NFL-Irelands Week 9: ‘Team of the Week’
It was very much a mixed bag of results this past weekend, the Cork/Dundalk game was called off but there were crucial victories across the country nonetheless as the Meath Bulldogs, North Kildare Reapers and Belfast Trojans 2nd’s all added W’s to their column, whilst there was a 0-0 tie between the Warriors and Rhinos which is the first scoreless draw in the league since….well, brownie points for whoever can name the last time!
Despite only being 4 games on show, there were still a number of displays worth mentioning so without further ado, let’s see who stood out of the crowd on Sunday.
Quarterback: Luke Bailey
There wasn’t too many passing touchdowns this weekend, however south paw QB Luke Bailey of the Reapers contributed two of the three as he connected with receivers Josh Dowling and Ryan Doherty to help guide the Kildare outfit to a narrow 13-12 victory over the Craigavon Cowboys. The win gives the Reapers a great chance of not only equalling last years record, but realistically clinching a playoff berth, thanks in part to Luke’s performance on Sunday.
The Trojans 2nd’s stormed to another comprehensive victory this weekend as they put 63 past the South Kildare Soldiers in the IAFL-2. Many players contributed to a dominant display, but at times it turned into a one man show. Described by teammates as “as good as having cheat codes” Running Back, Jonathan Siri scored half of the teams points by tallying 5 touchdowns, with 1 of those from defensive end. The men in Green are already stacked in the backfield as Matt Armstrong and Peter Roberts have scored plenty of points between them so far, but it looks like Belfast have found yet another rushing prodigy.
Wide Receiver: Josh Dowling North Kildare Reapers
As we mentioned above there was only 3 passing touchdowns yesterday and 2 of them were in this game. Tom Montgomery scored the 8th of 9 touchdowns against the Soldiers for the Trojans and Ryan Doherty scored the first Reapers touchdown of the day. #7 Dowling caught his first touchdown of the season and in doing so gave the Reapers the all important win. The Reapers now have 2 wins this season and if nothing else can now think themselves likely to be safe from the drop. Playoffs are now a possibility for the Kilcock team and Dowling is sure to be a key contributor to that push. (Photo to follow)
It’s not quite 72, but its pretty close! 63 points were scored by the Trojans on Sunday. Bar one touchdown and a safety on defence, the offensive line put in yet another professional display as they assisted the run-game with 7 rushing scores and protected QB Kris Donaghy for 1 passing touchdown to TE Tom Montgomery. The O-Line has now contributed to 135 points in 2 games! With 4 more games in the IAFL-2 still to play.
The Bulldogs made the difficult journey down south to face the Waterford Wolves on Sunday and managed to come away with their first victory of the season. Meath salvaged a hard-fought 13-0 win over their playoff rivals as they fended off anything the Wolves had to throw at them. There were a number of clean sheets this weekend, however with the magnitude of this game and the considerable bearing it could have on each teams season, this shut-out was the most important of all.
– After a long spell on the sideline yesterday Peter Loughran re-entered the game against the Reapers in the 4th quarter and looked to swing the momentum in the Cowboys direction. Playing on an injured ankle he pushed a pile of bodies and himself into the end zone for the score with under a minute remaining. The Cowboys unfortunately were unsuccessful with the 2 point attempt for the win.
– Meath QB Eddie McMahon had a productive day passing the ball in terrible weather conditions and against a run stuffing Waterford defence. Eddie also contributed a rushing TD on the day which you can see here.
– Keeping it in the family, RB Pete McMahon reeled in 5 of those passes and contributed a rushing touchdown of his own on the difficult away trip to Waterford.
– Trojans Running Back Matt Armstrong had another good day with 3 rushing touchdowns against the Soldiers. Matt also had a touchdown for the 1st team last week and is showing the kind of form that will see him get more and more opportunities against the SBC defences.
– Reapers Linebacker Thomas Brocklebank was all over the field yesterday verses the Cowboys. It’s often hard to get noticed on Defence but it was hard not to notice the shift put in by #55. Making on seemingly in on nearly every tackle he made the difference for the Reapers on defence in an incredibly tight game.