The Belfast Trojans beat the University of Limerick Vikings 10-0 in the semi-final of the Shamrock Bowl conference to reach their fourth Shamrock Bowl final in as many years.
Weather conditions resembled the middle of December rather than the middle of July at Deramore Park, which made it a struggle for both offences. However it was the three-time reigning champions who coped best and now have their sights set on lifting their fourth consecutive championship.
The opponents at Dalymount Park on 9 August will once again be Trinity College Dublin, who beat the Dublin Rebels 22-0 in the first semi final. The bowl will be a repeat of last year’s showpiece in which Belfast ran out narrow 7-0 winners.
A Gregory Gibson field goal was the only scoring done in the first half of the fixture, with both teams relying heavily on the ground game as the greasy conditions meant holding onto the ball was a challenge in itself.
Into the second half and it was again the strong running of Neil Montgomery and Matt Armstrong that carried the Trojan threat. More strong work up front led the Trojans into the redzone and quarterback James McKelvey would sneak it across the line for a touchdown to extend the lead to 10-0.
Limerick’s run game was constantly snuffed out by the menacing presence of Patrick Mc Elkerney and Christophe Perret in the heart of the Trojans D-line, forcing the students to go to the air more than they would likely have wanted given the desperate conditions.
However the Vikings should have been back in it halfway through the final quarter as signal caller Ian Cahill’s deep pass was on the money to his wide receiver but the ball slipped the hands and to the ground.
From there the Trojans took over the game chewing up the clock to get over the line. It was another fantastic performance from the Champions who once again showed they have what it takes to win tough games no matter what the elements throw at them.
The Shamrock Bowl final is on 9 August at Dalymount Park, home of Bohemians FC of the Airtricity Premier Division. Tickets can be purchased at://www.eventbrite.ie/…/shamrock-bowl-xxix-emerald-bowl…