Trojans team up with The Botanic Inn.

The Belfast Trojans are delighted to announce that the historic Botanic Inn has come onboard as a major sponsor for the 2016 & 2017 seasons.

“The Bot” is a bona fide Belfast landmark , one of the city’s most vibrant night spots and the premier venue to watch live sports. This partnership will see the Botanic Inn become the social home of the Trojans and their growing army of supporters.

botsponsorpic

The partnership, which also involves The Botanic Inn’s sister property the Wellington Park Hotel, offers the opportunity for the Trojans to grow their following within the Belfast area whilst also offering accommodation opportunities for the increasing number of international teams that are keen to come to Northern Ireland to take on the four-time national champions.

The Trojans are also delighted to announce that in 2017 we will be bringing the incredible Belfast Trojans Super Bowl party to the Botanic Inn and Wellington Park Hotel. Ireland’s biggest event of it’s kind and the first true standout party of the year will be bigger, better and accessible to an even greater number of the burgeoning community of American Football fans across Northern Ireland.

We are immensely excited by this opportunity to grow hand in hand with a Belfast institution like the Botanic Inn, we are sure that the partnership will see the Trojans continue to go from strength to strength.

Pictured: Botanic Inn manager Gerry Webb shakes hands with Trojans Chairman Barry Keil outside the famous venue.

Vikings defeat Trojans in Limerick

The Belfast Trojans fell to a narrow 16-13 defeat to the University of Limerick Vikings to drop to 4-1 on the 2016 season.

In just their second SBC loss in five years, the Trojans fought hard but were forced to rue mistakes at critical times losing a nail biter to the Vikings squad at the UL Sports Ground.

Mark McVeigh made his first start for Belfast at quarterback and led the team admirably in the absence of James McKelvey, throwing two touchdowns, both to David Colvin, but it wasn’t enough as a Sean Sheehy field goal with less than six minutes remaining would be enough for the hosts.

Both defences dominated early, but it was the Vikings who got on the board first, with some power running from Shane Gleeson and some shoddy tackling by the Trojans D allowing UL to move into the redzone. From there, Ian Cahill found his wide receiver on a slant route and he crossed for six to take the lead.

The Trojans responded midway through the second quarter. On a third down and long, the pass protection held up superbly and McVeigh heaved one up and Colvin miraculously came down with the ball despite being blanketed by three Viking defenders and he took it the rest of the way to kick start the Trojans offence.

There was still time for UL to retake the lead before the half, a strong run up the middle making it 13-6 at the break to the hosts.

The second half became a stop-start affair with a number of penalties disrupting play. Late in the third quarter the Trojans would respond. After a fumble recovery by Mark McGrath gave Belfast great field position, McVeigh found Colvin whose defender slipped allowing him space to weave past another two men and draw the Trojans level.

Into the fourth quarter and it was UL who would ease ahead with a superb 30 yard field goal from Sheehy. There was still ample time for the Trojans to respond and they did superbly driving up the field with solid running from Jona Siri and Matt Armstrong. However there would be a fumbled exchange on one hand off caused by disruptive linebacker Adrian Garvey and that gave back the ball to Limerick.

Credit the Belfast defence though they would conjure up a fantastic three-and-out with linebackers Neil Graham and Jonny McConnell stuffing the run and Alex Kusmirek breaking up a pass on third down.

So with less than two minutes to go the Trojans knew a touchdown would give them the win. A roughing the pass call was a big help to the Trojans which was followed by a nice swing pass to Siri out the backfield to move them well into UL territory. Another 15 yard penalty followed and the second ejection of the game for a Viking player after an unnecessary roughness call on Dave Richardson going over the middle.

However an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Trojans wiped out that penalty and on the next play that would be all she wrote. McVeigh looked left on the single coverage to Jack Millar with a deep ball but the pass was short and inside and easily picked off by defensive back Sheehy sealing the victory.

Limerick notched their first win over the Trojans in their fifth attempt to move to 5-0 on the season. If all goes to plan and the Trojans bounce back to winning form we could be set for an epic Shamrock Bowl in August.

Champions stand firm & shutout NKR.

The Belfast Trojans strengthened their grip in the SBC North division as they beat the North Kildare Reapers 48-0 at Deramore Park.

Despite resting a number of starters on defence after a tough game with Sewanee college last week the unit performed superbly, shutting out a useful Reapers offensive attack. It was David Colvin who opened the scoring for the Trojans, hauling in a short pass on third down before eluding a would-be tackler and scampering another 60 yards for the first touchdown of the day.

Soon after and it was David Richardson getting on the board after a perfectly thrown pass by James McKelvey, the receiver hauling in a textbook over the shoulder grab and crossing for six. Colvin added his second of the game midway through the second quarter with McKelvey locating the single coverage and dropping it over the top with precision to make it 20-0. More stout work from the Belfast defence allowed the Trojans another offensive drive and a trademark short yardage plunge from Neil Montgomery made it 27-0 at halftime.

