The Albany Rebels lost the inaugural Greenwood Cup to the Hartford Gaels after a hardfought yet frustrating 0-10 (10 points) to 0-1 (1 point) defeat in Connecticut on Saturday. Combined with the first leg loss, Hartford won the competition 4-20 (32 points) to 1-9 (12 points).
Albany played much better in the away match this past weekend, both on the defensive end and with their build-up play. However, the execution on shooting was poor. The Rebels sprayed numerous point attempts wide and settled for too many shots from distance. They did have three near misses on goal scoring opportunities that could have made a difference in the match.
One of the best chances came midway through the second half. Mike Lee, playing half forward, beat two players down the left side and then cut into the center of the box. He fired a low shot toward the far post but the goalkeeper made a diving save.
The Rebels were left shaking their heads after not being able to find the net time and time again.
Full forward Joe Bradley scored Albany’s only point in the match. After Lee’s 45 attempt was dropped into a cluster of players in front of the goal, the ball bounced out to Bradley along the left post where he collected it and popped it over the bar.
“I think we played hard,” Bradley said. “Definitely an improved performance defensively than what we had at home. There were a lot of good things to take from the game and lot of things we can improve on for Montreal.”
The strong team defense was led by fullbacks Paul Acosta, Tucker Conklin and Dylan Conklin, as well as halfbacks Tim Gerrish, Joe Donlon, Tyler Wilcox and Henry Best.
Albany travels to Canada this coming weekend to defend its title in the Montreal 9s Tournament.