The Belfast Trojans beat the South Dublin Panthers 63-7 in dominating fashion to move to 2-0 on the 2016 season.
It was another comfortable win for the Trojans who were firing on all cylinders from the first whistle, in their SBC home opener at Deramore Park. Once again it was The Jonathan Siri Show as the running back and kick returner scored four all-purpose touchdowns to lead the way for the four-time reigning Shamrock Bowl Champions.
Siri opened the scoring on the first offensive drive with a 30 yard run, stiff arming one defender and breaking down the right sideline for six points, the PAT added by Rick Duffield. The returning David Richardson extended the lead on a touchdown grab that showed the clockwork timing between himself and quarterback James McKelvey goes from strength to strength. Siri punched one in from close range after a neat Michael Kane interception, his first since joining the Trojans from nearby rivals Carrickfergus, and it was 28-0 at the half with another Trojan newcomer, former Ulster Rugby forward Neil McComb using his tall frame to climb the ladder and haul in a perfectly thrown touchdown pass from McKelvey.
The second half was strange in the fact the Belfast offence didn’t see the field for the whole of the third quarter! That man Siri again took the opening kickoff return back to the house before the Panthers punted it, somewhat foolishly, to the same man in the ensuing drive and number 12 did the rest.
The Trojans defence surrendered their first points of the season at the end of the third as injuries took their toll, with a nice touchdown pass and catch by the Panthers getting them seven on the board. Another punt return touchdown, this time by Matt Armstrong, was added by the Trojans and there was still time though in the fourth for promising rookie Jack Millar to catch his first touchdown pass, showing nice feet to stay in bounds. Conor Fearon reeled in backup quarterback Mark McVeigh’s pass to complete the scoring and the comprehensive victory for the Trojans.
There’s no rest for Belfast as they the make their first journey to Dublin this coming Sunday to take on old rivals the Rebels. The Rebels have started the season well, beating both Carrickfergus and the Panthers in comfortable fashion, but the date with the Trojans will be a much tougher test than either of those squads.