The Albany Rebels used a furious fourth quarter to defeat the Syracuse Gaels 4-14 (26 points) to 3-11 (20 points) on Saturday in Syracuse to capture the New York Cup for the first time. The match was the second leg of the home and home competition that Albany won by an aggregate score of 8-37 (61 points) to 5-23 (38 points).
The game was close throughout, but Syracuse led by one point entering the fourth quarter.
The Rebels turned the tables on successive plays with less than 10 minutes left when Spencer Bassette beat a defender and then hand-passed across the field to rookie forward Chris Poggi who stepped inside and beat the keeper for a goal. On the following play, forward Cillian Flavin knocked a pass from the left sideline across the field to a wide open Frank Cabe who calmly placed his shot past the keeper and into the net. The two goals put the Rebels up by five points and helped secure the championship.
“The team had a well deserved win today,” said player-coach Tim Gerrish. “It took us three quarters of the game to get our legs under us, but we hung in there and got the job done. We had a massive performance from some of our newer players, which is absolutely fantastic.”
The Rebels had a balanced attack with seven different scorers: Mark Adam (2 goals and 2 points), Poggi (1 goal and 2 points), Cabe (1 goal), Mike Lee (3 points), Ryan Moloney (3 points), Flavin (2 points) and Bassette (2 points).
The defense was led by fullbacks Mike Lee, Henry Best and Gerrish.
Goalkeeper duties were shared by Bassette and Flavin in the first half and Gerrish in the second half.
“It is a nice way to finish the season,” Flavin said. “Syracuse really put it up to us and could have won the game, but we came together as a team and brought the championship to Albany for the first time.”