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Trojans search for new talent at Belfast Tryouts

The Belfast Trojans continue their preparations for the 2018 season with two open tryout sessions where new players, both experienced and inexperienced will get the chance to join Northern Ireland’s most successful American Football club.

If you are male, over the age of 18 and interested in taking on a new challenge then this is the opportunity for you.

The open sessions will take place at Aquinas 3G pitches just off the Ravenhill Road in Belfast on Sunday October 8th and Sunday October 15th 2017. Registration will open for new players at 9:30am and the training sessions will begin at 10:00am.

Trojan Coaches will put newcomers through a variety of football drills designed to identify the players who have what it takes to be a Trojan. We are looking for players with all levels of experience and in all positions. There’s a chance there for everyone as long as you show up willing to compete.

New players only need to attend one of these sessions to be considered for the team. No equipment is necessary apart from outdoor training gear and shoes suitable for wear on a 3G surface.

See you there. Get ready to be a Trojan!

Trojans team with QUB American Sports Society for Tryout event

The Belfast Trojans are delighted to team up with the Queens University American Sports Society to provide coaches for their Try American Football event at the Queens PEC at 6:00pm on Monday October 2nd 2017.

Trojan Coaches will be on hand to run participants through drills that highlight the challenge and fun to be had playing American Football. This event is open to both males and females and all you require is some training gear suitable for some outside exercise.

If you’re looking for something new to try this could be the chance to get involved in one of the fastest growing sports in Europe. Click the link below for further event details

https://www.facebook.com/events/1905219639797989/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%22108%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D

2017 Season starts with a win.

The Belfast Trojans kicked off their 2017 season with a thrilling 49-34 victory over University College Dublin.

The game was a rematch of the 2016 SBC semi final, but in stark contrast to that low-scoring 10-7 Belfast win, this was an offensive shootout with both teams piling up the yards and points.

Both quarterbacks were firing on all cylinders, with Trojans’ Mark McVeigh and UCD’s Tom Donovan finding receivers with precise accuracy.

It was the Trojans who opened the scoring on their first offensive play from scrimmage. It was 2016 MVP Jona Siri who got his year off to the perfect start. The running back bounced a run off right tackle to the edge, before displaying his trademark speed to out run a number of UCD defenders and open the scoring from over 60 yards out. The Trojans defence continued their good start to the game with Neil Graham notching a sack of Donovan. A good punt pinned the Trojans deep but a fantastic 85 yard drive was capped when full back Jake Warry ploughed in from close range to double the lead.

Belfast would add to the lead in the second quarter. McVeigh was spreading the ball around nicely with rookie Aidan Gribbon catching a ball in the endzone and expertly dragging his feet, meaning his first career catch went for six points. It would soon be 28-0 when another new boy Adam Cole snagged a ball in the endzone to cap another smart Trojans drive. UCD bounced back soon after though, Donovan leading the students down the field to get off the mark.

The halftime score was 35-6 though as Mohamed Ramadan added to the offensive outburst catching an out route before taking it in from close range to score his first career touchdown. After the break UCD came back with a bang. The 28 point deficit was quickly reduced to seven with around 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Donovan was on fire in the second half, evading pressure, scrambling for yards as well as keeping his eyes downfield and finding and open receiver.

The Trojans offence though took over, after a stuttering third quarter. Jona Siri returned to the game after leaving just before halftime and he sparked the offence back to life with some solid running. McVeigh found David Richardson deep down the right sideline and the veteran was shoved out of bounds at the two yard line, with an unfortunate injury being suffered by a UCD defender. Siri took it in from two yards to restore the two score advantage before a 40 minute stoppage as the injured UCD player could be taken to hospital.

After the restart the Trojans turned the ball over on the very first play. A botched handoff between Donovan and his running back saw rookie defensive lineman Ross Thain dive on the loose ball giving the Trojans excellent field position to kill the game. Siri again made no mistake and brought up his hatrick with another strong run to cap a fantastic day for the star running back. Not even a late UCD consolation score could take the shine off a great start to the season for the Trojans, as they look to climb back to the top.

Belfast will be back in action on Sunday 26 March as they make another trip south to take on student opposition in the form of Trinity College Dublin.

Photo: Bob Given Photography. 

Bowl streak halted by Rebels

Ireland has new Shamrock Bowl champions after the Dublin Rebels beat the Belfast Trojans 12-7 in Shamrock Bowl 30 at Tallaght Stadium.

As is typical with finals in the majority of sports nowadays, the game was a nervy affair with so much at stake. However it was the Rebels who would make the timely play with just 13 seconds remaining to win the game. Dublin Quarterback Andy Dennehy 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 sideline. With 10 seconds left on the clock the game was effectively over, and with it the Trojans four-year reign as Irish Champions.

The game was littered with Trojan turnovers. First David Colvin had the ball knocked out after taking in a swing pass, before miscommunication between David Richardson and James McKelvey led to two interceptions. Of all the times for the Trojan offence to splutter, this couldn’t have been a worse time.

The Rebels took the lead near the end of the first quarter. Despite 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 went to the air and found his receiver on an in route for the opening touchdown. It was 6-0 at the break and the Trojans were in desperate need of finding a spark.

However it was a completely different tale the second half. Out came the Trojans 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 the ground was capped by Montgomery as he ploughed over from in close to put the Trojans up 7-6.

A tight defensive battle ensued but the Trojans were still finding a way to help the Rebels, with a fumble by Montgomery once again giving the Dublin outfit excellent field position. The Belfast defence, despite being put in tough situations all day, were outstanding however, keeping the Rebels out of the endzone.

The turning point in the game came inside two minutes. Another untimely fumble by the 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 Dennehy put the final nail in the Trojans coffin as he found Fitzpatrick to put the Rebels 12-7 ahead and end Belfast’s four-year domination.

The Trojans, forever humble in defeat, clapped the new champions up to the podium as they lifted the Shamrock Bowl trophy in front of a decent crowd at Tallaght.

squad2016

They may be down but they certainly aren’t out. European competition beckons for the Trojans at the end of September in Luxembourg, before an autumn of rest ahead of the start of the 2017 season where the four-time champions will aim to make the climb back to the top and prove themselves a true dynasty.

PHOTOS: PixlFlix