The James Connolly Albany Rebels opened the 2016 season with a day packed full of action, but disappointing results as they finished fourth at the Hartford 7s Tournament and lost a joint game with Syracuse against the NYPD on Saturday.
“Our lads performed admirably today,” player-coach Cillian Flavin said. “I was especially pleased with our ability to defend the space in front of our goals and seriously restrict some quality opposition to taking points from distance.”
Although the Rebels went 0-3 in Hartford, losing to host Hartford (1-4, 0-5), Donegal (4-11, 3-3) and Connemara (2-11, 3-6), they played strong team defense and created many scoring chances throughout the tournament. The Rebels missed on a few key opportunities in both the Hartford and Connemara matches, losing both matches by just two points.
In the third place playoff game, Albany outscored the Connemara Gaels in the second half. They closed the gap with late goals from Mark Adam and Chuck Flood and had near misses in the final minutes, one of which came off the foot of newcomer Ian Maher when he fired a shot off the right post.
A few hours later, a group of Rebels teamed up with the Syracuse Gaels to play against the NYPD at Gaelic Park in the Bronx. Albany and Syracuse were down one point at halftime before the NYPD eventually pulled away and won 3-7, 0-5.
The Rebels have a quick turnaround as they will bring two teams to the Syracuse 7s Tournament on Saturday. Opponents include the home Gaels as well as Hartford, Ottawa and two teams from Montreal.
“We always enjoy taking on our friends in Syracuse and we hope to leave that tournament with more points on the board,” Flavin said.