SBC Playoffs: Admirals vs Panthers Preview

The reigning national champions Cork Admirals are two wins away from retaining the Shamrock Bowl, but they face a tough visit from a South Dublin Panthers side entering their first ever semi final. The Admirals finished the regular season top of the table and unbeaten with seven wins and one draw whilst the Panthers finished as fourth seeds, winning four and losing four. The Admirals possess the best defense in the league, only giving up 63 points in eight games. They come up against a Panthers offense that has scored an average of 20 points per game this year. The last match-up between these two sides was back in March, when the Panthers travelled to Cork. An enthralling game ended 20-14 to the hosts – a one score game meaning this playoff game should be a brilliant watch.

A significant season for the Admirals sees them finish as league champions and with vital home advantage. Finishing unbeaten shows how much this team has come on, after losing three games in 2018. The Admirals enter this match full of confidence having dispatched the West Dublin Rhinos 47-7 in their most recent match two weeks ago. Admirals head coach Alan Lomasney will be looking for consistency of a high level in all three phases of the game, which will be crucial to getting that all important win “The Panthers are a good team, always well coached and every time we play them the games are always close. We are looking forward to welcoming the Panthers to Cork and it’s going to be a tough, hard hitting game of playoff football. We have been practising well and we will be doing our best to get a result and to continue to defend our title.”

A historic season for the South Dublin Panthers as they reach the Shamrock Bowl semi finals for the first time in their history. The Panthers started the season well, as they were sitting with four wins and one loss after five games but have been struggling recently, recording three defeats in a row – most recently a 7-10 loss to the Vikings. Panthers head coach Steve Mack knows his team must find the form they had earlier in the season in order to book their place in Shamrock Bowl XXXIII “Looking forward to the game. Obviously very happy to be at this stage of the season considering how close and unpredictable the regular season was. That being said, we didn’t come this far to only come this far and we know Cork are a very tough team but we’re confident in ourselves and our preparation. Should be an exciting game.”

Location: Presentation Brothers College Sports Grounds, Cork

Kick-off: 2pm

Facebook: Cork Admirals
Facebook: South Dublin Panthers

IAFL 2 Bowl Preview

What a game we have in store this Sunday as the CIll Dara Crusaders take on the Meath Bulldogs at Newbridge College Kildare for the IAFL 2 Bowl. These teams have clashed twice already this season, with each side coming out with one win apiece so this doubles up as a series decider!

Cill Dara Crusaders vs Meath Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have finished the regular season strong with six wins in a row, whilst the Crusaders have been the most consistent, winning seven of their eight regular season games. The Crusaders have been more explosive on offense, scoring 214 points however they come up against the Bulldogs number one rated defense, who have only allowed 58 points this season. When these teams first met in April, the Crusaders left Athboy RFC victorious following a 21-6 win. The tide would turn in May when it was the Bulldogs turn to cause an upset and beat the Crusaders on their home turf 33-12.

Home advantage will certainly have a part to play this Sunday, but the Crusaders are under no illusion they will need to be at their best to be able to lift the Bowl. It has been an up and down few years for the Kildare outfit, but this season shows what dedication and perseverance can achieve. Crusaders head coach Ken Farrell has his team ready for their biggest game of the year “This has the potential to be an epic battle or blow out for either team as it will come down to whoever can keep their heads and not let the enormity of the fact that this is all or nothing. Nobody wants to take home silver. The Bulldogs had the upper hand in the last game so we are ready to return that favour. Being an ex-bulldog, I know they are a great bunch of lads that fight to the end and will make this a great game. But the Crusaders are more than a team, we are family and hungry to prove to ourselves that being league champions is hopefully only the first step.”

The last IAFL 2 Bowl champions (2017) return to the main stage in an attempt to reclaim their Bowl. A testing start to the season was quickly put aside as the Bulldogs ran wild, scoring 157 points as well as recording two shut outs in their most recent six wins. Bulldogs head coach Mike Zito has enjoyed an excellent first year at the helm so far, but knows that his side will have to be up to the challenge to cap off the season with the IAFL 2 Bowl “The 2019 Bulldogs season has been quite a ride, we didn’t start the way we wanted to. It took a couple of weeks for the team and myself to get to know each other. With that being said, I couldn’t be prouder of this team and what we have put out on the football field. We got better every week, and the hard work has lead us to a shot at the title. We will be ready to play on the 14th, and the expectation is to leave it all on the pitch and see what happens.”

