Ireland: Louth Mavericks escape with a close win, Trojans dominate

By Jimmy English

The Belfast Trojans bounced back on the road against the Westmeath Minotaurs, while in Dublin the Louth Mavericks had to rely on a last minute field goal to edge a strong West Dublin Rhinos side! There were victories as well for the South Dublin Panthers and Trinity College as we get towards the business end of what has been a very exciting season of Irish American Football! Keep reading for our recap of all the action!

Belfast Trojans 62 – Westmeath Minotaurs 32 

This one was a lot closer than the score would indicate, as the home team really put it up to the northerners. Westmeath struck paydirt on their first play of the game, with a 70 yard house call from Shaun Dalton, but in the end they couldn’t do enough to stem the powerful Trojan offense. Big plays had a massive impact on the outcome of the game with Maks Dimitrov and Thomas Boyd both going in for Trojans pick sixes. A Jordan Clinton kick return touchdown early in the 4th quarter was like a dagger to Westmeath and while they battled bravely to the bitter end, it just wasn’t enough. The Trojans avenged their previous loss to Cork with a strong performance, but Westmeath demonstrated that they truly belong in the top flight of Irish American football and will be around for a while yet.

Courtesy of Ian Humes

South Dublin Panthers 33 – Craigavon Cowboys 0

The Panthers are on a 2-game winning streak and are making a strong push for a playoff spot. A shutout against the Cowboys at the National Sports Campus is the latest feather in their cap and they will be hoping to carry this momentum into a clash with the reigning champions in a fortnight’s time. Receiver turned Quarterback Finn Kearns amassed 4 passing touchdowns, one each to Conor Hoskins, Ray Burke, Ryan Eccles and Josh Clarke while Hoskins got another on the ground.  It just hasn’t been the Cowboys year so far and with their final fixtures coming against the Knights and the Trojans, they’ll be lucky to finish the year with a win. The Panthers now stand at 3-2 and are firmly in the mix for a semi-final spot.

Louth Mavericks 15 – West Dublin Rhinos 13

A heartbreaker for the Rhinos at home as a last minute field goal and a Brendan Simms INT gave the Mavericks a close win in this tightly contested affair. Scores for the Rhinos game from the ever reliable Paul Richardson and Matthew Groves, while the sure footed Paul Hosford kicked an extra point. In addition to his game victory sealing pick, the electric Brendan Simms scored the first TD of the game for Louth on a punt return, while Nathan Hearty hit is favourite target Eamon Ward for the Mavericks other score. At 6-0 and in the top spot in Division One,  The Mavericks have a massive matchup coming in two weeks time against UL in a game that will ultimately impact the final standings and playoff seedings at the end of the season.

Trinity College 16 – North Dublin Pirates 8

Trinity scored on both sides of the ball in a tight affair against the Pirates, who although being the designated “away team” were actually playing in their home ground. Confused? Us too! Liam Fahy was the points contributor on Offense for the students, while Ian Richardson got the six on defense. Trinity opted for two point conversions on both attempts and were successful as Conor Keeley and Lorenzo Bogni did the honours.  While Wexford are currently the clear favourites to claim the Division 2 title, who they will face in the final is still very much a mystery as both the Causeway Giants and indeed Trinity College have shown an aptitude for scoring points and winning games.

Header Image Courtesy of Ian Humes