Monday 22 January 2018

Played: 116 Won: 11 - the reality of life for GAA underdogs

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

A €1 bet on Clare, Tipperary and Wicklow to complete a treble over Cork, Kerry and Meath respectively next Sunday would yield €924, whereas as a similar wager on the three favourites would return a mere €1.20.

It typifies the enormity of the task facing many underdogs at a time when the championship structures are back on the agenda.

From the 116 games that Clare, Tipperary and Wicklow have played against next Sunday's opposition, they have won only 11 times.

Clare have beaten Cork five times; Tipperary have a similar success rate against Kerry while Wicklow's only senior championship success against Meath came in 1957, when they won a Leinster quarter-final by a point in Athy.


Wicklow are 11/1 to beat Meath (1/33) on Sunday, a task made all the more difficult by the Royals' return to Pairc Tailteann for their first home Leinster championship game since 1995 when they beat Offaly.

The last of Clare's five wins over Cork was in 1997, when a late goal by Martin Daly stunned the Larry Tompkins-managed Rebels. It was Clare's first win over Cork since 1941.

You have to go back to 1928 for Tipperary's last senior championship victory over Kerry.

However, Tipperary's improvement across all grades in recent years has increased hopes in the county that they are on the way to establishing a degree of parity with Cork and Kerry.

They ran Cork to two points in last year's Munster semi-final.

Having hammered Waterford in the first round a few weeks ago, are primed for a massive effort against the reigning All-Ireland champions in Semple Stadium.

Tipp last played Kerry in 2013, losing by 17 points.

Irish Independent

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