Location: Newbridge College, Kildare

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Cill Dara Crusaders
Facebook: Meath Bulldogs

IAFA Management – New Appointments

The IAFA is delighted to announce the following appointments;

Director of Officiating: Steve Moles has been appointed to this role on a full time basis. Steve has been involved with IAFA for over ten years and during that time participated as a player, official and sat on club boards. Steve has been the Interim Director of Officiating since the start of this season and has done a fantastic job in this role. We wish him continued success in the development of the department going forward.

Officiating Development Officer: Tony Rivers has been appointed to this role within the Officiating Department reporting directly to the Officiating Development Manager (Barry Bolton). Tony has been involved in American Football for over 30 years both in the UK and Ireland and having previously served as the Director of Officiating will bring invaluable experience to the role. This role will involve the continued development of our full time officials. Tony will be attending games and submitting reports to the Development manager with a view to providing feedback to our officials and the further development of our training courses.

Commercial Director: We are delighted to welcome Kate Sherry into the IAFA family. Kate is about to undertake a Masters in Sports Management and brings with her extensive experience in the commercial sector having worked in senior positions with a number of market leaders over the past 15 years. Kate will be responsible for maximising our income opportunities at events and seeking sponsorship/partnerships for IAFA.

We look forward to working with these newly appointed personnel over the next number of months for the betterment of our association.

IAFL 1 Playoffs: Cowboys vs Trinity Preview

Trinity College Dublin @ Craigavon Cowboys

There was 1276 points scored in IAFL 1 this season, with over a third (34.4%) of those scored by Trinity College and league champions Craigavon Cowboys. Whilst their offenses have been setting the pace, their defenses have also had an almighty season as Trinity finished the regular season with the best defense (only 47 points conceded in eight games) and the Cowboys defense coming second, having conceded an average of 7.9 points a game. The last time these two teams met, Trinity came out on top 14-2 in the season opener.

It has been a great season for Trinity, having bounced back from being relegated from the SBC last year. They recorded six wins and two losses, however both their losses came in the last two games they played, losing out to the Eagles and Minotaurs. Trinity line captain Kevin Seery is hoping that recent form will be overturned this Sunday “We are very excited to get back on the field this weekend. This is playoff football, and we know our season hinges on this game. We aren’t expecting an easy game, playing away against the league leaders. We have a very young team this year so for a lot of the guys this will be their first taste of playoff football. We’ve made massive strides as a team over the season and we’re confident that if some of our rookies like WR Franklin Obiekwe and Lineman Oisin Fullham Smith step up and give their all then we can come away with the W.”

With the Cowboys beating the Minotaurs and the Eagles beating Trinity on a frantic final day of the regular season, the Cowboys saw themselves propel from third to first in the table, clinching the league and a home playoff game. The Cowboys carry the best form into the playoffs having won their last seven games, most recently beating the Minotaurs and Eagles. Cowboys head coach Greg Loughran is keen to avenge the early season defeat to Trinity and get his team to their third consecutive IAFL 1 Bowl game “It’s post season football again for the Cowboys and this time around it’s a clash with the only team to beat us in the 2019 season, Trinity College Dublin. We owe it to ourselves to win this game.”

Location: Peoples Park, Portadown

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Craigavon Cowboys

IAFL 1 Playoffs: Minotaurs vs Eagles Preview

Its win or bust time in IAFL 1 as this Sunday see’s four teams go head to head with only two coming out the other side with an IAFL 1 Bowl spot. The four teams combined won 25 matches and lost only 7 this season, so both games are sure to be very competitive. We start our previews with a hard hitting match up in Mullingar.

