American Football Ireland Recap – Knights get their first W & The Admirals stay perfect.
It was a relatively quiet weekend in the Irish American football world on Sunday, with just two games taking place in the premier division. The Westmeath Minoutaurs made the long trip up to Belfast to take on the Knights, while on the opposite end of the country, the Cork Admirals were at home to the Craigavon Cowboys.
In Belfast, both the Knights and Minotaurs were vying for a bounce back win, having suffered narrow defeats the previous weekend. It was the home team who ran out victorious in the end, thanks to scores from Spencer McDowell, Phil Henson and Daithí McShane. The Knights earned their first victory of the season, and will be looking to carry the momentum into their fixture with the Panthers next weekend. Westmeath on the other hand could only muster a single score – Joe Kinahan hooking up with Cathal Dunne on a pitch and catch TD. Bill Dougherty’s side are now on a 3 game losing slide, but have two weeks to regroup before travelling back to Belfast to face a surging Trojans team. Final score: Belfast Knights 28 – Westmeath Minotaur’s 8
Down south on the Leeside was the venue for Cork’s 4th game of the season, and they made it 4 wins from 4 with a 28-6 defeat of Craigavon. Young Jake Kennedy had himself a day for the Admirals in what was not only his first start at QB, but his first game of senior American football. Kennedy passed for 3 touchdowns in total, two of them to Ryan Price and the other to Jack Cronin. Kieran Maye added a score on the ground, giving Cork a 28 – 6 win at the final whistle. Corks defense balled out as well, forcing 5 takeaways courtesy of 2 interceptions (Kieran May, Adam Jere) and 3 forced fumbles (Martin Mulrey, Shane Hourihane). The Admirals are now 4-0 on the season, and will surpass UCD for second place in the table, at least temporarily.
The Irish American Football season is more than halfway through, and things are really beginning to heat up. It doesn’t look like anybody can touch the top 4 of UCD, Cork, Rebels and Trojans. We can almost certainly expect to see these teams in semi finals action at the start of July. In Division 1, although there were no games this weekend Louth and UL seem locked in for a predestined duel in the championship game. They are head and shoulders above the rest, and I don’t forsee any speedbumps on the road to the final.
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