Although there were some early mistakes in the second half the Trojans soon the specials teams took over, with Jona Siri scoring yet another punt return touchdown after some fantastic running and downfield blocking. The Trojans spread the scoring around with Matt Armstong finally notching halfway through the final quarter and there was time for rookie back Jake Warry to get on the scoresheet to round off the Belfast domination.

There were signs of a flat performance from the reigning champions, coming so soon after the epic clash with Sewanee and upcoming game the UL Vikings , however the result was never in doubt and the Trojans will be ready to fire on all cylinders when they travel to Limerick for the game of the season so far on Saturday 28th May.

PHOTO: Bob Given Photography

Tigers tame Trojans in epic encounter at Deramore Park.

The Belfast Trojans fell to a narrow defeat this past weekend, losing 27-20 to visiting American college team the Sewanee Tigers.

It was a valiant effort from the four-time reigning champions, a performance and scoreline that will go down in the history of the game on these shores. The NCAA Div III Tigers were impressive with both sides of the ball performing at a level rarely seen in this country. Their defence gave the Belfast offence difficulties all day, while their offence was relentless in pounding the ball as well as finding tall receivers on the outside.

It was Sewanee who opened the scoring a superbly thrown deep ball caught by a wide receiver in the corner of the endzone. In the 2nd quarter and it was 14-0 on a similar play, with again their receiver who eclipsed the 6 foot mark going up and snagging the ball despite the blanket coverage by Trojans cornerback James Gallagher. However the Trojans showed they weren’t here to be in awe of the American squad and responded before the break. James McKelvey found rookie Jack Millar in the corner of the endzone and the rookie did the rest to cut the deficit. Into the 2nd half and it was the Tigers who added to the scoreboard first, with a tough run from their running back punching it in from close.

The moment of the game, however, was soon to follow and if you see a better touchdown in any form of football this year you will be doing well. On the ensuing kick off, Matt Armstrong fielded the ball and took a few steps forward. He then hit the brakes and laterally passed the ball to Jona Siri on the other side of the field. Siri then put the foot on the gas and weaved through the Tigers kickoff unit with some fantastic blocking. The home crowd went wild and Siri’s highlight went viral. David Colvin scored with less than two minutes remaining to make the score 27-20 to Sewanee, a smart grab on a post route with McKelvey putting the ball on a dime.

That was all she wrote, though, as Sewanee ran out the clock, handing the Trojans their first loss of the season, albeit a heroic performance from Belfast against a team with such resources and knowhow. A fantastic day was had by all the visiting Tigers squad, staff and parents and indeed the hundreds of spectators that enjoyed their day out at Deramore Park watching American Football in Ireland.

The Trojans return to SBC action this Sunday at home to the North Kildare Reapers with kick off at 2pm.

PHOTO: IAN HUMES

Trojans pass tough Dublin test.

The Belfast Trojans moved to 3-0 on the season with a hard-fought 25-8 win over the much-improved Dublin Rebels in Santry.

The Rebels pushed the four-time reigning champions all the way, but it was a game the Trojans always seemed in control of after grabbing the early lead. This allowed their stout defence to hold Dublin to just one score on the afternoon.

It was very much a case of bend-don’t-break on defence for Belfast, with the defensive line severely depleted due to injury and unavailability. Despite giving up a few chunk plays to impressive Rebel running back Wello Omo, the Trojans defence made huge stops at the right times and constantly terrorised quarterback Andy Dennehy in passing situations. The Trojans opened the scoring on their first drive. After some strong running by Jona Siri, Belfast found themselves in a long third and goal situation.

With plenty of coverage being rolled over the top of Dave Colvin and Dave Richardson on one side, James McKelvey looked the other way to rookie Jack Millar and the 18-year-old climbed the ladder to haul in the pass and keep the feet in bounds, a stunning catch from a player in just his third game of American football.

A superb interception from Rick Duffield on an errant throw from Dennehy soon gave the Trojans fantastic field position and it was Neil Montgomery doubling the score, rumbling in from 10 yards out for a trademark rushing score. After a pair of early picks, Dennehy settled in and orchestrated a superb Dublin drive, Omo and Sean Leamy running some perfectly executed draws and screens, with the former South Dublin Panther Omo crossing from 15 yards out around the right side to make it 12-8.

Just before the break though the Trojans hit back and it was Siri with the touchdown, a fantastic 50 yard run enhancing his MVP claims already in this young season. Into the third quarter and both offences stalled somewhat. The Trojans went three-and-out on their first drive, while the Rebels were able to move the ball between the 20’s but inside the redzone the Belfast defence stiffened and turned the ball over on downs.

The game was still in the balance with around six minutes left in the final quarter before the ever-reliable partnership of McKelvey and Richardson put the final nail into the Rebel coffin. A fantastic play action pass from the quarterback found last year’s leading SBC scorer wide open, before scampering 50 yards untouched for the touchdown.

The game ended 25-8 to the Trojans, a perfect warm up for their historic clash with American outfit the Sewanee Tigers on May 14 at Deramore Park.

PHOTO: PixlFlix

Despite big scoring, the Trojans won’t settle for complacency

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.

PHOTO: PixlFlix