Aug 132018

Cowboys 14-16 Rhinos


For the first time ever, the West Dublin Rhinos have their hands on silverware (it’s actually crystal) – but it didn’t come easy.

The Rhinos had to battle back from 14 points down against a Craigavon Cowboys team that looked rampant early on.

Receiving the ball, the Cowboys drove through Andy Herron on the ground and he finished his own move after just three minutes. Marty Dixon’s PAT made it 7-0. 

The Rhinos offence couldn’t answer immediately, but the D began to get to grips with the Cowboys somewhat, with Adam Skelly, Andy Meehan and Junior Groves all making big plays. 

However, it would be the Cowboys who would strike again. This time, Christian Cowan would throw a beautiful rainbow over the coverage of Pat Gahan and Luis Alberto would make a brilliant over the shoulder catch and accelerate to the house.

Backs to the wall, the Rhinos responded. Their next drive would see the offence go the length of the field, with QB and game MVP Paul Richardson lighting up the game with his hard-nosed running, with help from Ian Fanning, Robert Pops Chris Hutchinson and Paddy Roche.

Richardson would finish the drive with a 1-yard run and Paul Hosford’s PAT would cut the deficit to 7. 

A huge defensive stand before the break saw the Cowboys forced into a 3rd and 28 situation, with momentum starting to swing before an elongated half time.

After the break, it would be Richardson who got the Rhinos on the board again. His run, sprung by Hutchinson and David Hosford, would see him break away from despairing Cowboys before crossing the goal line. A botched PAT, however, would leave the Rhinos trailing. 

As the game ticked down, the Rhinos D stiffened and Barry Bolton, Darragh McDonnell and Nico Marrimpoey ensured the Cowboys impressive running game couldn’t chew up too much time. 

That left the Rhinos with the ball and a chance with 5 minutes left. Chewing up ground and getting down to the 11-yard line with 3.15 remaining, the Rhinos had a field goal opportunity. 

This time Bolton’s snap, Pops’ hold and Hosford’s kick were all perfect and the short field goal sailed between the posts to give the Castleknock side their first lead of the game. 

The Rhinos D still had to defend against a Cowboys O capable of scoring on any play – but it took just one play to do that, with Pat Gahan intercepting Cowan’s pass to give the Rhinos the ball on the Cowboys’ 41. 

Richardson would use three downs to gain 10.5 yards and a first down that allowed him kneel out the clock and seal a famous victory.

Thanks go to the Craigavon Cowboys for another spectacular game and to the Wexford Eagles for putting on a brilliant day.

Thanks as always to our sponsors Woolshed Baa & Grill and Health Services Staffs Credit Union Limited.

West Dublin Rhinos – IAFL-1 Champions 2018


(Pics: Nicola Reddy Photography)

 Posted by at 22:15  Comments Off on Rhinos – IAFL-1 champions
Jul 302018

Vipers 8 – 24 Rhinos

THE RHINOS QUALIFIED for the IAFL-1 with a 24-8 victory over the Donegal/Derry Vipers on Sunday.

Travelling to Limavady, the Rhinos knew they would face a hard-hitting, fierce challenge from the IAFL-1 North winners. 

Before the game, head coach Barry Bolton told his side that “big-time players make big-plays in big-time games” – if that was the case, Bolton found big-time players across his squad.

The day could not have started any better for the Rhinos as David Hosford’s opening kick-off was spilled and the Vipers left pinned inside their own 10. A fumbled toss on the first play saw Bolton himself recover the ball, giving the Rhinos offence the ball on the Vipers 6.

It would take just two plays for the Rhinos to find the endzone, as Paddy Roche ran between left tackle Darragh McDonnell and left guard Finlay Dargan for a touchdown. Paul Hosford would tack on the extra to leave the Rhinos 7-0 up with scarcely a minute played.

That hard work from the Rhinos O-line – including Stephen Egan, Eric Fitzgerald, Chris Cullen, Bolton, Paul O’Donnell and Graeme Taylor – would see the unit named game MVP for the Rhinos.

