PREVIEW: 2015 Irish American Football League – South

[tps_title]Irish American Football League – South[/tps_title]

[tps_header]University College Dublin (6-2 in 2014, in IAFL-1)[/tps_header]

UCD Dublin

University College Dublin could well be considered the form team heading into the Shamrock Bowl Conference this year, as they won two Championships in two games to complete an excellent 2014 for the students. After winning the IAFL-1 Bowl by defeating the Cork Admirals, they followed it up by bagging the College Championship trophy with victory over rivals, Trinity College in November. Now back in the top tier of Irish Football, UCD will be looking to make up yards on the other teams having been demoted to the IAFL-1 on the back of the 2013 season. With a young, talented batch of players who can play both sides of the ball, this team could well be the underdogs for the Shamrock Bowl this summer.

ucdUCD were the overwhelming favorites to be promoted back into the SBC and they showed their superior quality and experience by clinching the IAFL-1 bowl in spectacular fashion. With only a few minor lapses along the way, UCD scored a huge 210 points on offense whilst only relinquishing 18 in 8 games. This year will be much tougher however, as they make their return back to the Shamrock Bowl Conference to tackle some difficult opponents in the South Division. UCD will head across Dublin to contest the opening game of the season in a rematch against Trinity College, before hosting both the UL Vikings and Dublin Rebels. Their final game of the regular season takes them to Kildare to take on the Reapers.

Keys to Success: UCD were putting up points for fun last year at a devastating pace. The team topped all the scoring charts with QB Dave Murphy and WR Paul Geraghty having tremendous years. The offense has taken another step forward for 2015 impressing in the preseason College Championship. The defense can pack a punch also, as Michael Ring, Eddie Lincoln and Michael Sykes all contributed to touchdowns on defense. With the special teams also a threat, if UCD can keep their key players fit, they will be a handful for any opposition they face.

Prediction: Having dominated the IAFL-1, UCD were always considered an SBC calibre team. Now the competition is much greater, they will have to turn their attentions to facing some of the best teams in Ireland and wins wont be as easy to come by. This prediction may seem surprising to some, but winning the College Championship game gives them firm momentum heading into the season and with recent victories over both Trinity and UL, they have a team capable of going all the way. 1st

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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