Wexford Eagles (3rd, 6-2) @ Westmeath Minotaurs (2nd, 6-2)

Second versus third in what is sure to be a smash mouth game of football with both teams being run reliant. The last time these two teams met, the Minotaurs ran out comprehensive winners in Gorey beating the Eagles 39-16. However, the Minotaurs recent form has dipped, losing their two most recent games to the Mavericks and Cowboys. Momentum is certainly with the Eagles, who have won their most recent two games against the Vipers and Trinity.

The Eagles offense scored the second highest points during the regular season (239) however the defense finished fourth after conceding 123 points. Eagles head coach Kevin Klatt will be looking for his defense to step on Sunday “We know this game won’t be easy; the Minotaurs gave us our worst loss this season when we played them in March. However, we’ve moved on a lot since then. I like to think that the Eagles players and coaches have developed the ability to adapt to what other teams are doing ‘on the fly’ if you’ll excuse the play on words. We’ve got nearly a fully-fit squad, and given the performance of some of our rookies over the past few games, the Eagles coaches actually have selection problems of the good kind heading into this semi-final. We think a lot of people expected Trinity to win our game last Sunday. As they’ve done throughout my time with this club, the Eagles rose to the challenge and did exactly what was needed on the day. I know, hand-on-heart, that the players will leave it all out there again next Sunday, as we all know that a place in the final is at stake.”

The Minotaurs find themselves with home field advantage and only one game away from the Bowl after a terrific season. Six wins on the bounce saw them sit top of the table after their first six games but struggles recently saw them finish in second place. The Minotaurs offense is the best in the league, scoring an average of 32.5 per game. Minotaurs club captain Jo Coyne will be hoping his offense is firing all cylinders “We know what to expect from Wexford so we know we will not be handed anything and that we will have to earn every yard on the day. With a few key pieces back from injury/holidays we do think we can get back to playing the football which got us to the playoffs.”

Location: Mullingar RFC

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Thomas Casey Photography
Facebook: Wexford Eagles

IAFA Flag Football Draft Blitz August 17th

IAFA is welcoming all individuals aged 18+ interested in Flag Football to take park in our one day event, Draft Blitz on the 17th August in Gormanston Park, Co. Meath. This is an exciting tournament were everyone arriving on the day will be entered into a draft to form teams to compete on the day. No established teams will be taking part in the event and all team will be picked in a draft style from a list of QB, offensive and defensive players on the day, so its sure to be a fun time for all. All equipment will be provided on the day, all you need is to wear appropriate clothing for the sport, i.e. pocket-less shorts/runners. Gum shields are not required but highly recommended. Light refreshments will be provided on the day, but please bring water and a lunch to stay fuelled and hydrated on the day.

By registering for this event, all participants agree to be bound by the rules and governing documents of the Irish American Football Association which can be found on this website under Governenance/Resources

If you would like further information please contact us via our contact form and make sure to select “Flag Football” as department.

Registration is limited to 120 individual players (with possible increase based on demand)

The deadline to register is August 10th 11pm.

Just click on the button below to book your place.

Draft-Blitz-4

IAFL 2 Bowl: Cill Dara Crusaders

It has been the season the Cill Dara Crusaders where hoping for, almost going unbeaten (won seven, lost one) on their way to the IAFL 2 Bowl. Of those seven wins, the defense recorded four shutouts finishing second best rated in the league. It is the offense however that has stood out, finishing as the best in the league with an average of 27 points scored per game. Their only loss of the year came via a 12-33 home defeat to fellow bowl competitors Meath Bulldogs. The league champions will be hoping to do the league and bowl double on home turf this Sunday. We spoke with Crusaders chairman Robbie Tighe to get his thoughts on the game:

An excellent season for the Crusaders which saw them finish top of the IAFL 2 table and with the most points scored. What has been the key to your success this year?

“Definitely communication and trust in each of the players to do their role. Keeping a cool head and listen to the advice from the head coach.”

The Crusaders have already played the Bulldogs twice this year, with each team winning one apiece. What have you been focusing on in training to overcome the Bulldogs?

“The Bulldogs are a strong powerful team but I can’t be giving away secrets now! We have a few plays but with the two teams being 50/50 it’s going to be a cracker of a game.”

