Category: SBC

Posts related to the SBC league

Nostalgia – a look at some pictures from the archives.

Here’s some nostalgia – if you’re one of our alumni; or history if you’re currently playing. We’ve looked through some of the picture archives at some snaps from yester year. From the pioneering era of Irish football, when you had to be a real trailblazer to play the sport. Not all the uniforms match – this was before internet shopping and the advent of equipment stores in Europe. The fields may not have been as good many today. But, in spite of appearances, some great football was played by some very committed players. Apologies for the quality of some of the pictures – these were all taken on real cameras with film in them. No auto focus or touching up. Enjoy!

Above is the oldest picture in this batch. Dublin Celts (green) versus Craigavon Cowboys (black) in 1991. Two of the original teams who started playing competitive football in Ireland in the 1980s. Both played in Europe during this era. Greg Loughran, the current Cowboys coach was probably on the field in this game.

This is from the first ever American football game played on the historic campus of Trinity College Dublin. The game was part of the festivities for the colleges 400 year anniversary celebrations in 1992.Dublin Tornadoes (white) defeated Antrim Bulldogs (purple/yellow) with a field goal as time expired. The game was organised by our current Commissioner Cillian Smith during his college days. Interesting piece of trivia – this game took place before the first ever GAA game was played on campus later the same year.

In this picture, we see a familiar face to todays IAFA members. Kevin Sharkey – currently on the Wexford coaching squad and formerly of North Kildare – is player number 67 playing for the Dublin Celts against Dublin Tornadoes in 1993.

The Dublin Tornadoes 1993 Shamrock Bowl winning team. This is the Tornadoes first of 3 consecutive Shamrock Bowls. They were coached by the late Dave Curran (centre wearing blue/white shirt), who previously led the Dublin Celts to Shamrock Bowl success.

Picture of the Dublin Lightning huddle in 1997, when the team was defending its Shamrock Bowl title in the last full season of football before the start of the big shut down in the late 1990s. The opponents were Dublin Bulls – seen in the background – the only company team ever to play in Ireland. They were owned by the Gateway Computing who used to have a large plant in Dublin.

The mid to late 1990s saw flag football come to prominence with the very competitive Irish Flag Football League being played in various parks around Dublin. The league, which had 11 teams playing a 10 game regular season at its peak, played a 7-a-side version of semi-contact flag football. Pictured above is the Northside Devastators team, who won the title in the late 1990s.

A rare photo from the year that competitive football returned to Ireland in 2001. Dublin Rebels (black) play Dublin Dragons (burgundy) in Ringsend Park in Dublin.


Another rare snap from 2001 featuring the other two teams who made up the four who restarted in 2001. This is Carrickfergus knights at UL Vikings – believed to be the Vikings first ever home game. Note the blue scrimmage vests with painted numbers – the Vikings first uniforms did not arrive until later in the season.

And finally, from August 2002, Carrickfergus Knights (yellow) versus Team Canada. The Knights, as Irish Champions, represented the league against the touring visitors in a challenge game, which was played at St. Vincents GAA in Dublin.

Applications being accepted for 2018 League Football

The application process for the 2018 kitted league season has now opened. Between now and 11th October, all teams will be required to submit a detailed application form if they wish to play in 2018. Shortly after the deadline, the Association will contact all applications with a view to arranging a face to face meeting to discuss their application. New and returning teams all go through the same process which is designed to ensure that all entrants are capable of successfully completing a full season and, in some instances, to determine which level they should be playing at.

Returning teams will be very familiar with the process. New applicants can get assistance with completing their forms and the requirements.

A copy of the application form can be downloaded here:


Dublin Rebels win Shamrock Bowl XXXI

Dublin Rebels 12-6 Carrickfergus Knights

Dublin Rebels defended their Shamrock Bowl title in close battle with Carrickfergus Knights at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday 13th August. Rebels running back Wello Omorodion won the Terry Lynch MVP Award after having rushed for 145 yards and scored a key touchdown.


The game was played in good weather, with the pitch in perfect condition, on front of an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.


The Knights, who were appearing in their first Shamrock Bowl final since 2004, started the game strong. They moved the ball well in their opening possessions and played well on defence. Their efforts were rewarded late in the second quarter when, following an interception by Josh Davis, QB Spencer McDowell connected with wide receiver Martin Caskey in the corner of the endzone for the opening touchdown of the game.


