NFL-Irelands Week 10: ‘Team of the Week’
Only two games to talk about this week as two entertaining encounters took place North of the border. Each game had huge significance as the Tyrone Titans and Belfast Trojans comprehensively won their ties this weekend with very similar score lines, 44-8 and 43-8 respectively. With those victories, the Titans and Trojans now sit top their divisions, whilst also maintaining their unbeaten start to the season.
I’m sure if you have seen the stats, you’ll know who to expect in this weeks lineup.
Mullan had a record setting day at the office as he guided the Titans to a 44-8 pounding of the Mullingar Minotaurs. He threw for 7 touchdowns, potentially an IAFL record and definitely a Titans record, as the home side dominated from start to finish. Daniel is a consistent threat to any defence both through the air and on the ground and he now ties Stephen Hayes at the top of the IAFL-1 passing charts. The home win at Omagh RFC now see Tyrone’s unbeaten streak stretch to 11 games and see’s their offence shake off the unsteady form they’d been in of late.
A number of names could have cropped up here, but considering the scintillating form the Trojans have been in of late, it’s only fair to give the accolade to the workhorse of the backfield in Neil ‘Pocket’ Montgomery. Neil had a blinder against the Rebels as his powerful downhill running helped establish positive possession in Belfast’s 43-8 win. He was unfortunate to only score a single touchdown on Saturday, as he steamrolled in from 35 yards out. He also contributed to a 60 yard run, stiff arming several would be tacklers to the ground before being somewhat controversially ruled down at the half yard line. Back field counterpart Dave Colvin, who had a very fine day himself, strolled into the end zone untouched on the ensuing play. Excellent all round performance from the Full-Back.
With Daniel Mullan having such an impressive game, it’s no surprise that we would see a Titans receiver in our ‘Team of the Week’. Ryan Brolly has been a consistent performer and continual threat for Tyrone’s offence this season and he bagged himself 3 touchdowns in Sunday’s victory. He now occupies top spot of the receiving charts along with Nick Coffi on 5 touchdowns. The Titans are still in search of answers in the run game following an injury to Lee McLaughlin, but until they find them Brolly will continue to be the go-to guy.
Scoring 44 points in a game is always a special feeling, after weeks of questions about your offence, it’s all the more satisfying. The Titans O-Line were able to create a clean pocket for Daniel Mullan to connect for 7 passing touchdowns, as the offence got back to the high-scoring performances that saw them dominate the IAFL-2 last year. If the Titans can turn this game into a run of form, they will be a sure fire call for clinching ‘at least’ a top 2 spot. We very much look forward to the upcoming game against the Cork Admirals, a battle between the highest scoring teams in the division.
The full ‘Team of the Week’ outfit is complete with yet another inclusion from the kings in the north. The Trojans defence has only conceded 22 points in 4 games and they held the strong Dublin Rebels offence to only 8 points at Deramore Park. The Rebels are the 3rd best Offence in the SBC and the Trojans were able to hold them scoreless in the opening 3 quarters, before conceding in the dying embers of the game. To defeat an arch-rival by this amount takes an almost complete performance, and the defence did their part by forcing two fumbles and two interceptions.
– If there was a ‘Play of the Year’ category, this would certainly fit the bill. Moments of magic in football are breathtaking to watch, and one moment certainly came from Trojans Safety, Rick Duffield. After intercepting the ball and then shedding 3 or 4 would be tacklers, the Rebels finally thought they had the experienced safety down but at the last moment he was able to lateral the ball across to fellow safety Chris Mikhael, who had the simple task of strolling in for an easy touchdown! Rick had 2 interceptions in the game and was a standout on defence. Words can’t really describe how good the play was, you just had to be there!
– Running-Back Kevin Finnegan was a shining example in what was an under-par Rebels performance as he continued to put in hard yards throughout a difficult game. He wasn’t quite able to get over the line, however his all-round performance merited a touchdown.
– The James McKelvey/David Richardson combo continues to excel as their partnership again produced results, with another touchdown added to their collection. There is a number of very good Quarterback/Receiver partnerships in the league, but this one might just be the best!
– Niall Folan of the Minotaurs grabbed himself another touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to help Mullingar get their first win of the season. On a more positive note, Folan now has his 4th touchdown of the season and is the main threat of this aerial Minotaurs attack.