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...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Knights challenge for final place

THE Carrickfergus Knights last week earned home advantage in their semi-final game against the University of Limerick Vikings on August 6th, thanks to a 13-7 victory over the Dublin Dragons.

The County Antrim American Football team ended the regular season with a 6-2 record, grabbing runners-up spot in the table in the process.

The Belfast Bulls narrowly missed out on post-season football.

They were unable to capitalise on the Knights victory over the Dragons, losing out 42-0 against the Cork Admirals, who grabbed fourth spot in the process.

Cork now face the Dublin Rebels in the second semi-final - a game that they enter as heavy underdogs.

Carrick almost ended up with that unenviable fixture. Leading by 13 clear points they conceded a late converted touchdown to the Dragons.

With the clock ticking down Dublin attempted an onside kick, which the Knights' special teams recovered to end the tie.

The winners of the semis will compete in Shamrock Bowl XX, to be played at Sportslink, Santry, Dublin on Sunday August 20th.

On paper it seems that Carrick have a good shot at reaching that game, but Limerick have proved themselves no fools on the pitch, with a record, particularly earlier in the season that was without match.

However, they are not as good on the road. The early season sharpness seems to have deserted them and it has been a long time since they kitted up for a competitive game.

The Knights will hope that this leads to a lack of sharpness and not added freshness for the Vikings.