Sunday 25 September 2016

Any more tremors ahead in season of shocks?

Published 27/07/2016 | 02:30

Who would have thought pre-championship that by late July, Galway and Tipperary would be the two counties in with a chance of winning the All-Ireland football and hurling championship double? Stock photo: Sportsfile
Who would have thought pre-championship that by late July, Galway and Tipperary would be the two counties in with a chance of winning the All-Ireland football and hurling championship double? Stock photo: Sportsfile

Who would have thought pre-championship that by late July, Galway and Tipperary would be the two counties in with a chance of winning the All-Ireland football and hurling championship double?

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It's unlikely that either will achieve it but the pursuit goes on, which is very encouraging for both counties, who will be up against other in both codes over the next few weeks.

Also, who would have forecast in May that Clare footballers would survive longer in the championship than their hurlers? That Mayo would be trying to squeeze through the back door for the first time in six years? That Longford would eliminate two Division 1 teams from Ulster, including last year's champions? And that Tipperary footballers would beat Cork for the first time in 72 years? 

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Whatever happens in the rest of the football championship, it has produced a far higher quota of upsets than anyone would have envisaged, or indeed than the last few seasons delivered.

There have been nine games where teams from lower divisions beat higher-ranked opposition, with Division 3 especially rebellious, thanks to Longford, Tipp and Clare.

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Between them they beat four Division 1 teams (Down, Monaghan, Cork, Roscommon) and two Division 2 opposition (Laois, Derry).

Dublin and Kerry are the only unbeaten Division 1 teams, while Galway and Tyrone are in the same boat from Division 2.

With four of the remaining 10 contenders from Munster, it's the province's best showing since the system was changed in 2001.

There are nine games remaining so how high will the surprise quota reach?

Irish Independent

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