Belfast American Football Writing

I write a column on American Football for a local paper - here you can read the reports a couple of days before they go in print; and my confused waffles...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Knights’ road win

THE Carrickfergus Knights took the points from last week’s road game against the Dublin City University Saints with a 36-14 win that should set the side up for an improvement in fortunes after a shaky start.

However, in a balanced game that produced two turnovers for the Knights’ defence and an impressive offensive performance, the side will be concerned to concede a 69-yard TD run and a 70 yard plus passing TD.

Scorers for Carrick included two TD passes from quarterback Adam Deveney to Ian McIlroy and Paul McKillop. Linebacker David Antuna notched up a safety. McIlroy, Deveney and David Wright all recorded running touchdowns. Wright’s score was a 67-yard run.

In other weekend games the University of Limerick Vikings continued their good early run of form with a 22-6 win over the Dublin City Marshals, while Cork Admirals and Dublin Dragons battled out a 6-6 tie.

On Sunday the Belfast Bulls will be trying to get their season back on track when they host the Marshals at Deramore Park, while the Admirals travel to Limerick.

In the NFL Europe the impressive run of the Amsterdam Admirals continues after their 30-21 win over Rhein. Cologne and Frankfurt also recorded wins.

Amsterdam now have a 5-1 record for the season, with Rhein and Frankfurt 4-2 so far.

In the NFL the will he/won’t he debate over Brett Favre’s future with the Green Bay Packers seems to be over after the veteran QB signed on for the new season, seemingly encouraged by Green Bay activity in the free agency market.

They have also landed DB Charles Woodson from the Raiders and tackle Kendrick Allen from the NY Giants.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Crucial weeks for northern teams

THE next three weeks are crucial weeks for Northern Ireland’s American Football teams, the Belfast Bulls and the Carrickfergus Knights.

Both teams are winless so far, and this week’s Easter break offers the sides a chance to reflect before launching, what both sides hope will be an effective challenge to the southern dominance.

First up will be the Knights on 23rd April when they travel to meet the Dublin City University Saints, who, like the Bulls have a 0-2 record.

The Bulls must wait until the end of the month to try and resurrect their season when they host the Dublin City Marshals who so far have played one, lost one.

In the NFL Europe this week sees a clash between the top two teams when the unbeaten Rhein Fire take on their nearest rivals, the 3-1 Amsterdam Admirals.

What makes this such an exciting prospect is that the two teams accumulated 69 points between them last week, with little sign of coherent defence. All indications are that it will be a high-scoring contest for top spot.

And in the NFL itself it may be the off-season, but activity is intense as the final preparations and negotiations for the 2006 Draft get underway. This is the process which sees teams select next year’s rookies based on the worst team getting first pick.

But some teams aren’t waiting for their debutante’s arrival. The Green Bay Packers, with uncertainty still clouding legendary QB Brett Favre’s future after a disastrous season, have seen a massive player turn-out at pre-season conditioning.

Almost the entire roster has been turning out.

“This is the most guys I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said five-year Packers’ defensive end Aaron Kampman. After undergoing a 4-12 season, the Pack is anxious to turn things around. No doubt this is a lesson in determination many teams, professional or amateur could learn from.