The Rebels came out strong in the second half, moving the ball downfield early in the 3rd quarter and scoring on a touchdown pass from Andy Dennehy to Cathal Keane. This was followed by a touchdown run by Omorodion to give the Rebels a tight 12-6 lead at the end of the quarter. The Rebels appeared to control the game in the fourth quarter and were unluckly not to add to their lead.


Victory gives the Rebels a record 9 Shamrock Bowl titles. Veteran quarterback Andy Dennehy, who has played in all 9 victories, indicated after the game that he may return next season to try and win a 10th.



Rebels and Knights ready for Shamrock Bowl XXXI next Sunday

Shamrock Bowl 31, the National Championship game for American football in Ireland will take place at Tallaght Stadium next Sunday. Dublin Rebels and Carrickfergus Knights will play in what is sure to be one of the most competitive games in Shamrock Bowl history. With the game fast approaching, both teams are making their final preparations in advance of the big game.

The Rebels and Knights are coming off impressive seasons where they won their respective divisions – the Knights winning SBC North and Rebels SBC South. The Rebels qualified for the Shamrock Bowl with a semi final win against Belfast and the Knights with an overtime win against University of Limerick. Both teams have well drilled explosive offenses which bodes well for an exciting Shamrock Bowl.

American football has been one of the fastest growing sports in Ireland in recent years, with twenty two teams playing competitive league football. This, combined with a focus on coaches training and the national programme has made the Irish league into one of the most competitive amateur leagues in Europe.

The game will kick-off at 2:30pm in Tallaght Stadium, Dublin – a modern all seater stadium that also hosts many high profile soccer games. Traditionally, the Shamrock Bowl is pitched at a family audience as it seeks to create the unique atmosphere that can only be experienced at a live American football game. It’s a great event for newcomers as there will be live in stadium commentary to take people through the game. As this year is the 31st edition of the game. 

Tickets are priced between €7 and €10 and can be obtained on the day or via Readers of this article can get a 50% discount by using the code tallaght31 when ordering online.

Shamrock Bowl 31,
Sunday 13th August 2017,
Tallaght Stadium,
Kick-off 2:30pm.


Playoffs and Provisional Bowl Dates

Dates in July and August for the Playoffs and Bowl Games

The dates for the Shamrock Bowl Conference & IAFL1 playoffs have been announced along with provisional dates for the Shamrock Bowl and the IAFL1 and IAFL2 Bowl Games. 

The dates remain provisional while confirmation on the availability of Tallaght Stadium is to be determined. This will depend on the necessity of FAI teams to use it for European Competitions. 

The dates of the SBC Playoffs are:

  • SBC Wildcard Game 1 July 23rd 2017
  • SBC Wildcard Game 2 July 23rd 2017
  • SBC Semi Final 1 July 30th 2017
  • SBC Semi Final 2 July 30th 2017
  • Shamrock Bowl August 13th 2017 (provisional date)

The dates of the IAFL1 Playoffs are:

  • IAFL 1 Semi Final 1 July 23rd 2017
  • IAFL 1 Semi Final 2 July 23rd 2017
  • IAFL 1 Bowl August 20th 2017 (provisional date)

The dates of the IAFL2 Playoffs are:

  • IAFL 2 Bowl August 20th 2017(provisional date)

SBC Playoff Determination

Wildcard – 2nd placed teams at home to the 3rd placed team in the same division with one exception as follows. If the 4th placed team in the other division has more points than the 3rd placed team in the same division, then the aforementioned 4th placed team shall replace the 3rd placed team.

Wildcard Winner away to 1st placed team in other Division to the team hosting the wildcard game.

The winners of the Semi-Finals will meet in the Shamrock Bowl.

IAFL1 Playoff Determination

Semi Finals:

  1. 4th @ 1st
  2. 3rd @ 2nd


Winner Semi Final 1 vs Winner Semi Final 2.

IAFL2 Playoff Determination

1st vs 2nd.

Full Description found in Bylaws

Trojans open with a win at UCD.

The Belfast Trojans kicked off their 2017 season with a thrilling 49-34 victory over University College Dublin.