By winning the league, the Crusaders get home field advantage in the bowl game. How important will this be to your team on Sunday?

“It’s incredibly important to us as a team and as a community in the area. We’re looking forward to the support on the day and hopefully come away with the win.”

Finally, what advice would you like to give to your team for the bowl game?

“Nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said to the team. Keep a cool head, play hard and fair and respect your opponents. It’s been an honour to play by your side.”


Head Coach
Ken Farrell
Number Name Position
01
Jordan Farrell
QB
03
Dominik Pindi
RB
05
Eoin Whelan
WR
06
Senan Keane
K
09
Kyle Dooley
LB
10
Gavin Coyne
CB
13
Matthew O'Meara
TE
14 Finbar Downes
WR
16
Nathan Purcell
RB
24
Mike O'Connell
LB
33
Darragh Moran
LB
36
Ken Dooley
DL
42
Brian O Donnell
S
55
Thomas Brocklebank
DL
58
Oisin Marron
LB
59
Kenneth Byrne
OL
62
Deco Gill
OL
65
Robbie Tighe
OL
66
Patrick Travis
OL
69
Mark Lennon
OL
70
Mark Carey
OL
73
Killian Cullen
OL
78
Dan O Neill
DL
80
James Delaney
WR
81
Tommy Oyewo
WR
83
Jonny Keogh
DL
85
Kealan Farrell
WR
89
Jeff Ganly
CB
92
Bob Curran
DL
96
Mark O'Connell
S
99
Craig Dooley
LB

IAFL 2 Bowl: Meath Bulldogs

The Meath Bulldogs have had an impressive season thus far, winning six, drawing one and losing one on their way to the IAFL 2 Bowl. They have won their most recent six games, including a 33-12 win against fellow bowl competitors Cill Dara Crusaders. This saw the Bulldogs finish second in the league table, with the best defense in the league (only 58 points conceded in 8 games). We chatted with Bulldogs chairman Adam Keating to get his thoughts before Sundays big game:

It was a tricky start to the season for the Bulldogs, a 0-0 draw with the Pirates and a 6-21 loss to fellow bowl competitors the Crusaders in your first two games, what was the key to turning around your season?

“With a new head coach in Mike Zito coming into the team, we knew that it would take time for the new plans and structures to come to fruition but thankfully everyone pulled together quickly and everything started to click once our game against the Causeway Giants came around.”

The Bulldogs have now won six in a row and carry the best form into the bowl game. Which of those six wins was the one that you knew you had a serious shot of reaching the bowl game?

“The team took every game one at a time. The division was extremely close coming into the final round of games with three teams still in contention for a playoff spot so as cliche as it may sound, we weren’t sure until the clock reached 0 in our final home game of the season.”

The Bulldogs defense is the best in the league in terms of allowing the least points scored against, including two shutouts in your most recent games. Does the team focus more on defense than any other area?

“We don’t tend to focus on any area more so than others. Every player on the team has trained in a variety of roles and as a result we have many players who can step up when required. The Bulldogs have always been known for having a strong defense and this year has been no different.”

Finally, what advice would you like to give to your team for the bowl game?

“My advice for the final is the same as every other game – go out and focus on your match-up, win your match-up and the result will follow.”


Head Coach
Mike Zito
Number Name Position
09
Darragh Hogan
WR
12
Adam Keating
QB
20
Andy Lynch
CB
21
Conor Hogan
SS
22
Jonathan Mathon
FB/OLB
23
Cian Minnock
RB
24
Sean Lawlor
FS
27 Gytis Stankevicius
CB
30
William Sebati
OLB
35
Brian Gill
RB
52
Ger O’Brien
MLB
54
Jake Dunne
T/DT
55
Dominic Collins
G/DE
56
Mike Hobbs
DT
66
Michael Cunningham
T
69
Keith Horan
C
80
Shane McGill
TE
81
Jordan Reynolds
WR
83
Rory Smith
TE/OLB
88
Matthew Clarke
WR
92
Dermot McLoughlin
DE
Unavailable
Adam Pyne
Mark McCabe
William Donohoe

Flag Football Leagues Fixtures Live

Official fixtures for the upcoming IAFA Flag Football Emerald Bowl Conference (EBC) and the Glas (as in Irish for green) Bowl Conference (GBC) seasons are now live.

