Irish American Football League Results, Standings and Match Reports 1987


IAFL Mourne Conference 1987

PosTeamWLTPctPFPANet PtsStreak
3Carrickfergus Cougars1400.2003371-38L3

IAFL Tara Conference 1987

PosTeamWLTPctPFPANet PtsStreak
5Bangor Buccaneers2400.33354163-109W1
6Jordanstown Jaguars1300.2501469-55L1

Regular Season Schedule

Note: Match Reports and Scorers are available to view by clicking on Individual Game Results in the Schedule.

Irish American Football League Regular Season 1987

(Week 1)
0 - 92

East Side Jets vs Belfast Blitzers

(Week 1)
0 - 38

Coleraine Chieftains vs Craigavon Cowboys

(Week 1)
6 - 7

Belfast Spartans vs Dublin Celts

(Week 2)
6 - 30

Carrickfergus Cougars vs Craigavon Cowboys

(Week 2)
28 - 6

Dublin Celts vs Jordanstown Jaguars

(Week 3)
9 - 48

Coleraine Chieftains vs Dublin Celts

(Week 3)
0 - 28

Jordanstown Jaguars vs Belfast Blitzers

(Week 3)
28 - 0

Belfast Giants vs Bangor Buccaneers

(Week 4)
57 - 0

Craigavon Cowboys vs East Side Jets

(Week 4)
2 - 15

Belfast Spartans vs Carrickfergus Cougars

(Week 4)
13 - 0

Dublin Celts vs Belfast Giants

(Week 5)
52 - 2

Belfast Giants vs Dublin Tornadoes

(Week 5)
52 - 0

Belfast Blitzers vs Coleraine Chieftains

(Week 5)
8 - 6

Jordanstown Jaguars vs Carrickfergus Cougars

(Week 5)
9 - 30

East Side Jets vs Belfast Spartans

(Week 6)
76 - 0

Belfast Blitzers vs Bangor Buccaneers

(Week 6)

Carrickfergus Cougars vs Dublin Celts

(Week 6)
0 - 32

Dublin Tornadoes vs Craigavon Cowboys

(Week 7)
0 - 7

Jordanstown Jaguars vs Bangor Buccaneers

(Week 7)
9 - 6

Belfast Giants vs Carrickfergus Cougars

(Week 7)
31 - 0

Coleraine Chieftains vs East Side Jets

(Week 8)
21 - 7

Craigavon Cowboys vs Bangor Buccaneers

(Week 8)
0 - 46

East Side Jets vs Belfast Giants

(Week 8)
0 - 22

Carrickfergus Cougars vs Dublin Tornadoes

(Week 9)
63 - 0

Belfast Blitzers vs Belfast Spartans

(Week 9)

Belfast Spartans vs Belfast Giants

(Week 9)
38 - 6

Dublin Tornadoes vs Coleraine Chieftains

(Week 9)
15 - 38

Bangor Buccaneers vs Dublin Celts

(Week 10)
0 - 22

Craigavon Cowboys vs Belfast Blitzers

(Week 10)
0 - 6

Coleraine Chieftains vs Belfast Spartans

(Week 11)
25 - 0

Bangor Buccaneers vs East Side Jets

Note: In some email browsers, the Schedule and Standings may not be visible. If that is the case click through to view the article on the Internet rather than in the email preview by clicking on the article heading.

Week by Week Report

This is part of a new series where Eirball takes a look at a significant season, week-by-week, on a daily basis over the period of a month or fortnight.

Week 1

In Week 1 on the much-anticipated first full Irish American Football League season in 1987, the Belfast Blitzers, 1986 Cup and League winners travelled to Castlereagh to take on new boys East Side Jets and trounced them 92-0, seven Belfast players getting on the scoreboard. In other games Dublin Celts had a tougher than expected 7-6 win at Labatt Spartans, a single Point After Touchdown the difference between the teams after one touchdown each had been scored. Meanwhile, on the North Coast, defending Shamrock Bowl Champions Craigavon Cowboys got off to a winning start with a 38-0 win at Coleraine Chieftains. [Pictures from the Belfast Blitzers at East Side Jets game are available to view if the reader clicks on the game itself to view the Match Report]

Week 2

In the second week of the season Craigavon Cowboys improved to 2-0 as the traveled to Carrickfergus where they defeated the hosts Cougars 30-6. Meanwhile on Sunday, the other Shamrock Bowl I finalist from the previous year, Dublin Celts also got off to a winning start winning 28-6 at Wanderers Rugby Club versus Jordanstown Jaguars.

Week 3

Belfast Blitzers defeated the Jordanstown Jaguars 28-0 at UUJ as the Blitzers continued to impress. Finn Lynch got the Blitzers on the scoreboard with a 35 yard run, and three more touchdowns and a safety followed as the Jaguars baptism of fire continued. The Celts continued to improve, putting 48 points on the board at Coleraine, although the Chieftains got their first points of the season. At Solitude, Tennent’s Giants defeated Bangor Buccaneers 28-0 in a match-up between two teams making their fully kitted contact league debut.

