The Belfast Trojans hammered the Carrickfergus Knights 57-0 at Deramore Park to all but wrap up their playoff spot.
The Trojans were firing on all cylinders from the word go and the result was never in doubt against their local rivals. The win moves the reigning champions to 5-0 on the season and their spot on the playoffs is realistically sewn up.
Once again the defence put in a formidable performance, recording their third shutout of the season, with the special teams also contributing. Neil Montgomery opened the scoring after a fantastic Jonathan Siri punt return took the ball to the one-yard line.
Greg Gibson added a field goal soon after, before a Knights fumble gave the Trojans excellent field position again and it was Montgomery’s running back partner Matt Armstrong who would cap an excellent drive with a 25 yard touchdown run. Montgomery would add his second touchdown run shortly before the half as Belfast looked to put the game to bed early with the score 22-0 at the break.
The third quarter was heavily disrupted by penalties and lengthy refereeing conferences, but the first touchdown came via the reliable James McKelvey and David Richardson combination as the quarterback and receiver hooked up for their sixth touchdown connection of the season.
Veteran tight end Adrian Cassidy was then rewarded for his fine run blocking by catching a touchdown pass after a well-designed bootleg play to extend the advantage to 36-0. Armstrong would go on to reach his hatrick of touchdown runs in the fourth quarter, adding 45-yard and 3-yard scores.
The scoring was complete when the elusive Siri got his first chance at running back inside of two minutes. After a wonderful afternoon in the return game, the rookie capped an MVP performance by scoring his first rushing touchdown, once again beating a handful of Carrick tacklers on his way to the endzone.
It was another great afternoon for the three-times champions, with the second team also beating an improved Derry/Donegal Vipers outfit 60-20 in the second game of the double-header.
The 2nds return to action next week against the Galway Warriors, while the Trojan first squad get a week off ahead of the trip to Craigavon to take on the Cowboys on May 31st.