EBIV Game Day 2 is upon us with some interesting games on hand which should show this season’s front runners. The top 4 teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the playoffs, scheduled for 5th August in Gormanston Park, Co. Meath. This week’s games will be hosted by the Westmeath Minotaurs and will take place at Mullingar RFC.
The first games kick off at 11am and will see the hosts in action as they take on the Dublin Vipers. The Minotaurs started the season perfectly with two wins against the Rebels (54-18) and Panthers (44-14). The defending Emerald Bowl champions however have gone in the opposite direction, sitting bottom of the table with minus one point. Big match for both as a win is needed for the Vipers to get back on track, while a win for the Minotaurs would prove they are the real deal this season. The North Kildare Reapers will take on the Dublin Rebels at 11am also. The Reapers had a convincing win over the Panthers (59-6) but failed to overcome the Craigavon Cowboys (33-52) as they sit in 4th with a 1&1 record. The Rebels have had a tough start to the season, with two heavy defeats in their first two games. A tough ask for the Rebels here, vast improvements will need to be seen on defence as they look to kick start their campaign. The Reapers will be favourites in this one, and will look to further widen the gap between 4th and 5th.
The second round of games are scheduled for 12 noon with the South Dublin Panthers taking on the Craigavon Cowboys. The Panthers have had a tough reintroduction to flag, with two defeats from their first two games. The Panthers struggled on both sides of the ball, scoring only 20 points and conceding 103 in two games. The Cowboys however started well, gaining revenge from the Emerald Bowl III semi-final by beating the Vipers 34-14. A second win against the Reapers sees them as one of three teams who have 2&0 records. The Cowboys will look to cement their position as real contenders with a win here, while the Panthers will need to see big improvements to challenge the Cowboys. The second 12 noon game will see the Reapers in back to back action as they take on rivals Edenderry Eagles. The Eagles currently sit top of the league after wins over the Rebels (56-12) and Dublin Vipers (walkover). They will be hoping to continue their form into this game and not let the Reapers start well. Plenty of history between these two which will ensure that this will be one great game for the neutral.
On to the 1pm games and more than likely the game of the day as the hosts Westmeath Minotaurs take on the Craigavon Cowboys. Both these teams could potentially be coming into this game with 3&0 records so this will be a key game for both. Back to back games for the Cowboys may work in the Minotaurs favour however recent history would suggest that the Cowboys are favourites for this one. Both have strong offences so it could all depend on whose defence steps up. Game 2 at 1pm will see a Dublin derby as the Vipers take on the Rebels. Both teams are at the wrong end of the table, so a win for both here is important. Both are in action at 11am so there is no advantage for either in terms of a break between games but it is expected that the Vipers will find the form they had from last season when they won the championship. With bragging rights on the table, and the need for wins for both teams, this should prove to be a great game.
The final game of the day will be at 2pm when the Eagles play the Panthers. Again, no advantage for either team as they both play their first game at 12 noon. Tough day for the Panthers having to take on two well established flag teams who are both 2&0, they will be hoping for a good performance in this game to shock the favourites. The Eagles will be looking to go 4&0 as they miss out playing either the Minotaurs or Cowboys this week but anything can happen in flag football!
Best of luck to all teams competing!!