Belfast Blitzers vs Dublin Celts

All Ireland Championship 1986

Belfast Blitzers won the first Irish American Football Championship 7-0 versus Dublin Celts at Belfast thanks to a Touchdown by George Neill, the Glentoran Soccer player, who played fullback for the Blitzers after returning from Glentoran’s Tour of USA. The score was remembered a 6-2 to the Blitzers by Kevin Sharkey, a Dublin Celts player in his history of the Celts.


[1] Anon. (1986) “Sport in Brief: American Football” Sunday Press. Sunday, August 17, 1986. pg. 25.

[2] Anon. (1986) “Dublin Celts are blitzed” Sunday Press, August 17, 1986. pg. 44.

[3] Anon. (1986) “Cowboys look for revenge” Belfast Telegraph. Friday, August 29, 1986. Pg. 22.

[4] Anon. (1986) “Cowboys to meet the Celts” Belfast Telegraph. Saturday, September 27, 1986. Pg. 24

Past Copies of the Irish Press and Belfast Telegraph are available to view online at: ]


[14] Kevin Sharkey (2020) “The Dublin Celts” Word Document shared by John Gunning on Facebook Messenger with permission.


Belfast Blitzers vs Dublin Celts

Belfast Blitzers became the first ever team to beat the Dublin Celts, triumphing 24-20 in the 2nd Leg of the Capital Cup which doubled as an IAFL match on 22 June 1986 at Cooke Rugby Club in Belfast.

Martin Press secured victory for the Blitzers in the dying seconds when crashed over over for a Touchdown from close range and then the Belfast team ran in the extra point to make the Final score 24-20.

Dublin Celts took a 6-0 lead with an early touchdown, however the Blitzers edged in front 7-6 when Wide Receiver Ivan Smith scored a TD to which they added the extra point.

Belfast went further ahead when Derek McCord returned a punt 85 yards to the endzone, which was again converted leaving the Blitzers 14-6 up. Following this the Blitzers sacked the Celts Quarterback in the endzone for two more points. Two more touchdowns from the Celts put them 20-16 up in this see-saw battle, but the Belfast defence held firm for 7 more minutes before scoring the vital touchdown.


[1] Anon. (1986) “Blitzers turn the tables” Belfast Telegraph. Tuesday, June 24, 1986. pg. 28

[2] Anon. (1986) “Neill set for Capital Cup blitz” Belfast Telegraph. Wednesday, June 18, 1986. Pg. 23