This is it! On Saturday, the next Irish National Flag Football champions will be crowned as the Emerald Bowl IV season comes to a close. 28 games at 4 different locations starting in April has given us 4 playoffs teams to this point, with only 2 wins standing in their way to the trophy. The 4 teams have had 3 weeks to prepare for Saturday’s final showdown at Gormanston Park, Co Meath.
The top seeded Craigavon Cowboys will take on 4th seed Edenderry Eagles in the first semi-final, scheduled to kick off at 10.30am. The Cowboys enjoyed a near perfect season, racking up 7 wins and a draw with no losses. They boast the best net points in the league with 177 as well as the best defence, conceding 119 points over 8 games. The Cowboys offense was in a close 2nd place when it comes to offensive points scored, finishing with 296 which was 1 point behind their semi-final opponents. The Eagles finished 4th in the table, with the same points as the North Kildare Reapers. The two teams drew earlier in the season meaning that the tie breaker would go to net points, of which the Eagles had a higher net difference. It has been a mixed season for the Eagles, winning 4, drawing 1 and losing 3. However, they have a high scoring offense, who claimed a league historical record 95-6 win against the South Dublin Panthers during the regular season. Tomiwa Oyewo will be one to watch for the Eagles as he has proved invaluable on both sides of the ball, whilst the same can be said for the Cowboys Peter Loughran. Plenty of history between these two old league rivals promises this to be a great game!
The second semi-final is scheduled for 11.45am and will see the 2nd seed Westmeath Minotaurs take on the 3rd seed Dublin Vipers, defending Emerald Bowl Champions. The Minotaurs return to post season Flag Football after they missed out on Emerald Bowl III. The Westmeath team enjoyed a good season, with 5 wins, 1 tie and 2 losses. Their offense finished 3rd in total points scored with 280, where Dermot Corroon played a major role in achieving such a high total. The defence also had a great year, finishing 2nd in points against column with 141. However, they will be seeking revenge for their loss to the Vipers in the regular season, where the game ended 56-33. That win was 1 of 5 for the Dublin Vipers who also suffered 3 defeats. The Vipers’ season was slow to start, losing their first 2 games but eventually changing their fortune to reach the playoffs. A tricky season for the Vipers, where they finished 5th in the point for column, with 215. Sean Douglas has been a key player in keeping the Vipers offense ticking over, and the Minotaurs will be very wary of his abilities. The defence also has work to do as they too finished 5th in the point against column. Two impressive teams who will give it their all on Saturday to get through to the final – not one to miss!
Following the semi-finals, the stage will be set for the final 2 games of Emerald Bowl IV. The 2 semi finals losing teams will battle in the 3rd place final, scheduled for 1pm. Emerald Bowl IV will then take place straight after, scheduled for 2.15pm.
Will the Cowboys, Minotaurs or Vipers add a second National title to their belts or will the Eagles finally earn the status of National Champions. This is do or die Flag Football, no room for mistakes! Best of luck to all teams competing on Saturday!