Week 4

Two touchdowns in the second quarter and a dominant defense enabled the Dublin Celts move to 4-0 at the Top of the Tara Conference and consign the Tennents Giants to their first defeat of the season. Craigavon Cowboys ran riot at Lurgan versus the East Side Jets, winning 57-0 to keep pace with the Celts. In the Mourne Conference Carrickfergus Cougars improved to 1-1 and moved into second place behind the Belfast Blitzers with a 15-2 win at Labatt Spartans.

Week 5

Belfast Blitzers continued to show why they were early favourites for the Shamrock Bowl as they scored 52 points without reply at home to Coleraine Chieftains. The Jordanstown Jaguars got their first win of the season in a close 8-6 victory versus Carrickfergus Cougars. Labatt Spartans also got their first victory of the season, 30-9 at East Side Jets, leaving the Jets still winless. Meanwhile on the saturday, Tennents Giants won 52-2 at home to Dublin Tornadoes, gaining their second win of the season thanks to six touchdowns by the offense and two interception returns for touchdowns by their defense.

Week 6

In Week 6 Belfast Blitzers continued to destroy defenses as they knocked off Bangor Buccaneers 76-0, moving the Blitzers to 4-0 and dropping the Buccaneers to 0-2. The Cowboys, meanwhile, joined the Celts on 4-0 at the top of the Tara Conference with a 32-0 win in Dublin versus the Tornadoes, which left the Tornadoes 0-2. The match in Carrickfergus between the Cougars and Dublin Celts was postponed until the 6th September.

Week 7

Two teams won for the first time in Week 7 – Coleraine Chieftains had a significant 31-0 defeat of East Side Jets which put the Chieftains on 1-3 alongside Carrickfergus Cougars, while Bangor Buccaneers scored their first points of the season in a 7-0 victory at Jordanstown, Chris Kelly catching the winning score from Quarterback Terry Mills. The win put Bangor level with Belfast Spartans on 1-2 in the Tara Conference and dropped the Jaguars to 1-3 and the foot of the Tara Conference. Meanwhile at the other end of the Tara Conference standings Belfast Giants improved to 3-1 with a close 9-6 defeat of Carrickfergus Cougars who fell to 1-3 in the Mourne Conference.

Week 8

In the Tara Conference Craigavon Cowboys moved to 5-0 with a surprisingly close 21-7 win at home to Bangor Buccaneers, who dropped to 1-3. The Mourne Conference meanwhile saw Dublin Tornadoes gain their first victory of the season, 22-0 at Carrickfergus Cougars, leaving them level on wins with the Cougars and Coleraine Chieftains. The Inter-Conference match-up of the week was a big 46-0 win for Belfast Giants at East Side Jets, moving Belfast Giants to 4-1 and leaving the Jets the only winless team on 0-5.

Week 9

In a Saturday Inter-Conference game at Cooke Rugby Club, the Labatt Spartans were “blitzed” by the Belfast Blitzers, who won 63-0, dropping the Spartans to 1-3 and lifting the Blitzers to 5-0 and leaders of the Mourne Conference [12, 23, 24]. Joining them on 5-0 were the Dublin Celts who had a harder than expected 38-15 victory at Bangor versus the Buccaneers [12]. The win brought the Celts level with the Craigavon Cowboys on 5-0 at the top of the Tara Conference while the Buccaneers dropped to 1-4. Meanwhile in the Mourne Conference the Dublin Tornadoes won their second straight, improving to 2-2 as they defeated Coleraine Chieftains 38-6 in Dublin, a big win which left them clear in second place ahead of three teams on one win each including the 1-4 Coleraine Chieftains.

Week 10

The biggest game of the season so far saw a Clash of the Titans in Goodyear Playing Fields, Portadown as Craigavon Cowboys hosted the Belfast Blitzers in a match-up between two of the three undefeated teams [25]. The Blitzers left with both their undefeated record and their remarkable record of being the only team in Britain and Ireland yet to concede a point in 1987 intact as they won 22-0 thanks to two Hayden Davis rushing Touchdowns and a Damien McHugh rushing Touchdown. Former Glentoran Soccer star George Neill added two PAT kicks and ran in another for two points as the Blitzers moved to 6-0 [25]. The Cowboys almost scored the first points of the season on Belfast when a Field Goal attempt hit the crossbar in the third quarter. In the other Inter-Conference game the Labatt Spartans won 6-0 at Coleraine to improve to 2-3 as the Chieftains dropped to 1-5 on the season [12]

Week 11

Bangor Buccaneers improved to 2-4 with a 25-0 win over the still winless East Side Jets, who were now 0-6 [12] The Dublin Celts, Craigavon Cowboys and Belfast Blitzers were all playing in the Jack Daniels Summer Bowl on 4th July that weekend [26-31].

