Thursday 21 September 2017

Dublin once hit 10 goals in a match - proof that very one-sided games are not modern invention

A dejected John Heslin of Westmeath after the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
A dejected John Heslin of Westmeath after the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Conor Neville

Just when people were fantasising about the possibility of a competitive Leinster final, Dublin stir themselves enough to inflict a 31-point defeat on Westmeath in a match unworthy of the tag 'provincial semi-final'.

And once more, the entire concept of the Leinster championship is brought into disrepute.

Sure enough, we were soon enough knee deep in yet more debates about championship systems and second tier competitions.

We are getting to the stage where most accept that a second tier competition is a necessity. Tiered systems are already a universally accepted and longstanding part of the club scene and no one seems to feel any the poorer for that. Indeed, intermediate champions don't seem to celebrate their cup win with any less gusto than senior champions.

But speaking on the Throw In, Martin Breheny reminds people that one-sided games are not exactly a modern development.

Furthermore the past also offers proof that things can change. 

"Dublin did hit Longford in 1960 for 10 goals and 13 points in a 60 minute game. Not alone that but eight years later Longford were Leinster champions having also won the National League in 1966. So things can change.

"Kerry put 9-21 on poor old Clare back in 1979. No matter what you do with the system, there'll be days when teams will be wiped out."

It's worth adding that Longford beat Dublin en route to that Leinster title victory in 1968. They would beat them again in 1970.

Perhaps we can find a more recent example of a team shipping an unseemly battering before returning to humble their former tormentors.

Last year, Monaghan mauled Down by 2-22 to 0-9. We know what happened last Saturday. Down achieved a remarkable 21-point turnaround to land themselves a spot in the Ulster final for the first time since 2012.

Joe Brolly might point out that not all counties can have Down's deep-seated confidence, a legacy of their glorious past, but their win should prove an inspiration to counties who've been humiliated in recent years.

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