American Football Ireland: Trojans capture Battle of Belfast, Dublin Rebels stay unbeaten

By Jimmy English

The trend of dominant displays and high scoring shutouts that we’ve seen all season continued in AFI Game week 6, as the domestic Irish American Football League returned after an Easter hiatus. For some teams, playoff spots have already been shored up while for others there is still work to be done. Keep reading for our full American Football Ireland Week 6 Recap!

UL Vikings 53 – NI Razorbacks 13

The Vikings romped to a win over the Razorbacks on Saturday, and all but sealed a spot in the Division One championship game. A largely one sided affair that saw scores on the ground from Aidan Maher, Finn O’Donovan and Adam O’Mahony as well as a receiving touchdown from Sean Grace. O’Mahony added a “strip six” on defense. The Razorbacks battled bravely and briefly answered back with two trips to the endzone, but ultimately, it was futile. Luckily for the Belfast side they won’t have far to go for their next fixture as they travel to Derry to take on the Vipers as we can’t imagine that bus trip home was fun!

Dublin Rebels 64 – Craigavon Cowboys 6

Can anyone beat the Rebels? It’s not looking likely at the moment.  Ty Henry and Co. went 3-0 for the season, stuffing the visiting Cowboys 62-6 at home. Craigavon never really stood a chance, but may be able to find a little solace in the fact that they actually managed to get on the board for the first time this season. Their opponents scored in spades, as Dan Johnson, Greg Johnson, Sean Leamy, Tommy Breslin, Ty Henry and Joe Krause all contributed points in this lopsided victory. Last year’s runners up are a win away from a playoff spot, but may face a tricky game against the Panthers next week. It should certainly be a stiffer test than this one anyway!

Belfast Trojans 37 – Belfast Knights 6

Billed as the “Battle of Belfast” this one was a decidedly one-sided affair as the Green Machine earned their second road victory of the season. With a win against their neighbouring Knights, the Trojans have definitively snapped the streak of away losses they suffered last season and are well in the mix for a playoff spot. Trojans touchdowns came courtesy of Mohammed Ramadan, Jordan Clinton, John Haughey and Chad Higgins, while Ryan Brolly added a Field Goal for good measure. The Knights on the other hand suffered their second consecutive defeat and now sit at 0-2 for the season, despite managing to claw back a score towards the end.

Copyright Paul McIlwaine Sports Photography

Dublin Rhinos 58 – Antrim Jets 0

A massive win at home for the surging Rhinos as they absolutely stomped all over the hapless Jets 58 – 0. This victory will elevate the West Dublin side to 3rd place in the Division 1 standings and may even make them contenders for a place in the final come summer. QB Ethan Foster was on top form, accounting for 6 total touchdowns – three on the ground and three through the air, while Paddy Roche, Jeremy Capt, Keith Ashton and Adam Jenkins all crossed the whitewash. Kicker Ross Bolger was on point too, adding 7 extra points and a 40 yard field goal for good measure. The Rhino’s are 2 from 2 after their victory today and will be looking to maintain this momentum.

Louth Mavericks 53 – Donegal/Derry Vipers 7

The Louth Mavericks are on a roll and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Putting up 50+ points is becoming a habit for the second ranked team in Division 1 and there were scores a plenty on both sides of the ball for them today in what you can only describe as a drubbing. QB Nathan Hearty tossed three TD’s in through the air, twice to Eamon Ward and once to Declan Mulvihill and was complemented nicely on the ground with rushing scores from Dan Finley and Alex Hanratty. The defense wasn’t going to be outdone and put on show with not one but two pick sixes and a “strip six” from OG Linebacker Mick O’Shea. The Mavs are for real and are on a course for a massive matchup with the UL Vikings in June.

South Dublin Panthers 20 – Westmeath Minotaurs 9

After a victory to open their first season in the top flight of Irish American football, the Minotaurs would have been optimistic about their chances against a Panthers side that was outmuscled in their last outing. But it was not to be today in the National Sports Campus as the Panthers ran out winners on a score of 20-9. A Shane Dalton touchdown and a Jay Bruton field goal were all that the Minotaurs could muster, while the Panthers bounced back with a much needed victory as Raymond Burke and Josh Clarke combined for 3 TD’s passing.  Bill Dougherty’s Minotaurs will face their toughest test to date next weekend as they take on the reigning champions UCD at home. While their tilt today against the Panthers may have served as a precursor, their game against UCD will be a different story altogether and will show if they truly belong in the premier division.

Wexford Eagles 20 – Trinity College 6

They say defense wins championships, and the Eagles will be hoping to ride theirs all the way to the Division Two final and beyond on the back of the unit’s 12 sack performance against Trinity College today. Henry Foxton accounted for exactly half of the sack total and bullied poor Trinity’s O-Line, who must have had a hole in it to give up that many! On the other side of the ball Trevor Smith had a strong performance, gaining 127 yards on the ground and crossing the goal line, while Kyle McLaughlin connected with Luke Fitzpatrick twice for touchdowns through the air.  Trinity scored once early courtesy of Brandon Kekedjian, but couldn’t manage more than that. After multiple postponements it was good to see these teams back on the field and vying for promotion!

Read the original article in Gaelic Gridiron.