Map of Ireland (2021 Administrative Divisions) Showing 1987 IAFL Team Locations

Map of Ireland administrative divisions on counties level Copyright: lesniewski superimposed with Labeled Color Map of Districts of Northern Ireland, United Kingdom Copyright: lara2016 [1987 IAFL Team Logos added by Enda Mulcahy for [27]


Map References

[27] Vector — Labeled Color Map of Districts of Northern Ireland, United Kingdom Copyright: lara2016 [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 10 January 2022] Superimposed on Vector — Map of Ireland administrative divisions on counties level Copyright: lesniewski [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 10 January 2022] Combined with 1987 Irish American Football Team Logos by Enda Mulcahy for [10 January 2022]

Logo References

[1] Dublin Celts American Football Team Facebook Page (2016) Photo by Joseph Greene August 28, 2016 [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2018]

[2] Coleraine Chieftans (2002) Coleraine Chieftans: Chief Image [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 18 July 2018]

[3] Craigavon Cowboys – Twitter Account (2018) Profile Picture [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 22 July 2018]

[4] Belfast Blitzers Facebook Page (2019) Post, August 12, 2019 at 1:31 PM [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 17 August 2019]

[6] Belfast Blitzers Facebook Page (2021) Post to Page by Belfast Blitzers, 5 February 2021: [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 5 February 2021]

[11] Dublin Tornadoes Football Helmet – Authors’ Personal Collection – Purchased at


[12] Britball Now (2016) Results Section [1987] [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 23 March 2017]

[13] Anon. (1987) “Weekend Sport: American Football” Belfast Telegraph. April 27, 1987. pg. 29.

[14] Anon. (1987) “U.S. Football” Irish Press. Monday, May 4, 1987. pg. 14 Past Editions of the Irish Press are Available to view on the Internet at the Irish Newspaper archive at: [Accessed 13 October 2018]

[15] Anon. (1987) “Easy for Blitzers” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, May 11, 1987. Pg. 18. Past Editions of the Irish Press are Available to view on the Internet at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: [Accessed 6 May 2020]


[16] Anon. (1987) “Your Sports Diary: Tomorrow: American Football” Irish Independent. Saturday, May 16, 1987. pg. 21. Past copies of the Irish Independent are Available to view online at: [Accessed 13 October 2018] The Irish Newspaper Archive is a subscription service.


[17][ Anon. (1987) “American Football: Dublin Celts still unbeaten” The Irish Times. Monday, May 18, 1987. pg. 4 Past copies of the The Irish Times Article are Available to view online at: The Irish Times Archive is a subscription service.

[18][ Anon. (1987) “American Football” The Irish Independent. Monday, May 18, 1987. pg. 14 Past copies of the Irish Independent are Available to view online at: [Accessed 12 August 2021] The Irish Newspaper Archive is a subscription service.

[19] Anon. (1987) “Cowboys run riot” The Belfast Telegraph. Monday, May 18, 1987. Pg. 23 Past Editions of the Irish Press are Available to view on the Internet at the Irish Newspaper archive at: [Accessed 6 May 2020]

[20] Anon. (1987) “Giants ‘at Home'” Belfast Telegraph. Tuesday, May 19, 1987. pg. 30 Past copies of the Belfast Telegraph are Available to view online at: [Accessed 6 May 2020] The Irish Newspaper Archive is a subscription service.

[21] Anon. (1987) “Spartans victors” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, May 25, 1987. pg. 19 Past copies of the Belfast Telegraph are Available to view online at: [Accessed 6 May 2020] The Irish Newspaper Archive is a subscription service.

[22] Anon. (1987) “Bangor win” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, June 8, 1987. pg. 16. [Past copies of the Belfast Telegraph are available to view online at: ][Accessed 24 February 2021]

[23] Anon. (1987) “Advertisement: Events” Belfast Telegraph. Friday, June 19, 1987. pg. 15.

[24] Anon. (1987) “Spartans blitzed” Belfast Telegraph. Tuesday, June 23, 1987. pg. 17.

[25] Anon. (1987) “Big Blitz” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, June 29, 1987. Pg. 16. Past Editions of the Belfast Telegraph are Available to view on the Internet at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: [Accessed 8 December 2021]

Jack Daniels Summer Bowl

[26] Anon. (1987) “American Football” Irish Press. Monday, July 6, 1987, pg. 13.

[27] Feeney, John. (1987) “Traders happy with success of Mardi Gras” Nationalist and Leinster Times, Friday, August 21, 1987. pg. 3

[28] Anon. (1987) “American Football” Irish Independent. Monday, July 6, 1987. pg. 14.

[29] Anon. (1987) “Blitzers blitzed” Belfast Telegraph. Thursday, July 9, 1987. pg. 25.

[30] Bill Boyd (1987) “Gridiron Ireland” Gridiron. September 1987. Pg.

[31] Belfast Blitzers | Facebook (2019) Reply to Post by David Turner, August 12, 2019 [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 16 August 2019]

Photo Reference

[14] Belfast Blitzers Facebook (2020) Photo, September 2, 2020: [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 28 September 2020]


Thanks to Jo Buchanan (Craigavon Cowboys), Kevin Sharkey (Dublin Celts) and David Turner (Belfast Blitzers)


Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 10 June 2022

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2019-2022

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Reserved. The Logos and Photos used in this article remain the property of the organisations and individuals which own the copyright and are used here for educational and information purposes only.

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