Trojans Threepeat

Photo by Ariane Boudias

The Belfast Trojans won their third consecutive Shamrock Bowl with victory over a previously unbeated Trinity College Dublin at Tallaght Stadium. The decisive score came early in the fourth quarter when Belfast’s Connor Whitla had a twenty yard interception return for a touchdown to give the Trojans a 7-0 victory.

In spite of the very poor weather conditions – much of the game was played in torrential rain and there was a stoppage for lightning in the first quarter – a very enthusiastic crowd of 1,500 spectators showed up to watch the game. In spite of being low scoring, it was an entertaining game with the difficult ball handling conditions adding to the spectacle.

Belfast were deserving winners – having the majority of possession time on offense and picking up the majority of first downs. Running backs Neil Montgomery and David Colvin both picked up yardage. The Trinity defensive line of Dylan Green, George Walsh and Eoghan Hurley made life difficult for Belfast quarterback James McKelvey.

Photo by by Ariane Boudias

Running back Robert McDowell was the most exciting player on offense for Trinity, but the Belfast defense, including some outstanding performances from Stuart Leckey, Jon-Erik Talvio and Whitla did an excellent job. Much of the first three quarters of the game were played in the Trinity half, with Belfast moving the ball, but being stopped by the Trinity defense in the red zone. With the exception of a 4th quarter rally, Trinity struggled to move the ball on offense.

The win gave Belfast a third consecutive Shamrock Bowl victory – having defeated the Dublin Rebels and UL Vikings in the past two years. The young Trinity team are to be congratulated on their excellent season – this was their first defeat of the year and the first time in their history to reach the Shamrock Bowl. Belfast’s Connor Whitla won the inaugural Terry Lynch MVP Award.

Ireland’s ‘Month of Football’ moves onto Navan next weekend where the finals of the second and third tiers of Irish American football take place. University College Dublin and Cork Admirals will contest the IAFL1 Final and Tyrone Titans and Dundalk Mavericks will contest the IAFL2 Final. The ‘Month of Football’ will conclude with the Croke Park Classic college football game on August 30th between UCF and Penn State.

Photo by Ariane Boudias