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All-Ireland American Football League 1990-1996

Irish League of American Football 1990

DateHome TeamAway Team
Semi-Finals
22.07.1990Belfast Spartans6A26 Bulldogs0
22.07.1990Craigavon Cowboys1Carrickfergus Cougars0#
Irish League Final
11.08.1990Craigavon Cowboys54Belfast Spartans3
Irish American Football League Playoffs 1990 [Reference: 10-11]

Craigavon Cowboys met Dublin Celts in Title Game to Decide All-Ireland Champions

DateHome TeamAway Team
Shamrock Bowl V
1990Dublin Celts40Craigavon Cowboys0
Irish American Football Association Shamrock Bowl 1990 [Ref: 12]

All-Ireland American Football league 1991

 PWLTPFPAPct
*Dublin Celts7700 9720 1.000
*Belfast Spartans7331 9466 .583
*Antrim Bulldogs8341 11951 .438
Dublin Tornadoes8350 37156 .375
Newtownabbey Warriors6150 2286 .000
Craigavon Cowboys0000 0.000
All-Ireland American Football League Standings 1991 [Ref: Compiled from: 13-30]
DateHome Team Away Team 
Semi-Finals
25.08.1991Belfast Spartans8Antrim Bulldogs14
Shamrock Bowl VI  
29.09.1991Dublin Celts66Belfast Spartans6
AFAI All-Ireland American Football League Playoffs 1991 [Ref: 24-30]

All-Ireland American Football League 1992

PWLTPFPAPct
Mourne Conference
*Craigavon Cowboys541012418.800
*Antrim Bulldogs642012716.667
Belfast Spartans642010559.667
Tara Conference
*Dublin Tornadoes64208149.667
*Dublin Celts63307757.500
Drogheda Vikings514015135.200
Lee Valley Steelers60600195.000
All-Ireland American Football League Standings Compiled from results in : [31-46]
DateHome TeamAway Team
Semi-Finals
13.09.92Dublin Tornadoes6Antrim Bulldogs19
13.09.92Craigavon Cowboys10Dublin Celts6
Shamrock Bowl VII
20.09.1992Craigavon Cowboys14Antrim Bulldogs6
All-Ireland American Football League Results Compiled from results in : [31-46] [45-46]

All-Ireland American Football League 1993

DateHome TeamAway Team
Shamrock Bowl VIII
1993Dublin Tornadoes19Dublin Celts2
All-Ireland American Football League Playoffs 1993 [Reference: 47]

All-Ireland American Football League 1994

PWLTPFPAPct
*Dublin Tornadoes651012835.833
*Carrickfergus Knights6510.833
Lurgan Area Raiders6240.333
Belfast Spartans606026112.000
All-Ireland American Football League Standings 1994 [Reference: Compiled from results in: 48-64]
DateHome TeamAway Team
Shamrock Bowl IX
1994Dublin Tornadoes18Carrickfergus Knights13
All-Ireland American Football League Playoffs 1994 [Reference: 63-64]

All-Ireland American Football League 1995

PWLTPFPAPct
*Dublin Tornadoes88001.000
*Dublin Lightning6420.667
*Carrickfergus Knights7250.287
*Lurgan Area Raiders7070.000
All-Ireland American Football League Standings 1995 [Reference: 67]
DateHome TeamAway Team
Semi-Finals
17.09.1995Dublin Tornadoes60Lurgan Area Raiders0
17.09.1995Dublin LightningLCarrickfergus KnightsW
Shamrock Bowl X
24.09.1995Dublin Tornadoes34Carrickfergus Knights12
All-Ireland American Football League Playoffs 1995 [Reference: 65-67]

All-Ireland American Football League 1996

DateHome TeamAway Team
Shamrock Bowl XI
Dublin Lightning26Dublin Tornadoes8
All-Ireland American Football League Playoffs 1996 [Reference: 66]

Report

After the 1989 season was spent as part of the Combined Gridiron League of Great Britain and Ireland, the Irish American Football League decided to return to an Ireland-only League, although the Dublin Celts continued to play in the NCMMA, the British Second Level, and the Republic of Ireland teams never played in the League that year, meaning just a six-team Northern Ireland League, with the NI Giants a late non-starter. The Celts comtinued to play exhibition matches against Irish teams, and at the end of the season played a decider to see who was All-Ireland Champions, which the Celts won 40-0 over the Craigavon Cowboys.

