QB Glenn Carr in action against the West Dublin Rhinos. Photo by Dexter O’Thuithear
The second part (see part 1 here) of the Shamrock Bowl breakdown series looks at the historic and talented, University of Limerick Vikings. The Vikings booked their place in the semi-finals with a hard fought 20-6 victory against a tough as nails, West Dublin Rhinos side. The Vikings have made it to the final eight times in their history, winning on three occasions in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Their last appearance in the Shamrock Bowl came two years ago when they lost against the Trojans in a close contest. Can they make a return to the Bowl game this year?
After starting the year 0-2, with defeats against Trinity College and a heartbreaking 14-13 loss in the dying seconds to the Dublin Rebels, the Vikings soon hit form and went on to win their remaining 6 games in the regular season. The Vikings talent across the offense began to click as they averaged over 30 points a game in their remaining fixtures, whilst only conceding 36 points on defence. With dominant victories over IAFL-1 graduates, the Dublin Dragons, North Kildare Reapers and Waterford Wolves, the Vikings proved that they have the quality and experience of being one of the top teams in the IAFL. They finished the regular season 6-2 and are one of the form sides coming into the playoffs.
- QB Glen Carr: Standing in for the mid-season departure of Marc Ashworth, Carr has stepped u admirably at Quarterback, contributing to 4 TD’s thus-far.
- RB Adrian Garvey: Garvey’s powerhouse running earned him a top 5 spot in the rushing charts with 5 TD’s this term.
- WR Sean Goldrick: With a wealth of talent the Vikings posses on the wings, Goldrick finished as the highest scoring receiver with 6 TD’s in total.
- LB Craig Switzer: The multi-talented Switzer made some huge plays on defense this term and contributed to the scoring with 3 TD’s, including a strip-sack against Waterford’s QB, which he took to the house himself.
As previously mentioned, The Vikings defeated the Rhinos in the wildcard round to set up a semi-final clash with their nemesis, the Belfast Trojans. The Vikings have suffered defeat at the hands of the Trojans in their last two outings and will be looking to claim victory at the third attempt. After bowing out at this stage last term, UL will be up for this one and will not want to be defeated at this stage of the playoffs again. They are a hard-hitting and explosive side and could be the dark horses for the Shamrock Bowl.
Kickoff is 12pm, July 27th, Garda RFC, Dublin.