What a cracking weekend of weather we had and what a cracking weekend of American football as well! A total of 6 games of Irish American football took place over Saturday and Sunday, and there were big scorelines and performances galore! The Panthers earned a huge win at home while up north the Admirals just edged the Trojans to go top of the table!
A recap of each game is available to read below, so what are you waiting for?
Belfast Trojans 14 – Cork Admirals 18
A tight affair in Deramore Park for the Trojans opening home game of the season as the two former champions tussled it out. The lead changed hands several times throughout the game, but it was the visitors who clinched victory at the final whistle. A 95 yard kick return touchdown from the Admirals’ Declan Maye set the tone early on, while a late interception from Martin Mulray put the game on ice. A rushing TD from rookie Kieran Tomlinson and two picks of Cork QB Stephen Hayes were not enough for the Trojans on the day, and the Admirals now find themselves top of the table.
Donegal Derry Vipers 0 – Louth Mavericks 49
The Mavericks swept the Vipers in dramatic fashion on Saturday, putting the guts of 50 points on the board and sealing their spot at the top of the table with 2 games to spare. Louth’s QB Nathan Hearty was instrumental once again with 3 Touchdowns through the air and two on the ground, while Dan Finely, Eamon Ward and Brendan Simms all got in on the scoring act as well. This team has been almost unstoppable all season and have now scored a total of 218 points so far. We’re not crowning them champions just yet, but when you put up numbers like this while only allowing 10 points all season, it’s hard to see anyone else having a chance.
West Dublin Rhinos 17 – Cill Dara Crusaders 20
An unfortunate day in Castleknock for the Rhinos as they lost QB Ethan Foster before halftime to a broken collarbone. Lacking a viable passing backup they were forced to run the ball for much of the game, a plan that the Crusaders were able to snuff out fairly effectively. Scores on the ground came from Paul Richardson and Dylan Gladney while Paul Hosford was effective with his boot, slotting over a Field Goal and 2 extra points. Cill Dara were just able to do more on the day; QB Jordan Farrell striking gold three times – twice to Sidney Pindi and once to his brother Kealan. The Rhinos need to regroup quickly as they face the rampaging Mavericks at home in a week’s time.
South Dublin Panthers 28 – Belfast Knights 14
Both teams entered this matchup needing a win, perhaps the Panthers more so and it was the home side who emerged victorious in the end. Raymond Burke, Finn Kearns, Ben Arulogun and Josh Clarke all crossed the goal line for Panther’s scores, while for the boys in black and gold Defensive End turned QB Spencer McDowell scored on the ground to go with a receiving touchdown from Andrew Bradley. After a disaster against the Rebels, the Panthers redeemed themselves and should be able to dispatch the lowly Cowboys again at home next weekend. For the Knights, it’s a mystery as they have the pieces in place but cannot seem to string wins together!
Antrim Jets 0 – Razorbacks 35
You know what the Antrim Jets are really good at? Making memes. What they’re not good at? Winning games. Social media was on fire in the build up to this one but it was the Razorbacks who got it done on the field in a sound beating of the Jets, 35 to zip. Eoin Delargy and James Earles were just two of the many Hogs to cross the whitewash on Sunday, handing the Jets their 6th loss of the season and putting them firmly in relegation territory. If you’re going to talk on social media before a game, you have to be able to back it up and this is a lesson the Jets still haven’t learned. The Razorbacks elevate themselves into a playoff spot with the win, making things very interesting in Division 1 as we get towards the business end of the season.
Wexford Eagles 38 – North Dublin Pirates 3
The Eagles earned an impressive victory at home, despite an early hiccup leading to a Pirates score. It would be their only score of the day however, as the Eagles took command of the game through Luke Fitzpatrick who had two rushing and once receiving touchdowns on the day. Henry Foxton continued to build his case for Division 2 Defensive MVP with a pick six, and Trevor Smith put this one away with a rushing touchdown to finish the Pirates off. Despite and early disaster, the Eagles recovered well and are now perched firmly top of the table with a record of 3-0.
Photos courtesy of Paul McIlwaine & Desmond Loughery