In 1991 the Irish League was reunited, as the Dublin Celts rejoined after a season playing in the English second division, and the Dublin Tornadoes joined them and the Irish League of American Football teams in an All-Ireland American Football League. The Carrickfergus Cougars and Coleraine Chieftains had merged as one Antrim team, the Newtownabbey Warriors. Craigavon Cowboys didn’t play that season. Dublin Celts, as expected, ran away with the League title, and then defeated Antrim Bulldogs 66-6 in Shamrock Bowl VI.

In 1992 there was again two conferences, Tara and Mourne, named after mountain ranges associated with Irish Kings, and the addition of the Lee Valley Steelers from Cork, and Drogheda Vikings, a split from the Celts, brought the league up to 7 teams again. The Cowboys also returned, but the Warriors disbanded. On opening day the A26 Bulldogs became the first Irish team to beat the Celts since 1988, and the Celts proceeded to lose their first three matches before winning their last three to make the playoffs. Conference Champions were the Dublin Tornadoes and Craigavon Cowboys, who defeated Antrim Bulldogs 14-6 to take their second or third Shamrock Bowl (there is sill dispute over who won in 1990).

The League again became one division after the Drogheda Vikings disbanded and reformed as the Ardee Falcons in a 8-v-8 Mini-League. Dublin Tornadoes and Dublin Celts met in the first ever all-Dublin Shamrock Bowl, after knocking out the Belfast Spartans and Craigavon Cowboys in the Playoffs. The Tornadoes won their first of three Shamrock Bowls, defeating the Celts in what would be their last ever game, 19-2.

1994 saw big changes to the league. New teams were the Carrickfergus Knights, a follow on from the Prospect Pumas Junior team, and the Lurgan Area Raiders (a reformed Craigavon Cowboys), but the league lost the Celts, Bulldogs and Lee Valley Steelers. The Bulldogs had lost three Bowls in four years, and the Celts had also disbanded after lack of success. The league was now just four teams, and the Dublin Tornadoes again won the Shamrock Bowl, beating the Carrickfergus Knights 18-13.

In 1995 a new team, Dublin Lightning, formed partially from old Dublin Celts and Drogheda Vikings players entered the league, but the league remained at four teams as the Belfast Spartans sat out the season. All for teams made the playoffs, and the Tornadoes won their third in a row, again defeating the Knights, 34-12.

The 1996 season saw the return of the Belfast Spartans, and the Lurgan Area Raiders, moved to Portadown, becoming the Pumas. The Dublin Lightning won their only Shamrock Bowl, defeating the Dublin Tornadoes 26-8 in Shamrock Bowl XI, in what was the last game the Tornadoes played, as another team disbanded after losing the Shamrock Bowl, with a lot of players retiring.

A new organisation, Image Management and Promotions, took over the running of the league in 1997, renaming it the Irish Senior League, like its British counterpart, and the Dublin Bulls, a new team based in Gateway Computers, joined the league, however, the Spartans had left for good, and with the loss of the Tornadoes, this left the League with four teams again. Carrickfergus Knights won the first of their Shamrock Bowls, 21-0 against the Bulls.

The new organisation was unpopular with a number of players and teams, and the Lightning dropped out, and the Greystones Rebels (who had formed in 1997 but didn’t play) also went alone, setting the scene for a dispute between the IAFA and Image Management and Promotions, which lasted until 2001.

Dublin Tornadoes Irish American Football Shamrock Bowl Winners 1993
Dublin Tornadoes – Shamrock Bowl XI Champions 1993 [Ref: 71]

References

Sources

[1] Anon. (1990) “American Football double-header” Sunday Life May 6, 1990. pg. 59

[2] Anon. (1990) “American Football Column: Spartans in revenge bid” Sunday Life May 13, 1990. pg. 46

[3] Anon. (1990) “American Football” Sunday Life May 20, 1990. pg. 56

[4] Anon. (1990) “American Football: Junior game is on the up!” Sunday Life May 27, 1990. pg. 58

[5] Anon. (1990) “American Football: off form Bulldogs lack any real bite” Sunday Life June 3, 1990. pg. 46

[6] Traynor, Jonathan (1990) “Local League action hots up” Sunday Life June 10, 1990. pg. 42

[7] Anon. (1986) “Cowboys off to a good start” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, May 7 1990. pg. 18 [Internet] Available online at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/ which is a subscription service.

