Saturday, 15 June 2013

Double Coverage Shamrock Bowl Conference Awards

It’s been an interesting season covering the Shamrock Bowl Conference this year. The regular season came to wraps this weekend past and teams will be either preparing for their playoff campaign or already looking forward to next year.

Firstly a thank you. Thank you to everybody who has endured my bothering them for scorers this year. 

Thank you to all the photographers who contribute images to Double Coverage’s Irish articles including Ash O’Flanagan and Ariane Boudias, your contributions were massively appreciated.

And most of all thank you to all the teams who have made this a great season of football to write about!

This season was always a test year for Double Coverage’s Irish league reviews and I genuinely didn’t expect it to be so well received. Plans are already afoot to make next year’s coverage bigger and better, but for now we’ll be handing out some awards!

Rushing Touchdown Leader – David Colvin, Belfast Trojans (13)
The tight affair at the top of the rushing touchdown chart was an added storyline throughout the SBC this year as the Dublin Rebels’ Simon Mackey and Belfast Trojans’ David Colvin battled it out to be the highest scoring rusher.

In the end Colvin won out, impressive considering he missed a game and had several other backs to compete with in the team. Much regarded as one of the most naturally gifted athletes in the Irish game, Colvin racked up an impressive 686 yards rushing in the games that he played, catching a touchdown to add to his rushing tally to equal 14 total touchdowns in 7 games.

Passing Touchdown Leader – James McKelvey, Belfast Trojans (12)
The dominant offensive nature of the Belfast Trojans allowed James McKelvey to open a lead on the rest of the quarterbacks in the division early on and he could not be caught, finishing with double the amount of passing TDs as his closest rival.

This has been a great season for the Trojans organisation and the consistency McKelvey has shown has epitomised that. He has a great line in front of him and he utilises the time he is given by them to great effect, making good decisions to punish opposition defences. McKelvey was also the joint 6th top rushing scorer with four touchdowns along the ground taking his total to 16 TDs, more than any other player in the SBC.

Receiving Touchdown Leader – David Richardson, Belfast Trojans (6)
David Richardson has been a key target for McKelvey this off season, not just in the end zone but all over the field. His speed and the ability he holds to separate himself from coverage makes him a dangerous target.

The Sunderland-born Wide Receiver scored two more touchdowns than any other player in the League, including a brace of scores against a tough Carrickfergus side. Richardson and fellow receiver Fu Faapito have caused defensive mismatches that have allowed the Trojans to stretch the field and wreak havoc with their running backs too, making him a key player on and off the ball. A well-deserved winner.

Special Teams and Defensive Touchdowns
No single player scored more than one special teams or defensive touchdown this year but a big congratulations to all those who managed to score. A defensive touchdown or special teams touchdown is often a great spectacle to see, whether it’s a pick six or a kick off return for 90 yards.

So congratulations to Alex Newton, Gary Carr (both Belfast Trojans) and Tom Donovan (UCD) on your Special Teams touchdowns. And congratulations to Adam Skelly and Brent Trull (West Dublin Rhinos), Chris Mikhael and Connor Whitla (Belfast Trojans), Kevin Finnegan and Senan O’Mahoney (Dublin Rebels), Colin Harper (UCD) and Jonas Kolunsarka (Trinity) on your defensive touchdowns this year.

The Double Coverage Shamrock Bowl Conference MVP
So Double Coverage’s idea to run an MVP for the Shamrock Bowl Conference this year has caused some controversy but has been received well in the wider community with some good-natured debate on our public poll.

As previously stated the public poll was always going to turn into somewhat of a popularity contest and as predicted many teams picked their own players. But quality showed through too as the top two scoring running backs were far and away the two leaders.

However the final decision lay with the Double Coverage writers and after a long discussion about what an MVP should stand for in what is ultimately a team sport, and after much review of game film, we came up with a conclusive winner.

It was a close run thing. With six votes between us the final vote was 3-2-1 in favour of our winner, with three votes going to one of the running backs and two going to the other.

Without further ado, the 2013 Double Coverage Shamrock Bowl Conference MVP is David Colvin, Running Back for the Belfast Trojans.

Harsh on Simon Mackey it certainly is. The winner of the public poll, who played in all games on both sides of the ball, racking up sacks from defensive end as well as scoring TDs from the running back position, can be truly proud of his individual season. He has scored more than half of his team’s touchdowns and dominated defensive and offensive lines alike.

However we concluded that an MVP should be the player that you’d pick first in a draft scenario if you were building an Irish team. And Colvin wins that for us. His athleticism and ability to break tackles has seen him become one of the most feared offensive players in Ireland.

But it is the fact that he won the top rushing scorer award despite not playing every game and whilst competing for game time with four other backs. How many touchdowns would he have scored had he been on the field for every snap this year?

The danger that he poses to the opposition and his natural ability on the field gives him an edge rarely seen at this level of sport and whilst he plays behind one of, if not the, best lines in the SBC, he has excelled this year and would more than likely excel for any team.

In four games he scored a hat trick of scores to help his team to an unbeaten regular season.

All of our nominees, and many other players in the League, have had excellent campaigns this year, making it a great, if sometimes controversial, year for Irish football. But if there was a fantasy SBC draft tomorrow and we had the first overall pick we’d be taking David Colvin and that makes him the first ever and 2013 Double Coverage Shamrock Bowl Conference MVP. Congratulations David.

Voting - 
3 votes: David Colvin, Running Back, Belfast Trojans
2 votes: Simon Mackey, Running Back/Defensive End, Dublin Rebels
1 vote: James McKelvey, Quarterback, Belfast Trojans 

Plans to complete a 2013 All-Shamrock Bowl Conference team with nominations from SBC Head Coaches are in motion and will hopefully be published shortly after the Shamrock Bowl.

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