Dublin Celts vs Craigavon Cowboys

Shamrock Bowl I 1986

Craigavon Cowboys won the first ever Shamrock Bowl 6-2 against the Dublin Celts at St. Mary’s Rugby Club in Templeville Road, Templeogue, Dublin 6W on October 5, 1986.

The Cowboys conceded a safety in the first half when Carlos De La Garza sacked Craigavon Quarterback Jeff Donaghy in the Cowboys endzone, but with only four minutes remaining player-of-the-match (Most Valuable Player) Nigel Trimble ran in the only touchdown of the match to seal a 6-2 victory for the Cowboys according to the Belfast Telegraph (1). 

An alternative winning Touchdown memory is given by the Celts’ Kevin Sharkey, who in an unpublished Celts history shared by American Football international’s John Gunning, has Jeff Donaghy making a pass to John Mullally who ran it in for the winning TD.

The Shamrock Bowl title going to Ulster meant the province reigned supreme with Belfast Blitzers winning the All Ireland Championship the previous month and the league title.


[1] Anon. (1986) “Cowboys triumph” Belfast Telegraph. Monday, October 6, 1986. pg. 19

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


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

Past Copies of the Belfast Telegraph are available to view online at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/

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