[8] Anon. (1986) “Celts side stampede Cowboys” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, May 21 1990 pg. 21 [Internet] Available online at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/ which is a subscription service.

[9] Anon. (1986) “Cowboys take the bite out of Bulldogs” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, Monday, June 4 1990. pg. 18 [Internet] Available online at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/ which is a subscription service.

[10] Anon. (1990) “American Football: Cowboys riding high..” Sunday Life August 5, 1990. pg. 43

Websites

[11] Lucky Show (2016) Irish American Football [Internet] Available from: http://www.luckyshow.org/football/Shamrock%20Bowl.htm [Accessed 5 June 2017]

[12] American Football Ireland (2020) Shamrock Bowl Champions [Internet] Available from: https://www.americanfootball.ie/home/american-football/shamrock-bowl-champions/ [Accessed 30 April 2020]

Newspapers

[13] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: Tornadoes are flying”, Evening Herald. Thursday, April 18, 1991, pg. 56.

[14] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: Look out for the Dublin Tornadoes”, Evening Herald. Thursday, May 9, 1991, pg. 55.

[15] Anon. (1991) “TODAY: AMERICAN FOOTBALL”, Irish Press. Saturday, May 11, 1991, pg. 46.

[16] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: Spartans supreme”, Evening Herald. Thursday, May 16, 1991, pg. 62.

[17] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: Tornadoes all the way”, Evening Herald. Thursday, June 13, 1991, pg. 60.

[18] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: Defensive Tornadoes do it”, Evening Herald. Thursday, June 27, 1991, pg. 59.

[19] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: CELTS STAY UNBEATEN”, Evening Herald. Thursday, July 25, 1991, pg. 55.

[20] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: Tornadoes toppled!”, Evening Herald. Thursday, August 15, 1991, pg. 44.

[21] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: CELTS TOP LEAGUE”, Evening Herald. Thursday, August 22, 1991, pg. 53.

[22] Naughton, L. (1991) “Minority Report: Tip-toe around American grid!”, Evening Herald. Thursday, September 26, 1991, pg. 91.

[23] Traynor, Jonathan (1991) “American Football: Clash of Titans!” Sunday Life May 28, 1991. pg. 46

[24] Anon. (1991) “Scoreboard: Gridiron” Sunday Life June 2, 1991. pg. 53

[25] Anon. (1991) “Gridiron: Antrim Dawgs go for walkies” Sunday Life June 9, 1991. pg. 41

[26] Anon. (1991) “American Football: Rows spoil Irish scene” Sunday Life July 28, 1991. pg. 43

[27] Berry, Lee (1992) “Moon Ready to Belt the Celts” First Down March 28, 1992. pg. 18 [Available on the Internet at Dublin Celts | Facebook (2019) Post to Page by Dermot Connolly September 8, 1992 “Blast from the past… clearing out the attic” [Internet] available from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10219514768330762&set=pcb.975213116205143&type=3&theater&ifg=1 [Accessed 5 October 1992]

[28] Anon. (1991) “Spartans win Junior crown after thriller” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, August 26, 1991. pg. 18 [Internet] Available online at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/ which is a subscription service.

[29] Anon. (1991) “Bowl back in Dublin” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, September 30, 1991. pg. 18 [Internet] Available online at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/ which is a subscription service.

[30] Anon. (1991) “Buldogs tied up”Belfast Telegraph. Monday, August 12, 1991. pg. 18 [Internet] Available online at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/ which is a subscription service.

Newspapers

[31] Anon. (1992) “IRISH CHAMPION CELTS STUNG BY BULLDOG SPIRIT”, First Down. July 11, 1992, pg. 17.

[32] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: U.S. Football”, Evening Herald. Thursday, July 2, 1992, pg. 65

[33] Anon. (1992) “Sad Celts are Torn to shreds”, First Down. July 18, 1992, pg. 16.

[34] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: Celts blown away”, Evening Herald. Thursday, July 9, 1992, pg. 66

[35] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: U.S. Football”, Evening Herald. Thursday, July 16, 1992, pg. 69

[36] Anon. (1992) “Dublin Celts still winless”, First Down. July 25, 1992, pg. 19.

[37] FD Reporter. (1992) “At last! It’s the Dub-win Celts!”, First Down. August 15, 1992, pg. 17.

[38] Anon. (1992) “IRISH RESULTS”, First Down. August 29, 1992, pg. 17.

