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Tuesday, June 25 2019 @ 12:58 pm ACST

Belfast Redbacks Quell The Revolution

The second match of the Irish itinerary for the USA Revolution was played this week in Belfast when the touring squad took on the Redbacks. In a closer game than last wekend’s clash against the Irish Warriors, the visitors still found it tough against the current FL Ireland flag favourites. Conor Mallon, Belfast Redbacks Club President, provided the following match report.

The American national team, USA Revolution, travelled to Belfast on the 31st July to take on the AFL Ireland League leaders the Belfast Redbacks as part of their visit to Ireland to play the Irish Warriors.

The Redbacks jumped at the opportunity to take on a national side for the first time in the club’s history when they were asked by the Irish Warriors’ head coach, Brian Currane.

After struggling in recent seasons, the Redbacks have had a great year with some new recruits joining the ranks and helping the club to an undefeated season - finishing top of the league.
The match in Belfast was a great benefit to both the Redbacks wanting to keep their winning ways going and the Revolution as they prepare for their second clash against the Irish Warriors this Saturday 04/08/18 in Dublin.

Tuesday evening was perfect footy weather with fairly dry conditions and only a slight breeze for the players to contend with. The teams opted to play a 14 a side game.

The Redbacks got off to the better start on the familiar pitch with some great goals from Kyle Devine and Kev McSorley to get the first points on the scoreboard.

The ruck was a strong contest at each bounce with Declan Alder winning some important contests to send the mids David McElhone, Dean Skinner and David Miller off on some great individual runs towards the sticks.

Some bruising tackles by Tom McKenna and Sean-Paul Henry kept the possession in the hands of the Redbacks allowing them to move the ball up the wings with some great solo efforts by Gerard Walls, Steafan Hannaway and Sean Hannaway.

The Revos seemed to adapt to the Redback style of footy and came back stronger in the second half kicking some impressive all-important goals to reduce the gap between the battling sides.
Both teams battled hard and the game was played in great spirits. Goals in the latter stages of the game by David McElhone and Dean Skinner secured a historic win for the Rebacks with a score of 10-7(68) to 5-8(38) for the Revolution.

After the game both clubs traded jerseys signed by all their players and posed for photos together before heading for some beers before the USA made their return trip to Dublin that night.

It was great for the two teams to spend time together and interesting to see the American players try to understand the dulcet Belfast tones of our very own Michael ‘Mitch’ McGarry!

Special thanks to Andrew Hickey for umpiring the match with some help from some volunteers at the goals.

Best on ground for the Redbacks: David McElhone

Thanks again to Bob Given for some great photos from the match:

The Redbacks will take a great boost from the win over the Revolution as they prepare for the Grand Final that is being held in Belfast on the 25th of August.

Hard work behind the scenes by the Redback committee and some great training sessions co-ordinated by Paul Brogan have helped the Redbacks to a great year culminating in an undefeated campaign which will be rewarded with the home Grand Final.

After a four year Premiership drought, and some mixed fortunes in recent seasons, the Redbacks are working hard to prepare for a huge final and to finish the year on a high.

The spot against the Redbacks in the Grand Final will be highly sought after by the Galway Magpies, Leeside Lions and the South Dublin Swans on the 11th of August in Dublin.

There is still certainly everything to play for with all teams in the league playing some great footy during the AFL Ireland season.

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