavericks AFC ending with a record of 7-1.
With the Admirals already having qualified for the IAFL-1 Bowl and the Mavericks outside the playoff picture you'd be forgiven for thinking that this would be a nothing game. However no quarter was given as both teams put bodies on the line in a physical encounter.
The Admirals scored early. For the fourth time this season they scored on their opening drive when Hayes connected with Simon O' Keeffe for a 25 yard score. The Ads defence then stepped up to the mark with a pick-6 from Ayodele Mumuni on the first play of Mavericks very next drive. Both XPs were missed to leave it 12-0 to the Admirals.
The Admirals continued to turn the screw on offence and defence and they scored again when Hayes connected with O'Keeffe for another 25 yard score in the middle of the end zone. Dundalk pressure continued to cause problems for the kicking game with a block down on the XP to leave it 18-0.
On the next drive Hayes completed his third TD pass of the day as O'Keeffe hauled in his third TD reception on a 50 yard score. Again XP blocked. 24-0.
Dundalk started to gain traction on O, with Rice breaking off some scrambles and also connecting with Mulvihill on a number of drives. However the tide turned against them when Paul Farrell picked off a pass for a 15 yard score. McSweeney added the XP. 31-0.
On the next drive with Mavericks starting point inside their own 5, Admirals defensive pressure led to Chris Allen making the sack for a safety. 33-0. HT.
Into the second half Rice and Mulvihill continued to be thorns in the side of the Admirals but couldn't make the final breakthrough. Ben Jenkins, in at QB for the Admirals was made to work for every yard by the Mavs defence. Jason Dowling, Rashidi Banza and Brian McCarthy moved the chains on the ground for the Admirals.
Into the fourth Rices' hard work paid off when he squirmed into the corner under heavy pressure. XP missed. 33-6.
Into the last four minutes Jenkins hard work also eventually paid off when he found Paul O Driscoll for a 12 yard score. XP McSweeney. 40-6. FT.
Thanks to Mavericks for a good hard game. Credit to them they travelled with a small squad and were forced to play a lot of Ironman football but played right to the last whistle.
Admirals attentions now turn to the Bowl where they will take on the winners of Meath Bulldogs and Waterford Wolves who play next weekend. Bowl game takes place on August 2nd in Navan RFC.
Stagparty.ie – proud sponsor of Cork Admirals. Stagparty.ie is Ireland’s leading Stag Party Website.
Photo credit: Trevor O'Connell