[39] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: Vikings ready to invade Tallaght”, Evening Herald. Thursday, August 13, 1992, pg. 66

[40] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: Tornadoes ko Vikings”, Evening Herald. Thursday, August 20, 1992, pg. 61

[41] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: U.S. Football”, Evening Herald. Thursday, August 27, 1992, pg. 61

[42] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: U.S. Football”, Evening Herald. Thursday, September 3, 1992, pg. 94

[43] Anon. (1992) “Vikings Victory”, Drogheda Independent. Friday, September 4, 1992, pg. 11

[44] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: U.S. Football”, Evening Herald. Thursday, September 10, 1992, pg. 70

[45] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: Gridiron grief for Dubs!”, Evening Herald. Thursday, September 17, 1992, pg. 76

[46] Naughton, L. (1992) “Minority Reports: U.S. Football”, Evening Herald. Thursday, October 8, 1992, pg. Sport 7

[47] (1993) “Tornadoes Bowl Glory”, First Down, October 9, 1993, pg. 20

[48] Carrickfergus Knights (1994) Knights American Football Club Carrickfergus Shamrock Bowl Programme. Belfast. Aldine Print

[49] Anon. (1994) Dublin Clinch Crown. First Down. 8 October1994. p. 22

[50] Anon. (1994) Scoreboard. First Down. 16 July 1994. p. 19

[51] Anon. (1994) Scoreboard. First Down. 9 July 1994. p. 19

[52] Anon. (1994) Lurgan Blank Belfast. First Down. 9 July 1994. p. 20

[53] Anon. (1994) Scoreboard. First Down. 2 July 1994. p. 19

[54] Anon. (1994) Scoreboard. First Down. 18 June 1994. p. 19

[55] Anon. (1994) Full Round-Up of BAFA’s Divisions Two and Three. First Down. 7 May 1994. pg. 21

[56] Anon. (1994) Chicago Knights maintain challenge. Carrick Times. 6 June 1994. pg. 60

[57] Naughton, L. (1994) Tornadoes hit!. Evening Herald. Thursday, 21 April 1994 . pg. 54

[58] Naughton, L. (1994) American Football. Evening Herald. Thursday, 5 May 1994 . pg. 91

[59] Naughton, L. (1994) American Football. Evening Herald. Thursday, 26 May 1994 . pg. 68

[60] Naughton, L. (1994) Tornadoes turn up the power. Evening Herald. Thursday, 28 July 1994. pg. 55

[61] Naughton, L. (1994) American Football. Evening Herald. Thursday, 11 August 1994. pg. 44

[62] Naughton, L. (1994) Tornadoes blow Knights away!. Evening Herald. Thursday, 25 August 1994. pg. 50

[63] Naughton, L. (1994) American Football. Evening Herald. Thursday, 22 September 1994. pg.78

[64] Naughton, L. (1994) US Football. Evening Herald. Thursday, 29 September1994. pg.58

[65] Anon (1995) Tornadoes breeze past Carrickfergus to claim third straight Irish title. First Down. 7 October 1995, pg. 21.

[66] (1996) “US Football”, Evening Herald, Thursday, September 19, 1996, pg. 79

Websites

[67] Dublin Tornadoes (1996) Irish American Football League 1995: The League Schedule ’95 / Results in ’95 [Internet] Available from: http://web.archive.org/web/19961115060654/http://fiachra.ucd.ie/~alan/american_football.html#main_menu [Accessed 5 July 2017]

[68] Britball (2016) Shamrock Bowl Results www.britball.co.uk/history-index/ireland/shamrock-bowl-results-1986.html [Accessed 2 October 2016]

69] Irish American Football Association (2018) Shamrock Bowl History [Internet] Available from: hhttp://www.americanfootball.ie/american-football/shamrock-bowl-history/ [Accessed 23 March 2018]

Social Media

[70] Dublin Celts American Football Team Facebook Page (2016) Post by Kevin Sharkey, August 27, 2016 [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/259540917772370/permalink/268518076874654/ [Accessed 6 June 2018]

Images

[71] Irish American Football Association (2018) Nostalgia – A look a some pictures from the archives [Internet] Available from: http://www.americanfootball.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/20171016_165339-1024×768.jpg [Accessed 3 July 2018]

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Cillian Smith, Michael Smith, Ralph Schmeer and Michael Brophy of the Irish American Football Association and Irish American Football Officials Association.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 7 February 2019

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2019

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

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