Little fact – this is the most flag football teams (25) competing in an organised league setting at the same time on the island, ever!!
 
The EBC is now entering its sixth season. It is the premier league of flag football in Ireland, with the top twelve flag football teams on the island to compete for the national championship or Emerald Bowl VI – currently held by the two-time champions Craigavon Cowboys. This season promises to be very competitive.
 
 
Its sister league, the GBC, will kick off its inaugural season on the 7th of September. The GBC is a bit like the championship is to the premier league in soccer. This season will see thirteen teams,  either new or returning, who will have a shot at the championship. Even though the level of game will be lower than the EBC, we would not be surprised to see some great games and competition taking place.
 
 
Both leagues will see the conclusion of their respective season with playoff and bowl games – Emerald Bowl VI and Glas Bowl I – taking place on the same day and at the same venue that is the National Sports Campus on the 2nd of November. The top 6 GBC teams and the top 6 EBC teams will battle it out for a shot at the championship.
 
With the creation of a new league we are also introducing a promotion/relegation scheme between EBC and GBC. In short, one EBC team will be relegated to the GBC and one GBC team will be promoted to the EBC. We also have a playoff game between the 2nd GBC seed and the 11th EBC seed to determine another possible set of relegation/promotion between the two leagues. All in all, two teams could go up and two teams could go down making the competition really interesting.
This will also ensure a fairly levelled EBC league in the long-run and a reason to improve and compete for all GBC teams.
 

You can find all fixtures under Flag Football/Leagues Details or click on the images below.

 
 

Shamrock 33 Official Sponsors Announced

IAFA is delighted to announce Football America UK and Americanfood.ie as sponsors for the upcoming Shamrock Bowl 33 in Energia Park on the 4th of August.

Football America UK are committed to providing UK and European American Football teams and individuals and specialise in all forms of Football Equipment not just helmets and shoulder pads. They also supply great genuine products from various US and UK official suppliers, such as Nike, New Era Headwear, Majestic Apparel, Wincraft, Mitchell & Ness and Forever Collectibles. From replica jerseys to snack helmets for your NFL Party, they have a massive range available all year round.

Americanfood.ie bring you all the best food items from America to your doorstep.They import a vast range of American food products that can’t be readily purchased in Ireland to all fans of American goodies.

Week 18: SBC Game Previews

It’s the final weekend of regular season football in Ireland for 2019, with all eight SBC teams in action. The Cork Admirals have secured top spot whilst the Belfast Trojans have secured second, so they will host either UCD or the South Dublin Panthers at home in the playoffs – results from this Sunday will decide who plays who (check out our SBC Playoff Scenario post to find out more).

Results in the last two weeks have blown the relegation battle wide open, as the bottom four teams in the table all risk falling to IAFL 1 in 2020. The UL Vikings sit bottom, level on points (3) with the Belfast Knights, whilst the West Dublin Rhinos and Dublin Rebels sit just above them with 4 points apiece. What makes it even more interesting is that no two teams in the top four plays each other, and no two teams in the bottom four plays each other this Sunday.

Belfast Trojans (2nd, 5-1-1) @ Belfast Knights (7th, 1-5-1)

The first fixture that both teams look for when the schedule is released – the Belfast derby. The Trojans have enjoyed a good season so far, most recently recording an 8-0 win against the Rebels. At the opposite end of the table, the Knights have not been so fortunate and are in danger of being relegated, however a well-earned draw on a long road trip to the unbeaten Admirals gives them hope.

A very short road game to finish the regular season for the Trojans, who cannot gain or lose a position in the league table. With a home playoff game already in the bag, Trojans head coach James McKelvey will use this as an opportunity to use his extended squad “This Sunday will be our last regular season game and whilst there isn’t anything on the line for us, it will be a good opportunity to get ready for our semi-final and try some new things out.”

