Shamrock Bowl XXVIII Preview – Trinity v Belfast.

Shamrock Bowl XXVIII, the National Championship for domestic American football takes place at Tallaght Stadium next Sunday – kick-off 3pm. The game will feature two teams who have lost only one game between them in the past 12 months. Unbeaten Trinity College Dublin, is making its first appearance in the title game and will face defending Champions, Belfast Trojans.

2014 has been by far the most successful season in the history of Irish American football. A record 19 clubs from all parts of the country played competitive league football with the best ten competing in the IAFA’s new elite division – the Shamrock Bowl Conference (SBC). The 10 SBC teams have risen to the challenge – with the increased competition raising the standard of play.

For those who want to see full kitted, hard hitting American football close up and personal, the Shamrock Bowl is a must. Watch every play and hear every hit live while enjoying the family atmosphere in the stands. Apart from the upcoming Croke Park Classic, this will be the highest standard game you will see in Ireland this year and it will be the only one replicating the atmosphere usually only experienced at small college or large high school games in the United States.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite – €8 for adults, €5 for children.

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College’s current season has been five years in the making. Reinstated in its current form in 2010, after 2 seasons of DV-8’s football (development league), TCD has only grown stronger and more formidable with every season. Winning only one game in their first season, they are now a far cry from what once was and stand as one of the titans of the 2014 IAFL. In 2013 the Dublin Rebels eliminated TCD during the semi-finals, but this year their hunger and drive to get to the final has been undeniable, with every single player putting there all in on every play.

With the defensive line tormenting offenses all year long, recording the only 2 safeties in the SBC this year, along with a strong coverage against the pass, Trinity has shown itself to be a strong defensive team, ranking third in the league. This compliments the league’s highest scoring offense, that has shown the ability to score in a variety of ways, from anywhere on the pitch.

When Trinity is on the field, it guarantees to be an entertaining game of football. With so many different players getting on the scoring charts this year for Trinity this year, it has been the most balanced team that they have had in the last few years and they seem to have struck the right balance on both sides of the ball, proving to be a top tier team. Having beaten everyone who them have come to face so far, it has almost been a full year since their last defeat, all that remains to be seen is can Trinity win it all on the big stage in Tallaght stadium?

Belfast Trojans

Formed in 2006 by a group of motivated young players who split from the now defunct Belfast Bulls, the Belfast Trojans joined the IAFA in 2007. Since then the Trojans have been stalwarts of the IAFL Northern Conference winning the division four times.

After some highs and lows in their early days, the Trojans found the right balance both on and off the pitch in 2011 regaining their position as a playoff team, and putting in place the groundwork for what would become one of the biggest success stories in Irish American Football.

Building on the promise of the 2011 season the Belfast Trojans were able to put together an unprecedented winning streak that would carry them through the 2012 & 2013 seasons, lifting two consecutive Shamrock Bowls along with EFAF’s Atlantic Cup. The streak continued into 2014 before finally being ended in game five of the regular season by today’s opponent Trinity College. Many questioned how the Trojans might react to their first loss for such a long time but it is testament to the character of the club that the team regrouped, asked questions of themselves and corrected many of the issues. The team forged ahead and won the next four consecutive games bringing themselves once again to Tallaght Stadium with the opportunity to compete in their third successive Shamrock Bowl.

The Trojans play an extremely aggressive defensive style that has seen them ranked as the number one defensive unit in the last few years. On offence they favour a balance between a traditionally powerful running game along with a potent aerial threat. It would be remiss to isolate individual players as the Trojans promote a team over star player ethos. Everyone is vital to the success of the group. Everyone will play their part in the success. Every player will give their utmost to retain the Shamrock Bowl.