Saturday, 13 April 2013

Irish Football Weekend Previews

Shamrock Bowl Conference Match Previews

With the worst of the weather hopefully firmly behind us the Shamrock Bowl Conference can pick up some momentum. We have three more games this week, two in the north and one in the south. One game is the rescheduled

West Dublin Rhinos v Dublin Rebels – Castleknock College 2pm
First up the Dublin Rebels head across the city to face the Rhinos at Castleknock. They beat them 22-0 at home earlier in the season and will be looking for a similar result against a West Dublin side that is still yet to score a point in three games.

The Dublin Rebels will be looking to go 3-0 this weekend - photo by Ariane Boudias

Sitting atop the SBC North is where the Rebels will want to stay and they’ll no doubt look to get the ball to running back Simon Mackey and ground out another win.

But for all of West Dublin’s early season woes they have a defence with the ability to stop anybody on their day. They need to find last season’s form that saw them reach the post season by shutting out opponents and grinding out wins in low scoring games.

Belfast Trojans v Craigavon Cowboys – Shorts S&R Club 2pm
The reigning champions get their campaign back underway and it’s against the same team they’ve already played, the Craigavon Cowboys.

The Trojans take the field again for the first time since the 46-13 victory over Craigavon - photo by Nathan James Sharrocks
The Cowboys stunned the Trojans early on, scoring early points with quarterback Peter Loughran grabbing a pair of rushing touchdowns but Belfast soon hit the form that took them to the first undefeated Shamrock Bowl win last year, finishing the game with a 46-13 victory.

The Cowboys picked up their first win of the year this weekend past, beating the Rhinos 23-0, an impressive feat considering the high-flying Rebels could only beat them 22-0. If Craigavon can get a game plan together they could cause the Trojans some problems but it will be a hard battle to stop Belfast.

University College Dublin v Trinity College Dublin – Trinity Sports Ground 2pm
The game that should have started the season finally gets the go ahead after being postponed due to weather. The capital college rivalry should be an interesting one. UCD lost 11-0 to the University of Limerick in the first game of the season whilst Trinity have won one, 20-0, and lost one, 12-13, to UL.

Both have played two, winning one and losing one each. Both stood up to UL well too.

Trinity have caused waves already this year, can they beat UCD to overtake UL in the table? - photo by Ariane Boudias
This should be a great battle of a game with Trinity perhaps holding the edge, but UCD will take great heart from the 34-6 demolition of Cork last weekend. A win here for either team will set them in good stead for a season that promises to have plenty of twists and turns in the SBC South playoff race.

IAFL-1 Match Preview
It’s been a while since we’ve seen action from the IAFL-1. Maybe that’s a good thing considering the weather would probably have called any games off anyway. However the league is back this weekend and a new team finally gets its first game.

Drogheda Lightning v Mullingar Minotaurs – St. Oliver’s Community College 2pm
The Lightning are coming off the back of a hard fought 6-6 tie with experienced side, the Tullamore Phoenix. However that game was over a month ago and no doubt their players are eager to go at it again. With a strong defence and a balanced offence put in place by the experienced Coach Russell Kerley, the Lightning will no doubt go in to this game as favourites.

The Mullingar Minotaurs during a charity tournament this year - photo by Ariane Boudias
However the Minotaurs will have something to say about that. This will be the first time the team takes the field as a competitive unit and that is a proud moment for everybody who has had a hand in building the club. And every single player will be up for this game. They’re somewhat of an unknown quantity having not played a game yet, making this match a difficult one to predict. 

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