The game was a rematch of the 2016 SBC semi final, but in stark contrast to that low-scoring 10-7 Belfast win, this was an offensive shootout with both teams piling up the yards and points.

Both quarterbacks were firing on all cylinders, with Trojans’ Mark McVeigh and UCD’s Tom Donovan finding receivers with precise accuracy.

It was the Trojans who opened the scoring on their first offensive play from scrimmage. It was 2016 MVP Jona Siri who got his year off to the perfect start. The running back bounced a run off right tackle to the edge, before displaying his trademark speed to out run a number of UCD defenders and open the scoring from over 60 yards out. The Trojans defence continued their good start to the game with Neil Graham notching a sack of Donovan. A good punt pinned the Trojans deep but a fantastic 85 yard drive was capped when full back Jake Warry ploughed in from close range to double the lead.

Belfast would add to the lead in the second quarter. McVeigh was spreading the ball around nicely with rookie Aidan Gribbon catching a ball in the endzone and expertly dragging his feet, meaning his first career catch went for six points. It would soon be 28-0 when another new boy Adam Cole snagged a ball in the endzone to cap another smart Trojans drive. UCD bounced back soon after though, Donovan leading the students down the field to get off the mark.

The halftime score was 35-6 though as Mohamed Ramadan added to the offensive outburst catching an out route before taking it in from close range to score his first career touchdown. After the break UCD came back with a bang. The 28 point deficit was quickly reduced to seven with around 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Donovan was on fire in the second half, evading pressure, scrambling for yards as well as keeping his eyes downfield and finding and open receiver.

The Trojans offence though took over, after a stuttering third quarter. Jona Siri returned to the game after leaving just before halftime and he sparked the offence back to life with some solid running. McVeigh found David Richardson deep down the right sideline and the veteran was shoved out of bounds at the two yard line, with an unfortunate injury being suffered by a UCD defender. Siri took it in from two yards to restore the two score advantage before a 40 minute stoppage as the injured UCD player could be taken to hospital.

After the restart the Trojans turned the ball over on the very first play. A botched handoff between Donovan and his running back saw rookie defensive lineman Ross Thain dive on the loose ball giving the Trojans excellent field position to kill the game. Siri again made no mistake and brought up his hatrick with another strong run to cap a fantastic day for the star running back. Not even a late UCD consolation score could take the shine off a great start to the season for the Trojans, as they look to climb back to the top.

Belfast will be back in action on Sunday 26 March as they make another trip south to take on student opposition in the form of Trinity College Dublin.

Vikings and Trinity in season opening thriller

Report by Trinity reporter.

KO: 1pm
Location: ALSAA, Santry, Dublin
Opponents: UL Vikings
Shamrock Bowl Conference

Trinity started the season opener home but in ALSAA against UL Vikings. Last year TCDAF went 2-6 but this year gained back some players who were away and recruited well with new student players. The game opened with Trinity stopping UL on their first drive. Taking over, Trinity scored on the first play of the game with a long touchdown pass from returning QB Dan Finnamore to national team WR Conor O’Dwyer. Trinity missed the extra point. UL then drove the field and score a running touchdown to #3 and then returned to add another score to #12 making the game 14-6 at halftime in favor of the visitors.

Trinity opened up the half driving the length of the field caping it off with a 2-yard touchdown run form RB Ola Bademosi. The 2-pt conversion failed. (14-12). UL then answered back with a score making the game 21-12 deep in the fourth quarter. WR Pavel Rozman returned a punt 81-yards for a touchdown with 1:30 left in the game. Trinity was unable to recover the ensuing onside kick and UL kneeled to win the game 21-19.

Record number of teams enter for the 2017 kitted football season

It looks like IAFA’s record setting growth in recent years is set to continue into 2017 with a new record number of clubs entering teams for the 2017 season.

The application deadline for the 2017 season is now closed. All 22 clubs who played in 2016 are returning again. They will be joined by newcomers Antrim Jets to give the us 23 applicants – breaking last years record number. Additionally three teams have expressed an interest in fielding 2nd teams – up from a single team in 2016. All this means that, pending audit, up to 26 teams could be playing competitive league football in 2017.

