American Football, Irish American Football League

Combined Gridiron League Irish Conference 1989

Final League Table

Duke Premier Division
*Dublin Celts8800242431.000
Belfast Spartans8440113202.500
Craigavon Cowboys8350127160.375
East Antrim Cougars817038206.125
Baron First Division
*A26 Bulldogs87108828.875
*NI Giants853012384.625
Dublin Tornadoes808008.000
Combined Gridiron League Irish Conference 1989 [Reference: 1]

Playoff Results

DateHome TeamAway Team
28.10.1989Ni Giants6Dublin Celts19
Shamrock Bowl IV
05.11.1989Dublin Celts7A26 Bulldogs6
Combined Gridiron League Irish Conference Playoffs 1989 [Reference: 2;4]

Regular Season Results

DateHome TeamAway Team
Week 1
07.05.89Belfast Spartans0A26 Bulldogs40
07.05.89Dublin Tornadoes0 #NI Giants1
Week 2
13.05.89East Antrim Cougars14Belfast Spartans36
14.05 89Dublin Celts38Craigavon Cowboys0
14.05.89A26 Bulldogs6NI Giants0
Week 3
20.05.89East Antrim Cougars0Dublin Celts51
20.05.89Craigavon Cowboys13NI Giants19
21.05.89Dublin Tornadoes0 #A26 Bulldogs1
Week 4
28.05.89NI Giants19Dublin Celts43
28.05.89A26 Bulldogs1East Antrim Cougars0 #
Week 5
03.06.89Belfast Spartans26Craigavon Cowboys21
04.06.89Dublin Celts1East Antrim Cougars0 #
04.06.89A26 Bulldogs1Dublin Tornadoes0 #
Week 6
11.06.89Dublin Celts14A26 Bulldogs9
11.06.89NI Giants1Dublin Tornadoes0 #
Week 7
17.06.89East Antrim Cougars6NI Giants46
18.06.89A26 Bulldogs17Craigavon Cowboys7
Week 8
24.06.89Belfast Spartans35East Antrim Cougars3
25.06.89Craigavon Cowboys1Dublin Tornadoes0 #
Week 9
02.07.89Dublin Celts1Dublin Tornadoes0 #
02.07.89Craigavon Cowboys36East Antrim Cougars14
02.07.89NI Giants30Belfast Spartans3
Week 10
08.07.89Belfast Spartans12Dublin Celts48
09.07.89NI Giants7A26 Bulldogs13
09.07.89Dublin Tornadoes0 #Belfast Spartans1
Week ??
??Dublin Tornadoes0 #East Antrim Cougars1
28.05. ??Belfast Spartans0Craigavon Cowboys46
??Craigavon Cowboys3Dublin Celts46
Combined Gridiron League Regular Season Results 1989 [Reference: 4]

Home Venues

TeamHome Ground
A26 BulldogsAllen Park, Antrim
Belfast Spartans
Craigavon Cowboys
Dublin CeltsOld Belvedere RFC, Dublin / O’Rahilly Sports Stadium
Dublin TornadoesTymon Park, Tallaght, Dublin 24
East Antrim CougarsValley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey
NI GiantsOrmeau Park, Belfast



The Dublin Celts won their third Shamrock Bowl in a row, defeating the Antrim A26 Bulldogs 7-6.

Both had convincingly won their respective divisions, with the Celts winning all eight matches and the Bulldogs only losing to the Celts. The Celts had won their playoff game with the Giants 19-6, despite reports of the Giants team being stocked with players from the other Northern Ireland teams [Reference: 3]

Dublin Tornadoes forfeited all their matches, and the NI Giants, Belfast Spartans and Craigavon Cowboys finished mid-table, with wins over the East Antrim Cougars.


For the 1989 season (the fourth season of the IAFL) the Irish American Football League elected to play in the Combined Gridiron League, which was an attempt to unite the various Independent Leagues of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Teams were placed in an Irish conference in the Duke Premier Division (CGL 2nd Level – 3rd in the Atlantic Isles) and the Baron First Division (CGL 3rd Level – 4th in the Atlantic Isles).

There were Playoffs in each Division, with the two Irish conference winners also playing off in the Shamrock Bowl for the Irish title. Teams played a balanced schedule of two games against each division opponent and once against teams from the other division.

New Teams: Antrim A26 Bulldogs. Belfast Giants returned after a hiatus of one season as the NI Giants.

Non-Returning Teams: Coleraine Chieftains, Belfast Blitzers.

Name Changes: Carrickfergus Cougars moved to Newtownabbey, becoming the East Antrim Cougars.




(1989) “Tornadoes Dublin” Public Service News. Summer 1989. Pg 14

(1989) “Tymon Park Touchdown” Evening Herald. 1989

[4] Anon. (1989) “Giants make Celts cross” Evening Herald. Wednesday, November 1, 1989. [Pg. 56 Irish Newspaper Archive: [Accessed 29 January 2020]


[1] Britball Now (2016) Historial League Tables [1989] [CGL] [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 27 February 2017]

[2]Britball Now (2016) Results Section [1989] [CGL] [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 27 February 2017]

[3] Irish American Football Association (2018) Shamrock Bowl History [Internet] Available from: h [Accessed 23 March 2018]


Thanks to John Malone, Tony Meenaghan, Declan Mulvey and John O’Reilly.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 29 January 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2020

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Resereved.

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