Whilst not favourites to go down, the Knights are very much at risk. Should the Vikings achieve a tie or win and the Knights lose, then it’s the Knights who go down. Knight’s president Kris McCombe is looking his team to decide their own fate by getting the win on Sunday “This is a game we’ve really been looking forward to. The guys are fired up for this Sunday and will be leaving all they have on the field. The draw a fortnight ago against Cork has given us some good momentum that we are looking to take advantage of in this game. The Battle of Belfast is always a good fight and will be well worth the watch.”

Location: Shaws Bridge Sports Complex, Belfast

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Belfast Knights

UL Vikings (8th, 2-5) @ South Dublin Panthers (4th, 4-3)

It’s a tough ask for the Vikings, who realistically must win this game to stand a chance of SBC survival. It will be no easy task as they take to the road to face the Panthers, who have had good season to date, having already locked in their playoff spot. They cannot however secure a home playoff game, so they will have to travel to either the Admirals or Trojans on 21st July.

The Vikings have found some form late in the season, winning their last two games which have both been on the road. Last time out, they beat the West Dublin Rhinos 30-0 in a comprehensive victory. Vikings president Conor Whelan will be hoping his team can continue this run and get the win they desperately need “We have the momentum we’ve been looking for all season, we’re in the position we’re in by our own doing and we can only get out of it by our own doing. So it’s really all or nothing for us this weekend.”

The Panthers will be looking to get back to winning ways following defeats in their last two games. A late comeback fell short as they were beaten 27-30 by UCD two weeks ago. Even with their playoff spot confirmed, Panthers head coach Steve Mack will want the win to build on for the upcoming playoff run “Looking forward to a tough battle as ever with UL. They’re really coming on strong at the end of the year and we know we’ll have to play well to come out on top. We know we need a strong performance to close the regular season and everyone is very much focused on delivering that.”

Location: Westmanstown Sports Centre, Dublin

Kick Off: 2pm

 

UCD (3rd, 4-2-1) @ Dublin Rebels (5th, 2-5)

It’s the second derby of the day as the students of UCD make the short journey to take on the Rebels in an all Dublin affair. UCD are playoff bound and will have to travel to either the Admirals or Trojans in their hunt for a Shamrock Bowl appearance. The Rebels will need at least a point to guarantee their survival, however they are least favourites to be relegated as they sit top of the bottom half of the table.

Yet another successful year for UCD, who have proven to be effective on the road, winning two and drawing one of their three road games. UCD secretary Thomas Fitzgerald is confident his team can get the result here and cause reason for concern to either the Admirals or the Trojans “We’re looking forward to our last game of the regular season versus the Rebels and we are looking to secure the win to gain momentum going into the playoffs. We saw that it was a close game in Belfast last Sunday and even though the weather played a part, we can’t overlook the Rebels defense.”

It’s been a difficult second half of the season for the Rebels, winning only one of their three most recent games. The Rebels are relegation threatened but it is unlikely that they will go down regardless of the result on Sunday. A close game in Belfast last time out for the Rebels, who were beat by the Trojans 8-0. Not the result they were looking but shows that they are certainly competitive and will look to win this game to ready themselves for a Shamrock Bowl run in 2020.

Location: ALSAA Sports Centre, Dublin

Kick Off: 2pm

West Dublin Rhinos (6th, 2-5) @ Cork Admirals (1st, 6-0-1)

See Week 18: Cork Admirals Family Fun Day

IAFA members attend 4th July Festivities at the US Ambassadors Residence

A small contingency of IAFA representatives were invited to the residence of the newly appointed US Ambassador to Ireland, Edward Crawford, to celebrate the 4th of July or US Independence Day.

Photo courtesy of Brian Cleary

While IAFA Commissioner Brian Cleary and IAFA President Orla McAleese were to invited to enjoy 4th July festivities, they were also helping Corporate.ie promote the 2020 Aer Lingus College Football Classic game between Notre Dame and Navy alongside Ethan Foster from the SBC West Dublin Rhinos, Oisin Finn from the IAFL1 Louth Mavericks.

