Last Sunday Craigavon Cowboys welcomed Carrickfergus Knights in a Pre-Season friendly to Portadown Park in preperation for the 2015 Irish American Football League Season where both teams compete in the top tier (Shamrock Bowl Conferance).
The game kicked off with both teams struggling to get much offensive pressure and but it was the Cowboys that got the first point on the board in the 2nd quarter, some good running plays with rookies Carlos Sampa Delgado and Mark Hill putting the home side within the Red Zone and a pass from QB Conor Fearon finding Peter Loughran in the End Zone unmarked. Point after attempt was blocked.
The Knights then hit back after the break through strong running in the backfield, despite big pressure from the impressive Cowboys Defence they were able to break through and bring the game level. That same impressive Defence from the home side forced an interception deep into the Knight territory in the 4th quarter and the Cowboys where able to punch the ball over the line through elusive running from John Murray being helping by the blocking of Hill and the Offensive Line to put the Cowboys 12-6 in the lead. The two point conversion was unsuccessful.
Knights then put together another running drive but the Cowboys showed immense strength and courage in stopping the visitors withing one yard of the Cowboys End Zone on 4th down, big tackles from James Loughran and Chris Bell keeping out the visitors. Although the offense took the field under big pressure resulting in conceeding a safety for two points. The Cowboys then made sure of the victory by kneeling out the game to win 12-8.
A big victory for the Cowboys as preperations commence for the long season ahead, some encouraging signs but also plenty to work on ahead of the 30th March opening where Cowboys welcome Belfast Trojans.
Before the seniors game, the Cowboys Juniors took the field to square up against Knights Youth in a joint scrimmage. Cowboys Juniors seing alot of forward progress and came a way very bouyed in a match up they will see as a victory. MVP going to QB James Rolston.