Unbeaten Minotaurs face Trinity this Sunday in ‘game of the week in Irish American Football'
Everyone in the Midlands American Football community can’t help but think... is this finally the year?
After seven previous seasons of learning through the pain of losing, growing the club, relentless training, and steady improvement, the Minotaurs are poised to make their mark on American Football in Ireland.
They are currently unbeaten through the first half of the season.
Westmeath Minotaurs Amercian Football Club. Photos by Thomas Casey.
Last year’s season and playoff run ended early with a loss in the wildcard round to the eventual champion West Dublin Rhinos.
That game saw the team uncharacteristically push the self-destruct button with sloppy play, and they earned themselves devastating drive killing penalties.
The demons of that disappointing loss seem to have been exorcised in 2019.
The current season that started on St Patrick’s Day in Athlone with a convincing win against the Galway Warriors has continued to demonstrate the potential of the Westmeath club to make a serious run at the championship of the Irish American Football League #1.
The proof is in the statistics.
The Minotaurs have outscored their opponents by 182 to 16 points.
The defensive unit turned in three shutout games and limited last year’s most powerful offense, the Wexford Eagles, to only 16 points.
The difference this year is not solid defensive play, which Westmeath teams have always been noted for, but the efficiency of the offense which is now attacking every part of the field, making it hard for opposing defences to focus their efforts in any one area.
The passing game has exploded with Joe Kinahan, from Kinnegad, stepping in as the starting quarterback.
The wide receiver corps is pulling in 20 and 30 yard passes regularly which has opened up a running game that Mullingar men Andrew Paton and Rafael Monterio have taken full advantage to the tune of over 600 ground yards at the halfway point.
Special teams have been flawless with return man Jack Lynch most recently returning a punt for a 60-yard sprint.
All this Minotaur momentum will run smack into the only other undefeated team, Trinity College Dublin, this Sunday at 2pm at the Trinity College Sports Grounds in Santry.
So far this season no team has been able to handle Trinity’s exceptional athletes and superb all round execution.
This is the game of the week in Irish American Football and a titanic struggle will no doubt ensue as both teams attempt to retain the coveted rank of unbeaten.