Ireland: Week 14 Round Up – Admirals escape with victory, Knights overpower Cowboys

By Jimmy English

The antepenultimate weekend of the 2023 Irish American football league brought us some intriguing matchups. In Mullingar, The Admirals were hoping to bounce back after a disastrous defeat to the Rebels, while in Portadown the Cowboys were fighting for Premier division survival against a Knights team also trying to stay in the top tier. Elsewhere, in Division 2 Wexford’s Eagles made the long trip up to Antrim to face the Causeway Giants in a prelude to the Bowl game.  Keep reading for our American Football Ireland Week 14 Round Up!

Wexford Eagles 41 – Causeway Giants 6 

In what was likely to be a preview of the Division 2 Championship Game, the undefeated Eagles made the long trip up north to face the Causeway Giants.  Trevor Smith got proceedings underway for the Eagles, taking the opening kick all the way back for a touchdown. The Eagles were relentless after that, as Cillian Hayward, Doran Taylor, Luke Fitzpatrick, Paddy Bissett and Trevor Smith again all crossed the whitewash for scores. Hayward also had over 150 yards rushing on the day. The home side mustered a consolation score from Nathan Chapman, but have serious work to do if they want to contend for the trophy come August.

Courtesy of Paul McIlwaine

Belfast Knights 42 – Craigavon Cowboys 6 

This loss to the Knights on Sunday was the final nail in the Cowboys coffin. The Portadown boys will be playing Division One football again next season, as they were no match for a Belfast team also fighting for survival. Doug Caddick and Daithi McShane had two scores apiece on the day, with QB Spencer McDowell and Bruce also earning one each. The dominant display by the Knights puts the Cowboys at 0-8 for the season, but that record is not reflective of the tenacity and fighting spirit they displayed. Eoin Hughes connected with David Radford to pull one back for the Boys late in the game, but it wasn’t enough to pull it back. The Knights are probably safe for another year, as long as they don’t get blown out by UCD next week!

Cork Admirals 14 – Westmeath Minotaurs 12 

A missed 2 point conversion in the dying moments is all that stood between the Minotaurs and a massive draw against the Admirals. Cork’s defense kept them in it all game long, picking off Joe Kinahan a grand total of four times, one of which was returned 100 yards for a pick six by Simon O’Keefe. The Admirals held their lead until the 3rd quarter, when Kinahan managed to run the ball in for a score and followed it up with a five yard pass to Shaun Dalton. Kieran Maye got the lone offensive score for Cork in a game that was surely too close for comfort. Westmeath will have learned a lot in their fledgling season of top flight Irish American football, but Cork will have learned a lot as well. They cannot take anything for granted this season and will need to be on top form if they want to claim the Shamrock Bowl in two months time.

Courtesy of Conor Brennan

North Dublin Pirates 30* – Trinity College 0 (Trinity forfeit)

Trinity have left the building. And may not be back for a while. This is not the first time a Trinity side have had to forfeit the remaining games on their schedule. It’s unfortunate to see. Perhaps it’s time for the students to look at other options, such as merging with another outfit or relaxing the rules on who can play football for the college. Either way, the league will be taking a long hard look before it let’s them back in to compete next season. For the Pirates, it’s a stay of execution. The Santry side haven’t shown much this season, scoring just 15 points, and are unlikely to be elevated out of the basement. That is unless Divisions One and Two are merged next season, which is entirely feasible.

Read original story in Gaelic Gridiron.