College Bowl 2010 – 20 November 2010 – Trinity College Dublin 12 UL Vikings 6 (3OT)
University of Limerick Vikings 6 Trinity College Dublin 12 (3OT) – In the longest ever American Football game played in Ireland, and also one of the greatest, Trinity College Dublin won the CUSAI College Bowl in 2010 with a 4 yard touchdown run by Rob McDowell after 3 periods of overtime and 3 hours, 45 minutes of Football. On the Vikings opening drive TCD’s Defensive end Ziad Foty managed to steal the ball and return it 30 yards before fumbling the ball while showboating, although to his credit he managed to recover the ball on the two yard line. Texan Quarterback Alex Canepa found his way into the endzone but it was called back for a penalty. Two plays later Rob McDowell managed to score the opening TD for Trinity. Limerick came out guns blazing but a staunch TCD Defensive Line, led by Danny O’Callaghan.
A powerful game of chess followed in the second quarter, with both teams playing very conservative football due to the conditions. Standouts for the defenses were Cornerback Brendan O’Sullivan and Texas A&M transfer student Outside Linebacker Hunter Inman (Trinity) and Brendan McCarthy, Mike O’Connor and Mark Ashworth (UL). Neither side got the break they were looking for and both teams left the field bruised at half time.
The third quarter saw the Vikings com out razor sharp and reloaded, Limerick’s Wide Receiver skipped a tackle and made his way into the endzone for the tying score. Teams traded blows but held firm on crucial plays. Trinity rotated QB’s James Marron and Alex Canepa and Running Backs Andrew Stanley and Garret Dargan (both Rookies) and Rob McDowell, but the deadlock was not broken by the end of the quarter. The fourth quarter ended with two bruised and sore teams tied at 6-6 as the game went into overtime.
Overtime started much like the second half with neither side budging an inch, then Wide Receiver Lorcan Mullen managed to recover a Trinity fumble on third down and return it 70 yards to the endzone to give Trinity an apparent victory, but alas a inadvertant whistle during the play gave Limerick a big break, and the TD did not stand. The first period of overtime ended with both teams still tied.
Both teams traded punts in the second period of overime, but Trinity’s was blocked and QB Ashworth had Limerick at the door. Their defensive line led by “Big Red” Stephen Carton held firm on three downs. Carton had four sacks on the day to earn the Most Valuable Player Award (MVP). UL brought out their kicker and Shamrock Bowl MVP Adrian Garvey to kick the game winning Field Goal, but it was mistakenly called wide right by the Officials, leaving a distraught UL to return to play.
A third period of overtime beckoned and Trinity returned fired up. At 3rd and 3 from the 25 yard line Trinity sent in their Kicker,and the ball went dead centre, but fell agonizingly six inches short. The game was now the longest ever Championship Game at any level of the sport in Ireland, and Limerick had another chance. The Vikings were pinned deep in their own redzone. Attempting a trick passing play it was tipped and intercepted by Carton, and he powered towards the endzone but a last minute tackle brought him down. Trinity sent on their offense to finish the game off and on second and goal from the four yard line Rob McDowell evaded tackles and powered into the endzone to give Trinity a 12-6 victory.
UL Head Coach Ciaran O’Sullivan beamed with pride at the performance of his players and Trinity Coach Darrin O’Toole thanked UL for a game for the ages. Later that night he lifted the Trophy at a ceremony and several colleges sent representatives to watch the match with a view to starting a team.
|At University of Limerick||Q1||Q2||Q3||Q4||OT1||OT2||OT3||Final|
|Trinity College Dublin||6||0||0||0||0||0||6||12|
|University of Limerick Vikings||0||0||6||0||0||0||0||6|
|TCD||Rob McDowell TD Run||6-0|
|TCD||Rob McDowell 4 yd Run||12-6|
About the American Football Ireland Intervarsity Championships
The Jordanstown Jaguars, based in Ulster University Jordanstown played in the first full season of the Irish American Football League in 1987. The Trinity Bowl, played from 1992-1995, was the first competition played in Irish Universities, although it did not involve College teams. The Irish Collegiate American Football Association was formed in 1993, and played a Flag Football Summer Bowl over the Summer Holidays, involving both College Students and non-College Students. From 1998 to 1999 the Queen’s University Belfast Broncos competed in the AFAI Irish Senior League, and in 1999 the University of Limerick Vikings were formed, initially as a Flag Football team, and then from 2001 onwards as a fully kitted team playing uin the resurrected IAFL.
The First Colleges and Universities Sports Association of Ireland (CUSAI) Kitted College Bowl was played in 2006, when there was more than one kitted College team for the first time, namely the University of Limerick Vikings and Dublin City University Saints. The College Championship became a three-team tournament involving the Trinity College Dublin Thunderbolts and the University College Dublin Sentinels in 2010 (DCU were no longer fielding a team). In 2014 the Irish American Football Association took over the running of the competition from CUSAI after the CUSAI became Student Sport Ireland and renamed the College Bowl the Intervarsity Championship.
 Wikipedia (2020) CUSAI Logo [Internet] Available from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/18/CUSAI-Logo-Only.jpg/220px-CUSAI-Logo-Only.jpg [Accessed 12 April 2020]
 Irish American Football League (2010) Trinity College win College Championship [Internet] Available from: http://americanfootball.ie/trinity-college-win-college-championship/ [Accessed 17 March 2017]
 Trinity News (2010) Trinity triumphant in Overtime thriller [Internet] Available from: http://trinitynews.ie/trinity-triumphant-in-overtime-thriller/ [Accessed 27 March 2018]
 NFL Ireland (2011) Week 2 Game Preview Trinity College v UL Vikings [Internet] Available from: http://nfl-ireland.com/iafl/7799-week2-game-preview-trinity-college-ul-vikings/ [Accessed 28 February 2017]
 Irish American Football League (2010) Trinity College win College Championship [Internet] Available from: http://web.archive.org/web/20120311102143/http://americanfootball.ie/trinity-college-win-college-championship/ [Accessed 17 March 2017]
 Irish American Football League (2010) Big-Red-649×650 [Internet] Available from: http://web.archive.org/web/20120526053249im_/http://www.americanfootball.ie/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Big-Red-649×650.jpg [Accessed 17 March 2017]
Thanks to Cillian Smith of the Irish American Football Association
About this document
Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the
Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive
Last Updated: 9 February 2021
(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2021
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