South Dublin Panthers and Trinity College edge out wins in Irish American Football League.

The Irish American Football League continued its coverage in Dublin as the South Dublin Panthers and Trinity College got their first wins on the board in Week 3. The Panthers would clash with fellow division counterparts the Carrickfergus Knights whilst Trinity College would face the Belfast Trojans in a rematch of the 2015 Shamrock Bowl final.

  Carrickfergus Knights 7 – 12 South Dublin Panthers  

Photography by Terence McCann.

The Panthers (0-8) season of 2016 was quickly forgotten as they overcame the Carrickfergus Knights in Westmanstown, Dublin on Sunday. The Shamrock Bowl North Conference clash would pit two playoff hopefuls in their opening games of the year. The Knights breezed past the Panthers 41-0 in their previous fixture last year but it proved to be a much different scoreline this time round.

The South Dublin outfit struggled last season to move the ball effectively as they suffered one of the lowest scoring ratios in the league. Their work over the off-season period was quickly evident as they struck twice to see past the Knights 12-7 in a close contest. Quarterback Tosan Memuduaghan led the Panthers offence to victory with two passing touchdowns to receiver, Sean Devlin as the Dubliners attacked the Knights secondary throughout the game.

The Knights responded through star receiver, Marty Caskey‘s long punt return touchdown as the game remained close right up to the final stages. Much like the improvement the Panthers made on the offensive side of the ball, the defence were equally as impressive, forcing turnovers and shutting down all attacking threats. Despite every attempt the Knights made to break through the defensive resistance, they were unable to do so as the Panthers saw out a defensive battle to win.

Both sides return to action this upcoming Sunday as the Panthers look to carry their momentum into their match with UCD (0-2). The Knights however must put this defeat behind them, as the travel to Dublin once again to face the defending Irish Champions, the Dublin Rebels (1-0).

 

  Belfast Trojans 12 – 14 Trinity College Dublin  

Photo by Laszlo Gezco Photography

The students of Trinity College got the upper-hand over an old nemesis as they defeated the Belfast Trojans 14-12 in Santry, Dublin. TCD were able enact revenge on the 4 time champions after two Shamrock Bowl final defeats by fending off a late Trojan comeback to hand them their first loss of the year.

Trinity applied a quick passing scheme to start proceedings, taking advantage of soft coverage displayed by the Trojans. The use of slants and screens guided the 2015 finalists down the field before a nice draw play split the defence open for Running back Ola Bademosi to scamper in from 10 yards.

The speed and agility, plus the accuracy of quarterback Dan Finnamore had the Belfast defence on edge and it took them time to adjust. The offence helped ease the pressure with strong running from backfield pairing, Jonah Siri and Neil Montgomery with the former breaking the deadlock against a tough Trinity defence. Hard work from the Trojans drove them downfield as Siri squeezed through the crowd to punch in 6 points from close range. Trinity however blocked the resulting extra point that would prove costly to the Trojans.

With both teams stepping up defensively, it would take a big play to break through the resilience of either side. Bademosi once again stepped up to the plate as he found a crease through the middle and burst out for a 60 yard home run, evading all would-be Trojan tacklers. The former Shamrock Bowl champions would find themselves chasing the remainder of the game and it took to the last minute to break through. Excellent running from Siri set up Montgomery for a short yardage effort to bring the game to 14-12.

The Trojans two point attempt to tie the game failed as a perfectly executed tackle on Montgomery stopped him short of the end-zone as Trinity held on to win 14-12 in an exciting game. The Trojans now have four weeks to regroup ahead of their trip to the Carrickfergus Knights as Trinity College head to Cork to take on newcomers the Admirals on April 9th.

 

Scott Morrow
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 supports the Green Bay Packers.
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