A warm balmy day in South Kildare welcomed the men in Red and Gold Sunday afternoon. Kildara RFC was the venue that played host to an excellent game of American Football.
Donegal-Derry Vipers 31 South Kildare Soldiers 6
By Derm Brown
The Vipers, on a three game winning streak and the Soldiers, trying to break their four game losing record in this very competitive league.
The game began with the Derry/Donegal men receiving the ball from the kickoff. Quarterback Danny Mullan moved the ball with ease down the field for the first score of the game, Hitting Tight end Ruadhri Bradley over the middle on a pass only his 6 foot 5” frame could pluck out of the air. The Vipers kicking and special teams unit had it easy all day making al of their extra points except for a long effort in the fourth quarter.
The Viper defence; getting more formidable every game they play this season, had another strong outing sacking the Soldier Quarterback repeatedly on the next drive and forced a turnover on downs deep in Soldier territory. After some spirited running from Full back Johnny Lynch and Tailback Cathal Curran, Mullan was able to hit a wide open Darren Gibson in the back of the end zone, the first touchdown for the wide receiver in a Vipers Jersey.
The only other score in the half was when the Soldier Defence stopped Running back Ciaren Mc Laughlin inside the three yard line forcing a field goal that was converted by kicker Gary Melly. The score, 17-0 at the half.
The Viper O-Line had a stand out performance keeping Mullan clean all day, Coach Brock was able to swap in rookies in all aspects and situations of the game, Rookie Running backs Ciaren and Ryan McLaughlin along with Mickey Mc Kay made some hard yards up the middle in the middling point of the game. The Soldiers defence began putting in some big hits stifling the Viper men until the fourth quarter.
The war of attrition was won by the Vipers with seven minutes to go when Tight End Bradley got his second score of the game deep in the left corner; from here on out the Soldiers were a beaten team.
They managed an unconverted Touchdown after a mistake in the Viper backfield on the next possession but any surfacing of fight from them was snuffed out when Viper Safety Coilin McGinley intercepted a deep searching pass. Mullan was able to hit the ever ready Receiver Ryan Brolly on the next possession who made it past the tired defenders easily and sealed the Kildare men’s fate. The final score was 31-6.
The Kildare men fought hard in a team ravaged by injury this season, and with their brother in the SBC Conference struggling, an amalgamation of the two teams might be seen in the near future. For now the Derry/Donegal Vipers push on to 4-1 on the season.
The words ‘Play Offs’ are on everyone’s mind but no one has spoken them yet. Next up is the Dublin Rhinos in three weeks time a game that will be a playoff decider in the IAFL 1 on who meets The 5-0 Craigavon Cowboys in the first round.