IAFA has come a long way from 2002 when only 4 teams played competitive football. As recently as 2009, there were only 7 teams playing competitive 11-a-side full kitted American football. While many sports in Ireland were hit badly by the recession, the IAFA has had the opposite experience with unprecedented growth – the number of teams has nearly quadrupled during this period.

Last month, the IAFA Board established a Competitions Committee comprising of a Board member, official, team manager and a coach to review the league structures for 2017. Cillian Smith, Derek Ward, Barry Kiel and Andy Dennehy will revert with recommendations in the coming weeks.

So you want to play American Football in Ireland?

American Football in Ireland is back from its break, and Teams up and down the country are gearing up for the 2017 season. Rookies are being recruited, gym sessions are kicking off and helmets are getting dusted off. With a long winter of preseason ahead for Irish American Football, now is the time to get stuck into the fastest growing sport in Ireland.

Why should I play American Football in Ireland?

There are so many reasons why you should get involved with American Football in Ireland. Firstly, the sport here is played for love, not money. All the American football players and coached in Ireland dedicate their time and energy for free. They play American football simply because they want to. Irish American Football players have a passion for the sport and put their heart and soul into playing.

Secondly the game here is played to the highest of standards. Players wear all the gear and don’t hold back on the hits. If you play American football in Ireland you get to be part of a live game every Sunday. Imagine playing in a full contact game on a Sunday afternoon and after, going home to watching your favourite team on TV . Now we’re not saying you’ll be the next Tom Brady, but you will get to experience what American Football is like in real life.

And finally, the Irish American Football League boasts some of the best players in Europe. In September of 2016 we sent a squad to play an international game against the Dutch National Team in Holland. Every year, the National Champions go to the Atlantic Cup, where they play against some of the top clubs in Europe. The standard of American Football in Ireland is always on the rise, and now is the perfect opportunity for you to get involved.


How do I get involved?

There are American football teams in every province in Ireland. Dublin has the highest concentration of teams; boasting the Rhinos, the Panthers, the Rebels, The Pirates along with College teams in UCD and Trinity. In Wexford you can find the Eagles, While in Waterford and Galway you can play for the Wolves and the Warriors respectively. Further south in Limerick and in Cork are two stalwarts of Irish American Football in the UL Vikings and the Admirals. On your way back up North you will come across the North Kildare Reapers and the South Kildare Soldiers.

Northern Ireland is a stronghold for American Football in Ireland with the likes of the Trojans, the Cowboys, the Knights and the recently crowned third division champions the Donegal/Derry Vipers.Also based in the North are the Antrim Jets and the PSNI Razorbacks .And lest we forget the Titans, the Mavericks, the Bulldogs and the Minotaurs: based in Tyrone, Louth, Meath and Mullingar! Phew! That’s a lot of teams for such a small island and a whole lot of opportunity’s to play here, no matter what corner of the country you come from.

All of these Teams are now actively recruiting for their 2017 seasons and would love to heat from you. If you want to play American Football in Ireland in 2017 then now is the time to get involved!


IAFA finishes biggest ever kitted season – the year in numbers.

The final whistle in the IAFL2 Bowl last Sunday marked the end of the 30th season of adult kitted football season in Ireland. It was a year that broke many records for the right reason including:

  • A record 914 players played in the 2016 season. SBC teams had average squads of 48 players. IAFL1 & IAFL2 averaged 34 players. These are remarkable figures considering that there were less than 120 players in the country as recently as 2002.
  • A record 23 teams fielded by 22 clubs played a full competitive season. This included 3  new clubs – Wexford Eagles, North Dublin Pirates and PSNI Razorbacks.
  • There were a record 96 scheduled competitive fixtures.
  • There were, on average, 39.6 points per game scored Shamrock Bowl Conference regular season fixtures. The figures for IAFL1 & IAFL2 are 30.3 and 26.2.
  • All regular season fixtures were fully completed in the SBC and IAFL2, with only one fixture not being completed in IAFL1. This is an almost unprecedented completion rate amongst similar European leagues. It is the 3rd successive season with 100% completion in the SBC. A 100% completion record for IAFL2, a development league with 3 additional new clubs is also remarkable and a tribute to the hard work of those establishing new clubs.
  • This years SBC was statistically the closest ever with 5 teams finishing the regular season within one game of 6 victories.
  • It was the year of close finals with two of the three Bowl games being decided in the last minute!