That would be a lead the Rhinos would never relinquish, thanks in no small part to a mean defence that has shipped just 25 points in its last five games. Plays from Pat Noonan, Adam Skelly, Luke Ivers and Brian Martin meant that a strong Vipers running game couldn’t get a foothold in the game. 

The winning Rhinos team.

Skelly would create the next opening for the Rhinos offence after he wrestled the ball from a Vipers runner, allowing Rui Almeida to secure the ball. 

The Rhinos offence wouldn’t be able to capitalise, with Paul Hosford’s field goal drifting wide. 

The end of second quarter would see Skelly create another opening. He was quickest to react to David Hosford’s punt and downed the ball on the Vipers 2. Another solid defensive stand would see the Vipers punting from their own endzone and the Rhinos offence came out with not much time, but good field position.

Strong running from QB Paul Richardson and RBs Ian Fanning and Robert Pops would put the Rhinos just outside the redzone with time running out. That allowed Paul Hosford to hit a 44-yard field goal for a 10-0 half time lead.

Pat Gahan goes low.
Pic: Desmond Loughrey Photography

The Rhinos offence took the field receiving the ball and feeling confident for the second half. Again, Richardson, Pops and Fanning led the way, with David Hosford and Roche adding yards before the QB was able to force himself into the endzone. Hosford again hit the PAT for 17-0. 

The Rhinos D continued to hold fast with Karls McGlynn and Fanning covering the pass along with Gahan and Shane McKeogh adding pressure up front. That pressure would get the ball back for the Rhinos and two massive Richardson runs had them on the 15-yard line as the 4th quarter ebbed away. Richardson would break the line and rush into the endzone for his second TD of the day, with Paul Hosford again adding the PAT for 24-0.

The Rhinos D would be denied a shutout by the Vipers, who have shown this season they can pass on any team in the country. First a long pass was met with a high-point catch a run that McGlynn managed to end at the Rhinos 5. Then, after a number of stuffed runs, a well thrown and excellently caught slant put the Vipers on the board. A sweep for the 2PAT would make it 24-8.

The Vipers would attempt an onside kick, but it bounced into Bolton’s hands and the Rhinos O was able to salt away the ball to cap a brilliant victory.

Paul Richardson has a fist pump as he goes into the endzone.
Pic: Desmond Loughrey

Thanks to the Vipers for the hard-hitting, tough and fair game as well as their brilliant hospitality before and afterwards. After playing each other three times in a year, the Rhinos can say that the Vipers are a wonderful addition to the league both on and off the field. 

Thanks also to our sponsors Health Services Staffs Credit Union Ltd and Woolshed Baa and Grill, as well as those who travelled to watch.

We move on to the IAFL-1 bowl in Gorey on 12 August against the Craigavon Cowboys. 


 Posted by at 17:25  Comments Off on The Rhinos are bowl-bound!
Jun 282018

Rhinos 42-6 Jets

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The Rhinos went to 5-2 and clinched a playoff spot with a win over a tough Antrim Jets side on Sunday.

The win also clinches a first-ever winning season for the club.

In the early going, the defences were on top, with Rhinos MVP Matthew “Junior” Groves dominating from DE, finishing the day with 3 sacks and 3 TFLs.

A phenomenal Jets punt left the Rhinos with an 88-yard field late in the 1st quarter, but strong running from David Hosford, Ian Fanning, Jonny Northcutt and Chris Hutchinson led the home side to the redzone. Penalties, however left the Rhinos with a 3rd and 18 from the 28. The long distance was soon eaten up by QB Ethan Foster, who weaved his way to the endzone.

Foster would soon find Hutchinson through the air to double the lead before half-time.

Foster would add another on the ground right after the break, with the Rhinos D led by Groves, Andy Meehan and Adam Skelly getting the ball back quickly.

That allowed Jimmy English the opportunity to break tackles en route to the endzone.

However, the Jets were not done and a brilliant outside run from Khadhum Hasson found paydirt. A 2PAT was stuffed by the Rhinos D.

