SHAMROCK BOWL XXX CHAMPIONS!
Ireland has new Shamrock Bowl champions after the Dublin Rebels beat the Belfast Trojans 12-7 in Shamrock Bowl 30 at Tallaght Stadium.
On Sunday 7th August 2016, the 30th Shamrock Bowl took place in Tallaght Stadium. In what was always going to be a record breaking game with The Dublin Rebels going for their eight National Title against the defending champions The Belfast Trojans aiming for their fifth National Title in a row. The game was a nervy affair with so much at stake for both teams. However it was the Dublin Rebels who would come out on top at the final whistle with a scoreline of 12-7.
The game started slowly with both defences stopping the offences with 3 and outs. The Rebels however took the lead near the end of the first quarter. After getting down to the goal line, the Rebels offence ran into the stiff wall of the Trojans defence as they tried to run the ball in, but on fourth down Dennehy, changed it up and went to the air and found his receiver Keane on an in route for the opening touchdown. As they had done for most of the season the Rebels went for 2 extra points but on this time they were stopped by a strong Trojan Defence. However, it would be the rebels defence that would stand out in the first half with numerous turnovers, forcing fumbles and two interceptions, one of which was almost ran back to the Trojan’s goal-line by Conrad Cook who would end up being the games MVP. As It was, the game was poised at 6-0 at the break and the Rebels were in buoyant mood going in at half-time.
However it was a completely different tale the second half. The Trojans Offence came out firing on all cylinders to score on their opening drive and take back momentum. An 80 yard drive, with Jona Siri and Neil Montgomery churning out tough yards against a Rebels defence that just didn’t seem to come back out after the half. The drive was capped by Montgomery as he ploughed over the Rebels goal-line from in close to level the game 6-6. The Trojans however opted to kick on the PAT and converted, taking the lead with a score of 6-7
A tight defensive battle ensued but the Rebels defence came out on top once more, forcing a fumble by Montgomery once again giving their Offence excellent field position. Unfortunately the Belfast defence, despite being put in tough situations all day, held on to keep the Rebels out of the end-zone once again.
The turning point in the game came inside two minutes. Another forced fumble by the Rebels defence on Trojans signal caller McKelvey meant the Rebels would get the ball back with a chance to win the game. They moved the ball down to 22 yard line before facing a fourth down. A hand off to Wello Omo over the left side was met by a hoard of Trojan defenders and it looked as though the running back was short of the line to gain. However the chains were brought on and the Rebels had picked up the first down by the nose of the football. It meant the drive continued and would eventually allow Dennehy to make the timely play with just 13 seconds remaining to win the game. The Rebel’s veteran Quarterback slotted the ball between two Trojan Linebackers to receiver Ciarán Fitzpatrick on an inside seam route and he took it in from 18 yards out to spark wild celebrations on the Rebels side-line. The Dublin Rebels win the 2016 title and make history with their record breaking 8th National Title.