Shamrock Bowl XXVIII Preview

Shamrock Bowl Final Preview:

The biggest game in Irish American Football is nearly upon us. This Sunday, two of the countries best teams will compete for the Shamrock Bowl at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin to be crowned the 2014 National Champions. Who will prevail?

The reigning and defending Champions, The Belfast Trojans will be heading to Dublin to take on Trinity College Dublin in a battle that will determine who leaves with the coveted Waterford Crystal bowl in their hands. These two sides have built a competitive rivalry over the last two seasons, with the Trojans defeating the students in the Atlantic Cup Final last term, and with Trinity ending the Belfast sides unbeaten run earlier in the season. Over the course of the year, these sides have proved they deserve their place in the final, but ultimately, only one team can be crowned champions!

The Belfast Trojans

McKelvey and his offence. Photo by Alyssia McAnee


Season Results: (7-1)                                                           Scoring Charts:

A: Carrickfergus Knights– W 28-13                   Passing: James McKelvey – 14 TD’s

A: Craigavon Cowboys– W 28-0

H: Craigavon Cowboys– W 56-0                        Rushing: David Colvin – 5 TD’s

A: West Dublin Rhinos– W 19-6

H: Trinity College– L 18-0                                   Receiving: David Richardson – 6 TD’s

H: Dublin Dragons– W 35-0

A: Dublin Rebels– W 34-19                                  Kicker: Rick Duffield – 5 XP’s  1 FG

H: Carrickfergus Knights- W 50-0

Semi Final: UL Vikings– W 28-6                           Defence: Jon-Erik Talvio – 2 TD’s


QB James McKelvey will be looking to get his players fired up for the final and with key weapons Dave Colvin and David Richardson back having missed the last encounter, the Trojans will be extremely strong on offence. With the mix of experience and young blood on the offensive line that have been very impressive in their first year, coupled with the variety of aerial and rushing threats, the offence has plenty of fire power heading into the final.


Intensity, desire, commitment; there’s no shortage of words to describe the leagues best defence. With numerous shutouts, interceptions and defensive scores this term, the Trojans ‘D’ are a threat all over the field. Their defensive line is disruptive, their linebackers are hard-hitting and with their ball-hawking secondary, the defence has all the ingredients to stop a rampaging Trinity offence.

Trinity College Dublin

Rob Mc Dowell & the impressive Trinity O-Line. Photo by Charisse Mae Ducao
Season Results: (8-0)                                                      Scoring Charts:

H: UL Vikings– W 34-9                                     Passing: Dan Finnamore – 19 TD’s

H: West Dublin Rhinos– W 27-0

H: Carrickfergus Knights– W 27-18                  Rushing: Rob McDowell – 20 TD’s

A: Craigavon Cowboys– W 25-6

A: Belfast Trojans– W 18-0                              Receiving: Daniel Murphy – 7 TD’s

H: North Kildare Reapers– W 52-21

A: Waterford Wolves– W 34-0                         Kicking: Conor McGinn – 26 XP’s 3 FG’s

A: West Dublin Rhinos– W 53-6

Semi Final: Dublin Rebels– W 47-8                Defence: Alex Gurnee – 1 TD



Trinity’s offence has been dominating teams all season. Finnamore topped the passing charts in his first season in Trinity colours, and Rob McDowell reminded the league why he is the top running back in the league. The young, yet disciplined offensive-line has been excellent, providing Finnamore with time in the pocket to pick out his array of receivers. Trinity has been scoring points for fun this term, and it will take a lot to stop them this Sunday.


The limelight that has shone on the offence this year has somewhat overshadowed Trinity’s efforts on defence; but they have been equally as impressive. They have conceded no more that 78 points all season, backing up their offence with a defence that can stop some of the best teams in the league. They will have a huge task in stopping the Trojan’s ‘O’ from scoring, but their talent across the field is capable of matching anybody on their day.


Shamrock Bowl XXVIII sets the stage for the best two teams in Ireland, when either the Belfast Trojans or Trinity College Dublin will walk out National Champions. This game has got the makings to be something special; its First versus Second, South Division Champions versus North Division Champions, the leagues best Offence versus the leagues best Defence, the Students versus the Green Machine. Will the 2-time champion’s the Trojans defend their crown? Or will Trinity win their first Shamrock Bowl in the clubs history! It is going to be an exciting final!

Kick-off: 3pm at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin on August 10th.
Tickets are available on

– €8 for adults, €5 for children
Alternatively, tickets can be purchased from your local American Football club.

Shamrock Bowl Breakdown Part 3: Trinity College Dublin

Rob McDowell & Dan Finnamore in action in Santry this season. Photo by Charisse Mae Ducao

With the first semi final preview done and dusted, we move swiftly  on to the remaining two teams, beginning with the undefeated, Trinity College Dublin. TCD have had a terrific year, winning each of their 8 games and putting up some impressive scores on offence. They have tallied up 270 points this season, averaging over 33 points a game, helping them seal the number 1 seed heading into the playoff’s. With a young, quick and athletic side, Trinity have a squad capable to match anybody and will prove to be the team to beat this year.

Regular Season

Trinity started with the annual College Bowl game when they defeated rivals, UL Vikings 34-9 in a tough season opener. Hard fought victories against the Rhinos, Knights and Cowboys put TCD in a strong position before their journey up to Belfast to take on the reigning champions, the Trojans. A close encounter was separated by 3 blockbuster touchdowns, by none other than Rob McDowell, who guided Trinity to an 18-0 victory against the current champions. Dominant displays against Waterford Wolves and the North Kildare Reapers put Trinity on pace to top the division and claim the top seeding in the Shamrock Bowl Conference.

Key Players

RB- Rob McDowell: With 16 rushing TD’s, 2 Special Teams TD’s and numerous MVP awards, the newly christened ‘Human Highlight Reel’ had a season to remember!

QB- Dan Finnamore: Finnamore’s move from Drogheda Lightning transformed Trinity’s offence this year. In his debut season, he topped the passing charts as the highest scoring Quarterback with 18 TD’s.

WR- Daniel Murphy: Trinity posses several threats at receiver, with Alex Gurnee and David Lunn contributing to numerous scores. However, Murphy finished top out of the TCD receivers with 6 receptions.

O/Line: The offensive line worked tirelessly all season. They have played a key role in Trinity’s performances, allowing Finnamore consistent time in the pocket and should be credited for their efforts as a unit.

Post Season

By clinching the Southern Division, Trinity bypassed the wildcard round and went straight through to the semi final stage. The second game on July 27th will pit two of Dublin’s strongest sides against each other as TCD take on the Dublin Rebels in Westmanstown. After impressing throughout the regular season, there will be a strong belief in the Trinity College camp that they can transfer their good form into the playoff’s, to ensure they reach their first ever Shamrock Bowl final. The Rebels will prove to be a difficult opposition, but if Trinity can perform to the level they have been playing all season, then this game could swing in the students favour. The game kicks off at 3pm, at Garda RFC in Westmanstown, Dublin.