Photo courtesy of Brian Cleary

The return of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Ireland was announced last October by Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D.also unvaileing a five-game plan which will see the return of College Football to Ireland in 2020 with the series kicks off with the return of Navy vs Notre Dame which will take place on Saturday 29th August 2020. Aer Lingus has been unveiled as title sponsor of the series at the Aviva Stadium with other fixtures and teams will be announced in due-course.

Edward Crawford officially begun his term as the new US ambassador to Ireland on the 1st of July. Mr Crawford has a long history of philanthropy and entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio (birth state of American Professional Football). Ambassador Crawford is also a keen sportsman.

Week 18: Cork Admirals Family Fun Day

West Dublin Rhinos (2-5) @ Cork Admirals (6-0-1)

We start this week’s previews of the final SBC regular season games with a big day planned in Cork as the West Dublin Rhinos take on the Cork Admirals for the East Village Bowl. The Admirals Family Fun Day is shaping up to be a great day out for all the family with bouncy castles, face painting, dancers from the Montfort College of Performing Arts, amazing food vendors in the tailgate section and many more attractions on the day.

At the centre of it all is the clash between table toppers Cork Admirals and relegation threatened West Dublin Rhinos. The Admirals had a tricky game last time out against the Knights as the weather played havoc for both offenses, with the game finishing in a 0-0 draw. The Rhinos are looking to bounce back from a 30-0 defeat last week against the Vikings and earn at least one point to secure their SBC playing status in 2020.

A very disappointing performance at home last week saw the Rhinos being brought right into the relegation mix. Sunday will be a tough ask for the West Dublin side but the team will be extra motivated to secure their SBC spot for next year coupled with trying to add some silverware to their season. Rhinos head coach Barry Bolton is confident his side can cause an upset “Tough loss last Sunday against an impressive Vikings squad on the road. But we’ve picked ourselves up and are looking forward to the challenge that travelling to take on the Admirals in Cork brings. Nobody has managed to come away a win against Cork in a full year now but it’s the last game of the year Brent, can’t hold anything back now.”

The Admirals clinched top spot in the SBC two weeks ago as they got the point they needed. Having already secured a home playoff game, the Admirals coaching staff will want to be cautious of avoiding injuries in this game before the playoff run, but will also want to ensure they remain unbeaten and keep the East Village Bowl at home. Admirals defensive co-ordinator Brendan Kelleher is excited to have his team play in front of an expected large crowd “We are really looking forward to the game on Sunday. Every year we put on an event close to 4th July to promote the game in Cork. This year the interest seems to be bigger than ever. We are expecting the Rhinos to give us a tough challenge and we certainly won’t be looking past this weekend. We are aiming to continue to execute and perform at the levels we are capable of and definitely to continue to improve with the playoffs just around the corner.”

The family fun day promises to be bigger and better than last year so if you are in the area, don’t miss out! Admission is €5 for adults with kids under 12 FREE. All attractions are FREE of charge once inside.

Location: Cork Institute of Technology

Gates Open: 12:00

Kick Off: 14:00

Latest News & Details: Admirals Facebook Event

SBC 2019 Playoff Picture

SBC 2019 has its four playoff bound teams (with current seeding):

  • The Cork Admiral – 1st seed
  • The Belfast Trojans – 2nd seed
  • UCD American Football – 3rd seed
  • The South Dublin Panthers – 4th seed

All four teams still have one regular season game to play this Sunday and all four games are against another team in the league. This makes the number of possible final SBC playoff scenarios much bigger than its sister leagues IAFL1 and IAFL2 who had nine a piece. All in all, there are eighty-one — yes 81!! — possible scenarios. However, you do not need to be a math whiz to figure out all the possible final outcomes. Here is why.

Now, before we get to the scenarios here are a few key facts:

  • Admirals beat Trojans on May 11th
  • Trojans beat UCD on June 16th
  • UCD beat Panthers on June 23rd

The standings as of last weekend are:

The Admirals have already locked in their playoff berth and home game in Cork, so even a loss would not change their position. Cork Admirals won the league and are comfortably set for a very advantageous home game.

