We're coming to the end of a controversial Shamrock Bowl Conference season, with a couple of teams now finished in their hopeful campaigns. Everything is decided in the South, without much football being played might I say, whilst in the North there is still home field advantage in the playoffs to fight for.
Shamrock Bowl Conference
West Dublin Rhinos 6 - 38 Belfast Trojans
Barring a major turn around from the Rhinos next week in the return fixture it looks like the Belfast Trojans will go unbeaten in the regular season. They stretched to 7-0 this week with an impressive win over a notoriously tough defence to crack.
David Colvin added yet another hat trick of rushing scores to an already impressive season. He's scored three hat tricks already, and a single score too, taking his rushing total this year to 13. Add that to the receiving touchdown he has and he puts himself firmly in contention for the Double Coverage SBC MVP Award (details coming soon...).
|Dave Colvin took his tally to 14 touchdowns this year on Sunday - photo by Nathan James Sharrocks|
But James McKelvey also put his name on that list with his 13th touchdown of the year, rushing one in, to add to Peter Roberts' score. Utility man Callum Leckey scored the Trojans' final score of the game.
The Rhinos have endured a poor season, lifted in the middle with a great win against the Dublin Rebels but they were expected to lose against Belfast who have steamrolled all in their path. They should be buoyed by the fact that they managed to score, a pick six from cornerback Adam Skelly, on the toughest defence in the SBC.
With a strong off season the team from leafy Castleknock can bounce back and try to reclaim a playoff berth. But first another meeting against the Trojans next week and a chance for revenge and pride.
Craigavon Cowboys 18 - 18 Carrickfergus Knights
The Cowboys are another team that have endured a difficult year, suffering through some badly timed injuries to key players whilst also limping on with a team of rookies. However those rookies have gained some invaluable experience and will be back stronger next year.
They went out on a high though, holding the playoff-bound Knights to an 18-18 draw at home. Peter Loughran, taking back his place at quarterback having recovered from broken fingers, had a big day, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for a 40 yard touchdown to Ryan Brolly. Brolly himself has been a standout for Craigavon, scoring 4 receiving scores, second only to Belfast's David Richardson and a long-lasting partnership with Loughran will be a great core for the Cowboys to build around.
|Ryan Brolly scored his fourth receiving touchdown of the year - photo by Ariane Boudias|
Carrickfergus' running back Darren Montgomery made a giant leap up the scoring charts with a big day of his own, scoring a hat trick of touchdowns to take his season total to five. A tie will not be what the team wanted but they host the Rebels next week with a real chance of taking second place and gain some revenge after the 20-6 defeat Dublin handed them earlier in the season.
Meath Bulldogs 34 - 12 Drogheda Lightning
The Meath Bulldogs made it back-to-back wins in the "Battle of the Boyne" derby match. It is the first time Meath have beaten Drogheda, and indeed the first time they've met in 11-a-side football having played four times in the DV8s format.
|Eddie McMahon, Meath Bulldogs' quarterback - photo by Ariane Boudias|
The McMahon brothers had a huge day as older brother Eddie passed for two scores from quarterback, both to wide receiver Mark McCabe. Sibling Pete scored a hat trick along the ground, making it 112 points scored in just 10 games played, an impressive feat for any player.
The Lightning hit back as quarterback Oisin Dowling passed to tight end Mick O'Shea and receiver Alan Neary for two scores but it wasn't to be enough to upset the Bulldogs. Drogheda have now done the opposite of Meath and lost in back to back games. Coach Russell Kerley will no doubt have his squad hard at it in training next week as they welcome his old team, the Dublin Dragons, to St Olivers in a fortnight's time.