Foster had time in the fourth quarter to cap his hat-trick of rushing TDs, before the Rhinos D got the turnover it had been craving.

LB Rui Almeida dropped into coverage and picked off a deep pass and when he turned upfield, a Rhinos convoy ushered him to the endzone for a pick-6. PATs on the day came from Paul Hosford (4) and David Hosford (2).

Thanks to the Jets for a great, clean, enjoyable game and to our officials on the day.

We thank as always our sponsors Health Services Staffs Credit Union Limited and Woolshed Baa & Grill.

Pic: Zaq Wood.


 Posted by at 09:35  Comments Off on Rhinos down Jets to guarantee winning season
May 212018

Rhinos 23 – 21 Cowboys

THE RHINOS IMPROVED to 3-1 on Sunday, coming out narrowly on top of a titanic battle with the Craigavon Cowboys.

With both sides looking to avoid a second loss of the season, this was always going to be tough sledding and it was the Cowboys who started the better of the two, forcing a goal line interception from Rhinos DB Adam Skelly. 

Running back Andy Heron and TE Conrad Smith put the visitors in the redzone, but a stiffening Rhinos D held them to a field goal attempt that drifted wide.

That miss was forgotten soon after, however, as the Cowboys drove through Heron and Smith again, before Jo Buchanan would punch in the TD. A bobbled snap limited the damage to 6, but the Rhinos would only be behind for seconds.

Following the score, Ian Fanning took the kickoff 90 yards to level the game and Paul Hosford added the PAT to put the home side ahead.

Another strong defensive stand put the Rhinos in position to drive, with returning QB Ethan Foster, Jonny Northcutt and Robert Pops leading the charge. In the end, it would be Foster who crossed the plane to make it 14-6 at the half.

After the break, both sides went full on for the win and it was Heron who levelled the game with a massive 50 yard run. Again, the Rhinos would be forced to go to the well.

When they did, they found plenty in reserve as Foster once again found the endzone, scrambling a designed pass home. However, Hosford shanked the PAT wide right.

That opened the door for the Cowboys, who hit a 65-yard pass from Christian Cowan to Anton Nulty that was added to to put the visitors 21-20 ahead with just 4 minutes left. 

The Rhinos needed a long drive and a score and managed to find both. A 4th down conversion by Foster kept the drive alive while Northcutt and Fanning kept the chains moving. Penalties from both sides in the redzone left the Rhinos on the 15 with 5 seconds remaining. 

A perfect snap from Barry Bolton was held by Foster and Hosford knocked the kick through to give the home side the lead.

A clever kick off from David Hosford took time off the clock as the Cowboys were left with 65 yards in 3 seconds. An attempted hook and ladder was snuffed out and the Rhinos took the win.

Next up, we head to Mullingar to take on the Minotaurs in two weeks.


 Posted by at 14:28  Comments Off on Rhinos leave it late to overcome Cowboys
Mar 272018

Rhinos win!

The Rhinos open the 2018 IAFL 1 season with a 27-0 win over the Galway Warriors.

The Rhinos travelled ready to play but found the early going tough on offence.

Luckily the defence was holding it down with MVP LB Paul Richardson recovering a fumble to set up a score from Rhinos QB Ethan Foster. Paul Hosford added the extra.

Another fumble recovery in the second quarter, this time from Karl McGlynn, gave the Rhinos a platform to score again. This time, following hard running from Richardson, it was rookie Chris Hutchinson who got into the end zone.

In the second half, it was the defence who did the scoring. First, Richardson ran back an interception and Hosford added the PAT.

Then, Nico Marrimpoey intercepted a pitch to roll in for another 6. This time it was David Hosford who added the PAT to give the Rhinos the 27-0 win.

The Rhinos return to action on 8 April at home to the North Dublin Pirates.

As always, thanks to our sponsors Woolshed Baa & Grill and Health Services Staffs Credit Union Limited!


 Posted by at 18:31  Comments Off on West Dublin Rhinos (1-0) 27 – Galway Warriors (0-1) 0