Belfast Trojans versus Trinity College – THE REMATCH!
Dalymount Park is the 2015 venue for the Championship game and will see the defending champs and three time winners, Belfast Trojans take on their 2014 Bowl Game opponents, Trinity College Dublin. The Trojans squeaked a 7-0 win last year, but who will take the honours this weekend?
Both sides are entering the game on the back of tremendous seasons. The Trojans went undefeated with a perfect 8-0 record and Trinity College overcame some early jitters and impressed with an excellent, 7-1 record. Reversing roles on 2014, it will be the Trojans entering the game undefeated with the students looking to cause an upset.
Belfast’s path to Shamrock Bowl 29 rarely looked like derailing, with comfortable wins against division rivals the Dublin Rebels and Carrickfergus Knights, the champions steamrolled their way to the top of the SBC North unthreatened. Their passage into the playoffs would see them tied against familiar foes in the UL Vikings in the semi-finals. Despite a close, physical battle the Trojans came out on top with a narrow 10-0 victory that would see them headed for their fourth consecutive Shamrock Bowl.
Trinity on the other hand started slowly, losing to the Vikings in the season opener. However they quickly worked their way through the gears to ultimately top the SBC South with key wins against UCD and then the Vikings in the return leg, as they went the rest of the campaign without a loss. They faced the Dublin Rebels in the semi-finals, were they came out 22-0 winners and booked themselves another showdown with the Trojans for the Waterford Crystal Bowl this Sunday.
Both teams are entering Dalymount in excellent form, mounting strong tallies on both offence and defence throughout the regular season. The Trojans topped the Shamrock Bowl Conference in all aspects, scoring well over 300+ points whilst only conceding 30 over an 8 game span. They averaged 38 points per game with the offence controlling every match from the outset as the defence went about their usual business creating several turnovers and compiling 4 shutouts.
Trinity had a strong showing too throughout, tallying 202 points for and only 92 against. They averaged 25 points per game as the offence started to come into its own at the midway stage and although their defence couldn’t salvage any clean sheets, they did however keep most teams at bay as their average points conceded per game over the year was only 9. The Trojans may have topped the majority of statistical charts, but TCD weren’t far behind in second place.
Despite the strength of the Trojans line-up, one key absentee will be that of star receiver David Richardson, who was ejected against the Vikings and will miss the final as a result, a huge loss to the offence. Quarterback, James McKelvey will need to turn to other targets in the passing game, with more responsibility now being added to the shoulders of running backs, David Colvin and Neil Montgomery to carry the workload.
Trinity College will be coming into the game with a new look offence that has served them well this season, as injured Quarterback Dan Finnamore moves to wide receiver, allowing the dynamic Rob McDowell to move under centre. Having both McDowell and leading rusher Ola Bademosi could prove a dangerous tandem with their big play ability, so the Trojans defence will need to stay focused.
In regards to Sunday, both teams and sets of fans will be hoping the difficult Irish weather remains at bay, so it isn’t a repeat performance from Mother Nature of last year. Providing the weather is kind to us, supporters will be able to witness the full potential and talent that both sides have to offer in a great game of football. With the IAFL season drawing to a close, it’s only fitting that the best two sides of recent years contest the showpiece that is Shamrock Bowl XXIX.
To give you a taste of what to expect this Sunday, here is a highlights package courtesy of Media 401 Productions of last seasons epic final!