Irish American Football League 1988

Final Standings

National Conference       
*Belfast Blitzers651013651.833
*Dublin Celts541011833.800
*Craigavon Cowboys63308074.500
Dublin Tornadoes615058123.167
Irish Conference       
*Labatt Belfast Spartans53118099.700
Carrickfergus Cougars41306758.250
Coleraine Chieftains403139140.125
Irish American Football League 1988 [Ref: 1;4][Adjusted]

Note: * Qualify for Playoffs. Belfast Giants pulled out of the league before the season started in a row over scheduling, no results recorded.

Playoff Results

DateHome Team Away Team 
14.08.1988Belfast Blitzers26Craigavon Cowboys12
14.08.1988Dublin Celts45Labatt Belfast Spartans6
 Shamrock Bowl III   
21.08.1988Belfast Blitzers6Dublin Celts34
Irish American Football League 1988 [Reference: 5-6]

Regular Season Results

DateHome Team Away Team 
 Week 1   
17.04.88Coleraine Chieftains0Dublin Tornadoes46
17.04.88Labatt Belfast Spartans7Carrickfergus Cougars6
17.04.88Belfast Blitzers7Dublin Celts20
Week 2
01.05.88Craigavon Cowboys32Dublin Tornadoes0
01.05.88Coleraine Chieftains7Labatt Belfast Spartans14
 Week 3   
08.05.88Belfast Blitzers14Craigavon Cowboys3
08.05.88Carrickfergus Cougars0Dublin Celts37
 Week 4   
15.05.88Dublin Celts14Dublin Tornadoes6
 Week 5   
29.05.88Dublin Tornadoes6Belfast Blitzers36
29.05.88Labatt Belfast Spartans14Carrickfergus Cougars13
 Week 6   
12.06.88Belfast Blitzers40Dublin Tornadoes0
12.06.88Craigavon Cowboys41Labatt Belfast Spartans13
 Week 7   
19.06.88Belfast Blitzers20Dublin Celts19
 Week 8   
17.07.88Carrickfergus Cougars48Coleraine Chieftains0
 Week 9   
24.07.88Craigavon Cowboys3Belfast Blitzers19
24.07.88Labatt Belfast Spartans32Coleraine Chieftains32
Week ??
??Dublin Tornadoes0 #Craigavon Cowboys1
??Craigavon Cowboys0Dublin Celts28
Irish American Football League 1988 [Reference: 1]


The Dublin Celts won their second Shamrock Bowl 34-6 over the Belfast Blitzers in a surprisingly one-sided game considering the teams had split their two regular season games.

The two teams were well above everyone else, only losing to each other, with Craigavon Cowboys and Belfast Spartans winning three each to qualify for the semi-finals. Carrickfergus Cougars and Dublin Tornadoes both picked up easy wins against Coleraine Chieftains, otherwise losing all their matches. The Chieftains managed a shock tie with the Spartans to avoid a complete losing season.

The Belfast Blitzers were made to work hard against the Craigavon Cowboys in the Playoffs but eventually prevailed 26-12 to reach their first Shamrock Bowl, while the Celts made light work of the Spartans, winning 45-6, before the victory over the Blitzers in Shamrock Bowl III.


The 1988 season was the third of the Irish American Football League. 7 teams entered, down from 11 the previous season. New Teams: None. Non-Returning Teams: East Side Jets, Jordanstown Jaguars, Bangor Buccaneers. Belfast Giants went on hiatus for one season.

The top 4 teams from 1987 were placed in the National Conference, and the other three in the Irish Conference. After an unbalanced schedule of 6 games, the top 4 teams overall reached the Playoffs.



[2] (1988) “Celts’ home debut” Irish Independent. 14 May 1988. pg. 22

[3] (1988) “American Football” Irish Press. 30 May 1988. pg. 46

[4] (1988) “Scoreboard” American Football News. 28 July 1988. pg.

[5] (1988) “Ireland” American Football News. 18 August 1988. pg.

[6] (1988) “Shamrock Bowl report” American Football News. 29 September 1988. pg. 22


[1] Britball Now (2016) Results Section [1988] [Other Kitted] [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 27 February 2017]


Thanks to John Malone, Tony Meenaghan, Declan Mulvey & 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: 27 July 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2019-2020

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

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