The Carrikfergus Knights opened their season with a win in a closer than predicted game against UCD in Belfield, Dublin. Here’s a quick report on the action.
A consistent head wind for the offense (each offense had to play the same direction, into the wind, due to an obstacle behind the end zone downwind) made it tough for either team’s passing game to flow in the beginning and punting was particularly difficult.
Early in the game both teams were still shaking the cobwebs off after the off season, and both offenses had a slow start. On the opening play of the game the Knight’s quarterback Adam Devenney was picked off by UCD’s linebacker Nick Hall but they went back to the passing game again and again in the first quarter. After some good work by Carrickfergus on both sides of the ball, they drove down to the UCD 8, only to be picked off in the end zone by DB Ciaran O’Connell.
In the second quarter UCD tried to get their passing game going but Knights’ DB Joshua Davis and corner Ciaran Watson both intercepted UCD’s quarterback Colin O’Meara in the period. Carrickfergus started to see some good yardage running the ball but the half ended scoreless.
In third quarter the Knights pushed hard to open the scoring and while UCD’s defense did well on some key third downs, it looked like only a matter of time until they conceded. Midway through the quarter with the Knights on the 21, Devenney did well to extend a play in the pocket and found tight end Trevor Gibson in the end zone.
The Knights D then recovered a fumbled snap on UCD’s 12 yard line, Devenney ran it to the 4 after being flushed out of the pocket. Running back
Niall McHugh Gareth ‘Suntan’ Millar subsequently scored Carrickfergus’s second of the day, powering up the middle with the help of some effective line work.
The Knights tried to keep the ball on the ground in the fourth quarter and eat some clock but inside the last minute they turned it over with UCD’s O’Connell picking off Devenney for the third time. From there, O’Meara quickly moved the ball down the field, capping the drive with a well placed 5 yard pass to wideout Paul Geraghty in the end zone with 3 seconds left.
UCD went for the two points, O’Meara finding Geraghty again to convert, making it 13-8 but the ambitious onside kick with 1 second left on the clock was unsuccessful.
UCD travel to Cork to take on the Admirals in CIT Stadium in week 4 (March 18th) and the Knights will be back in Dublin to play Trinity College the same Sunday.
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