BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 1987

Final Standings

BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 Scotland Conference 1987

1*Clydesdale Colts (P)8001.00022384
2East Kilbride Pirates4400.500134133
3Ayr Burners3500.375105110
4Inverclyde Crusaders3500.37552113
5Lothian Chieftains2600.250108182

BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 Northern Conference 1987

1*Washington Presidents (P)9100.900488235
2Lancashire Chieftains7210.750323196
3Leeds Cobras (P)7210.750297155
4Wirral Wolves (D)7300.700347146
5Warrington Scorpions4510.450220271
6Chester Romans2710.250209256
7Halton Demons (R)1810.15028284
8Stockport Falcons (R-Y)0910.05058427

BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 Central Conference 1987

1*West Bromwich Fireballs (P)9100.90024485
2Mansfield Express (D)7300.700274173
3Stoke Spitfires (P)6400.600249145
4Walsall Titans (P)5500.500229156
5Wolverhampton Outlaws2800.200164320
6Black Country Nailers1900.10076357

BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 South West Conference 1987

1*Bristol Packers (P)10001.00067636
2Swansea Dragons (P)8200.800407133
3Newton GWs (R)4600.400217319
4Duchy Destroyers4600.400160373
5Weston Stars (R-C)3700.300214305
6Exeter Eagles (R)1900.10078586

BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 Southern Conference 1987

1*Farnham Knights (P)10001.00041464
2South Star Scorpions (P)7300.700259108
3South Coast Sharks6400.600179180
4Merton Admirals4600.40069169
5Hampshire Cavaliers3700.300134243
6Wight Rhinos01000.00061352

BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 South East Conference 1987

1*Ashton Oilers (P)9100.90057850
2Eastbourne Crusaders (P)9100.90036979
3Medway Mustangs4600.400274389
4Thanet Vikings4600.400187248
5Grays Saxons (R)4600.400219301
6Ashford Cruisers (R-C)01000.00068628

BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 Eastern Conference 1987

1*Basildon Braves (P)7300.700190117
2Norwich Devils7300.70016979
3Herts Phantoms5500.50012991
4Newmarket Hornets (R)5500.500174142
5Southend Sabres5500.500114147
6Southampton Seahawks1900.100112312

BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 Capital Conference 1987

1*Ealing Eagles (P)7100.87514140
2Thames Barriers (P)7100.87514998
3Fulham Cardinals4400.50012791
4London Lasers2600.250102162
5Chingford Centurions (R-D)0800.00037165

Legend / Key: * Qualify for Playoffs, (P) Promoted to Budweiser League Premier Division, (R) Relegated to newly-formed British National Gridiron League (a merger of BGFL, Capital League, NWWCAFL and members of UKAFL who left that league), C – Changed name for 1988, D – Disbanded after 1987 season, Y – sat out 1988 to return in 1989. Tie-breaker (1) Head-to-Head.


BAFA Budweiser League Division One Playoffs 1987


Kent’s Ashton Oilers won the BAFA Budweiser League Division 1 (third level of American Football in Britain) in 1987, defeating Ealing Eagles 27-7 in the Division One Bowl. Ealing had defeated both Eastern Conference Champions Basildon Braves 32-0 in the Eastern Quarter-Final before also blanking Clydesdale Colts 16-0 in the Semi-Finals. The Scotland Conference Champions had shocked high-scoring Northern Conference Champions Washington Presidents 20-19 in the Northern Quarter-Final, with a little luck from a missed Field Goal and a touchdown called back for holding by Washington in the dying minutes of the game [1-4].

Ashton Oilers path to the Bowl was not as straight-forward, having to negotiate Southern Conference Champions, the formidable Farnham Knights, who had a perfect 10-0 regular season, scoring 414 points and only conceding 64 in the process. The Oilers won that game 28-8 before defeating the Bristol Packers 7-6 in the semi-Finals. The Packers had also put up a perfect record in the regular season, putting up a massive 676 points in the process, and only conceding 36. Ealing Eagles had the one loss all season, as did Ashton, to Eastbourne Crusaders, both teams finishing on 9-1 in the regular season, with Ashton winning the head-to-head 51-27 [1-4].

After the season, the eight Conference Champions were promoted to the Premier Division, along with Leeds Cobras, Stoke Spitfires, Walsall Titans, Swansea Dragons, South Star Scorpions, Eastbourne Crusaders and Thames Barriers. Halton Demons were relegated to the British National Gridiron League, along with Stockport Falcons (who sat out 1988 returning in 1989), Newton GWs, Weston Stars (who changed their name to Weston Wolfpack), Exeter Eagles, Grays Saxons, Ashford Cruisers (who changed their name to the Ashford Raiders), Newmarket Hornets and Chingford Centurions (who disbanded after the 1987 season). Wirral Wolves and Mansfield Express disbanded after the season [1-4].

Irish-named running back Paul Reilly starred for Clydesdale Colts [2, 6] For comparison with the Irish American Football League, Ayr Burners defeated IAFL Semi-Finalists in 1987, Belfast Giants 48-0 in 1987, a year after the Burners had defeated Carrickfergus Cougars 28-8. Belfast, by then NI Giants got their revenge in 1988 with a 21-0 win over Ayr in April prior to the season. All three games were played under the name “International Challenge Cup”. Reference: [7].


The British American Football Association united 100+ teams under the BAFA umbrella for 1987 as the BAFL (British American Football League) ceased to exist with the top three divisions in a league simply called the Budweiser League for sponsorship reasons. The top division was called the National Division, the second level the Premier Division and the third level Division One. Below these three divisions was the UKAFL (United Kingdom American Football League) as a fourth level and then regional leagues making up a fifth level (Thistle League in Scotland, NWWCAFL – North Wales and West Cheshire American Football League, BGFL – British Gridiron Football League – in the North and Capital League in the South East).


[1] Anon. / Mark Lees (Ed.)(1987) “Results – Standings – Fixtures: Bud Playoffs: National” First Down. August 8, 1987. pg. 16. Mediawatch Ltd. Charlbury, Oxfordshire, England, UK.

[2] Anon. / Mark Lees (Ed.)(1987) “Results – Standings – Fixtures: Bud Playoffs: National” First Down. August 22, 1987. pg. 16. Mediawatch Ltd. Charlbury, Oxfordshire, England, UK.

[3] Anon. / Mark Lees (Ed.)(1987) “Results – Standings – Fixtures: Bud Fixtures: National” First Down. August 29, 1987. pg. 17. Mediawatch Ltd. Charlbury, Oxfordshire, England, UK.

[4] Nick Richards (2009) “V – Over to You Bud” TD UK. Touchdown UK. pg,. 79-80Author House UK Ltd. Milton Keynes. England. UK.

[5] Keith Webster (1987) “Bud Announces New-Look Elite” First Down. October 24, 1987. pg. 22. Mediawatch Ltd. Charlbury, Oxfordshire, England, UK.

[7] Anon. (1988) “Giants get their revenge’”Belfast Telegraph. Tuesday, April 12, 1988. pg. 20 [Internet] Available online at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: which is a subscription service.


[6] Vivid Maps (2022) Geo-Geneology of Irish Surnames [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 31 January 2022]


Thanks to John Malone, Paul O’Reilly, Declan Mulvey, Colm McGennis.


Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 1 February 2022

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2022

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

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