Top Teams In Ireland Pulling Away At Midpoint Of Season

Three games took place in the Shamrock Bowl Conference in Ireland this week as the top division passed the half way point of the season. League tables are starting to take shape with the usual candidates occupying the top seeds; but there is still plenty to play for!

thumb_Trojans_Logo_40px  Belfast Trojans 48 – North Kildare Reapers 0  thumb_Reapers_Logo_40px

Ireland - Trojans-Reapers 2016 action.4 - Bob Givens photos

Photo: Bob Given

The Trojans maintained their grip of the SBC North with a strong showing against a depleted Reapers side. Although the score may suggest a one-sided game, the Reapers kept the champions at bay for two quarters, ultimately succumbing to fatigue. It was the usual suspects that made the scoresheet for the Trojans as David Colvin broke the deadlock with a 3rd down reception that he took 60 yards to the end-zone from a James McKelvey pass. The signal-caller shortly made his second touchdown, connecting with receiver David Richardson to extend the lead. Colvin grabbed his second of the game thanks to another pinpoint pass from McKelvey, before Neil Montgomery stormed in on the goal-line to give the Trojans a commanding 27-0 at half time.

Belfast continued the scoring after the break as Jonah Siri scampered in for a trademark punt return touchdown. There was still time for running-back pairing, Matthew Armstrong and rookie Jake Warry to increase the lead making it a resounding 48-0 shutout. The Reapers who don’t often travel with large numbers were playing ironman football at times and despite the heavy defeat, they more than gave the Trojans a run for their money over two quarters. The Trojans travel to Limerick this weekend to face the UL Vikings in a cross-conference showdown, whilst the Reapers head to Dublin to take on Trinity College.

thumb_Cowboys_Logo_40px Craigavon Cowboys 8 – UL Vikings 35  thumb_UL_Logo_40px

The Vikings created separation between themselves and UCD as they walked away 35-8 winners in Portadown this past weekend. The long trip up North didn’t affect the SBC South leaders as they showed the kind of performance that would make them a strong contender to headline the Shamrock Bowl this summer. The Cowboys can be a tricky team to contend with, but the Vikings showed more than enough quality to overcome their tough opposition. Two teams that play very physical football, it often comes down to that extra bit of quality that can make the difference. Ian Cahill resumed under centre for the Vikes as he threw two touchdowns to receiver Ray Burke who also had a 2pt completion.

UL continued their trademark dominance running the ball as Shane Gleeson, the 2015 top running-back added to his tally this year whilst Philip Poillet also made the scoreboard with a rushing touchdown. The Vikings all-round performance was completed thanks to a pick-6 from Alvaro Martinez that helped wrap up the points in Craigavon. The Cowboys however avoided a shutout as quarterback, Peter Loughran rushed in for a score, before Luis Alberto reeled in the two-pt attempt from Loughrans pass. The Vikings maintain their grip on the SBC South for now, as they look ahead to hosting the Belfast Trojans at the UL Sports Ground this Saturday, whilst the Cowboys hope to get off the mark this season against local rivals the Carrickfergus Knights.

thumb_Panthers_Logo_40px  South Dublin Panthers 6 – Dublin Rebels 50  thumb_Rebels_Logo_40px

The Rebels eclipsed 50 points over the Panthers on Sunday with a dominating second half display. Despite the game being tightly contested at the break with only a score separating the sides, the Rebels kicked into high gear in the second half as the offence exploded into life while the defence prevented all Panthers momentum. Wello Omo’s first score of the game and a Paul Grogan reception opened the doors for the Rebels as the Panthers consolation touchdown came from a Tosan Memuduaghan pass to Owen Dunne. It was a slow start by both teams as the Rebels took a slender 12-6 lead into the break.

A further 38 points succeeded the half as the Rebels went into overdrive with quarterback Andrew Dennehy connecting with Ciaran Fitzpatrick for a passing touchdown. However most of the success came courtesy of the ground game. Omo who leads the league in rushing touchdowns, notched two more in the second half to complete his hat-trick, whilst also adding two rushing two-point conversions to his tally. Sean Leamy also had a rushing score and two successful two-point conversion and there was still room for Sean Douglas to get on the scoreboard as well. The Panthers defence didn’t have an answer for the Rebels as they strode to victory, maintaining the pressure on division leaders the Belfast Trojans. The Panthers struggles are ever present but they don’t need to wait long to make amends as they return to action this Sunday against UCD, whilst the Rebels travel across the city to face Trinity College in two weeks time.

Week 11 Fixtures:

  • May 28th, Belfast Trojans @ UL Vikings, 2pm.
  • May 29th, North Kildare Reapers @ Trinity College, 2pm.
  • May 29th, Craigavon Cowboys @ Carrickfergus Knights, 2pm.
  • May 29th, University College Dublin @ South Dublin Panthers, 2pm.

Scott is an aspiring Sports Journalist who enjoys writing about all things American Football. He is a regular contributor to AFI Review and also writes for both NFL Ireland and Double Coverage, and currently plays for the Belfast Trojans. He also