A turnover laden performance did for the Belfast Trojans as they lost 27-12 to the reigning champion Cork Admirals at Deramore Park.
The Trojans turned the ball over six times against the visitors and that was all she wrote as 2018 Shamrock Bowl winners showed their class to emerge victorious.
It was a slow start for the Trojans as Cork jumped out to a 14-0 lead, a lead they wouldn’t relinqiush for the rest of the afternoon.
Stephen Hayes under centre for Cork was making good decisions as he attacked a Belfast secondary and two touchdowns through the air got the Admirals on top early, as the Trojan offence just couldn’t gain any traction.
However the second quarter was when the hosts attack woke up. After the early struggles running the ball, a more pass heavy approach was taken and this was when Mark McVeigh was able to get the ball into the hands of Dave Richardson and Tom Morris who proved to be huge threats all day.
Indeed it was Richardson who gave the Trojans a foothold on third and goal as he only need one hand to snag a perfectly thrown goaline fade from McVeigh to get the hosts on the board.
Into the second half though is when it all unravelled. After a three and out to start the half for Belfast, the Admirals seized control of the game. They extended their lead with another touchdown pass although the referee seemingly missed a blatant offensive push off from the receiver.
The Trojans offence was able to move the ball between the 20’s but interceptions killed them when they got into scoring range.
Cork extended the lead to 27-6 late in the fourth quarter, effectively killing the game as a contest. The Trojans dug in though and responded with an interception of their own, this set up good field position and more good yards from Richardson led to Jona Siri bursting through for a 12 yard score.
More interceptions killed any potential late Trojan rally and it was the Cork Admirals who ran out worthy winners in the end after playing a smart, mistake free game.
The Trojans now must take stock and regroup ahead of the second half of the season. They next be in action in another exhibition game however as they welcome the Augustana Vikings, from Illinois, USA, in what should be another fantastic display of American Football.