Trojans currently sit at 2nd with 11 points. If they were to lose their game and UCD were to win theirs, Trojans would still be at 2nd after the tie breaker (head to head win). Furthermore, there are no real scenarios where the Trojans could take 1st seed and even less scenarios they would go lower than 2nd. There is a very strong chance the Trojans will host their playoff game in Deramore Park. 

Panthers currently have 8 points, a win would give them 10 points. If UCD were to lose their games then Panthers would overtake UCD to 3rd. In all cases, the Panthers can only reach 3rd seed and would have to travel for their playoff game. And so are UCD at 3rd or 4th.

All things considered, there are only two strong possible outcomes and two very good sets of playoff games not to miss on the 21st of July:

  • Admirals 1st v 4th Panthers and Trojans 2nd v 3rd UCD
  • Admirals 1st v 4th UCD and Trojans 2nd v 3rd Panthers.
You can find the full chart of scenarios below.
 
By no means if you find another possible outcome please let us know. 

Over and out!
 

Week 17: SBC Game Previews

It’s the penultimate weekend of the SBC season, which sees two important games in terms of playoff and relegation battles. All teams will be looking for a win this week, to carry into the final games next Sunday.

Dublin Rebels (2-4) @ Belfast Trojans (4-1-1)

Two teams well known to each other will once again go head to head this Sunday as the Dublin Rebels travel north to take on the Belfast Trojans. It has not been the season the Rebels were expecting, as the 10 time champions will not feature in the playoffs this year. The Trojans however are shaping up nicely for the last run in, sitting in second place with their playoff spot already confirmed.

It’s been a disappointing season for the Rebels given their long and triumphant history. The Rebels travelled to Cork in their most recent game to take on the Admirals, and fell to a 14-28 defeat. With playoffs now out of reach, the Rebels will be looking for two wins in their last two games to build on for the 2020 season. In 2018, the Rebels and Trojans met twice – once during the regular season where the Trojans won 21-14 then again in the playoffs where the Rebels beat the Trojans 30-26 to reach Shamrock Bowl XXXII.

The Trojans will be looking for some consistency as they count down the weeks to the playoffs. The year started well with back to back road wins before falling to a loss and a draw at home. They have won their last two games, including an impressive 32-12 win most recently on the road to UCD, but Trojans head coach James McKelvey isn’t looking any further than the task on hand on Sunday “I’ve been playing the Rebels for about 15 years and I expect this game to be no different than the rest – a tough physical encounter where the team that makes the fewest mistakes will come out on top.”

Location: Harlequins RFC, Belfast

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Belfast Trojans

 

UL Vikings (1-5) @ West Dublin Rhinos (2-4)

A crucial game for both teams, who are fighting to be competing in the SBC next year. The Rhinos will confirm their SBC status for 2020 with a win or a tie in this game, however a loss would bring them right into the relegation mix and give the Vikings a much needed boost to their survival hopes. These teams last met in April of this year in Limerick, where the Rhinos returned home as 17-16 victors.

The Vikings sit bottom of the table, two points below the Knights who earned a vital draw against the Admirals last week. The Vikings will essentially need two wins in two weeks to stand a chance, but Vikings committee member Conor Whelan is feeling positive “This season has been a season of fine margins for us. We’ve been competitive in almost all of our games this season. Our last day out against the Knights is hopefully a turning point for us so we’ll look to tip the scales this Sunday against the Rhinos after losing out to them on the narrowest of margins back in April and keep ourselves competitive for SBC football.”

A fairly positive return for the Rhinos to the SBC, the step up is never easy but they have certainly been competitive throughout the year. Rhinos head coach Barry Bolton will be looking to secure their SBC status on Sunday and start to think about preparations for 2020 “This is a huge game for us. When we played the Vikings in Limerick we came away with a win by a single point. Though we’re at home this time, arguably the stakes are higher for both teams. A win for us secures SBC football in 2020 with a game to spare. A win for the Vikings takes them off the bottom of the table. There wasn’t much between us last go around, so I expect another slobber knocker of a game.”

Location: Castleknock College, Dublin

Kick Off: 2pm