Connacht titles – what’s the score?

Connacht roll of honour

I’ve spent some time this morning trying to determine what the Connacht senior football championship roll of honour now looks like following our most recent victory on Sunday. This is because there appears to be some confusion as to whether or not Sunday’s provincial title victory was our 44th or 45th and if, as a result, we’re now level with or ahead of Galway in the roll of honour.

From what I can see, there appears to be no doubt about the Galway total of 44 Connacht titles, although it’s not 100% clear as to what years they won them in. This lack of clarity, not surprisingly, relates to the very early years of the championship, specifically the period between 1900 and 1910 and it’s this period too where the source of the confusion about whether or not we have 44 or 45 Connacht crowns to our credit also lies.

There are a number of sources that may be consulted to try to sort out this statistical point but, having done so, what’s clear to me is that the sources themselves differ regarding results of Connacht finals and the years in which matches took place. Adding another layer of uncertainty to this issue is the fact that competitions often ran a year or more behind in those days (for example, the 1901 Connacht final wasn’t played until November 1902), with the picture further clouded by objections, counter-objections and appeals, which seemed to be ten-a-penny back then.

So, wading through this all this puzzlement and having consulted a number of sources – including those I used myself when putting together the results archive here on the site – I’ve come to the tentative conclusion that our provincial title count stands level with Galway on 44 … but I’m still far from sure about the exact years we won out in Connacht in the period 1900-1910.

From what I can see, all sources are in agreement about who won out in 1900 (Galway), 1901 (us), 1904 (us), 1905 (Roscommon) and 1906-9 (us, our first Connacht four-in-a-row). The confusion, then, seems to centre on 1902, 1903 and 1910. To get to the 44 total, we need to be credited with one of these three and we need two of them to reach 45 and so overhaul Galway.

My own archive lists Galway as the winners of the 1902 Connacht championship, with the final played in Claremorris on 3rd May 1903 which Galway won by 0-5 to 1-1. The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games lists Galway as the unopposed winners in Connacht that year and Wikipedia does likewise. Hogan Stand also includes 1902 within Galway’s total. Sunday’s match programme, however, gives 1902 to us and in a previous programme (the one for the 2011 semi-final) lists the 1902 result as a 2-2 to 0-6 victory for us. Terry Reilly’s The Green Above the Red has the same result in our favour for that year but The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games has that 2-2 to 0-6 result down as the outcome of the refixed 1901 final. That’s what I have too.  I’m leaning towards Galway for 1902, then.

1903 appears to be between ourselves and Roscommon. Sunday’s programme gives it to the Rossies, as does my own archive, but The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games and Wikipedia both give it to us, on a final scoreline of 3-6 to 0-1. Hogan Stand also credits us for 1903. What’s clear is that 3-6 to 0-1 win over the Rossies did, definitely, take place but the date I have for when it was played is 16th April 1905 and from what I can see this match would have been the decider for the 1904 championship, which all sources agree we won. To try to clear up the point, I consulted the Irish Newspaper Archives again earlier on today and both the Connaught Telegraph and the Leitrim Observer carry reports in April 1904 of a Connacht final between Roscommon (Elphin) and Mayo (Castlebar Mitchels) which the Rossies won by 1-2 to 0-4. (It appears there was an objection lodged by the losers about this match too but it doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere). This must have been the 1903 final so I think we can safely chalk the Rossies down for that one.

That leaves 1910, which Sunday’s programme credits to Galway but which The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games, Wikipedia, Hogan Stand and my own archive lists as one won by us. I have that one down as a 1-4 to 0-5 win for us over Galway, as does The Green Above the Red but that source then goes on to say the following (at page 180): “Records, too, have been in error in crediting the 1910 title to Mayo. Mayo and Roscommon met in the semi-final in Athlone, which gave rise to an objection. Roscommon went on to play Galway in the final at Athleague on October 8th, 1911, with Galway winning by 1-3 to 1-2.”  I think this assertion is incorrect. That 1-3 to 1-2 win for Galway appears, instead, to be the 1911 final (both The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games and Wikipedia list it as such) and primary sources I’ve consulted just now (Irish Independent and Freeman’s Journal) are both clear that our 1-4 to 0-5 win over Galway on 30th October 2010 was a provincial final. That can only have been the 1910 decider and so I’m giving that one to us.

In summary, then, if we accept that Galway should be credited with the 1902 Connacht title, Roscommon with 1903 and us with 1910 (or, as Sunday’s match programme has it, that we get 1902 while Galway get 1910) then ourselves and the Tribesmen will head into 2014 locked on 44 provincial crowns each. I know we’ve substantial fish to fry before thinking ahead to next year’s provincial championship campaign but this statistic does, I think, give us a strong incentive to push on for a Connacht four-in-a-row then.

21 thoughts on “Connacht titles – what’s the score?

  1. Fair play to you for all the work, but the most important one is always the latest one. Galway can’t take that off us!

  2. I think we should be down for 98 as well, seeing as we led the way in 96 and 97

  3. I’m not been petty for the sake of been petty. In the 2009 Connacht final programme we had the 1910 Connacht final won. Likewise in 1999, when we won it – we had 39, Galway had 39, we have won 6 since then putting us on 45, Galway won 5 putting them on 44. This chopping and changing doesn’t cut it for me I’m afraid!

  4. Were you in the stands or on the terrace for that one F’deelin ?
    Its a long time to hold a grudge !
    I guess the modern day psychologists would advise you to let it go !
    Well done Willie Joe for your work on this & sharing it with us.
    I always wondered about it but now you’ve solved the puzzle.

  5. Stair CLG Chonnacht published to mark the centenary of Connacht Council in 2002 has Galway being awarded the 1900 championship, Mayo winning 1901 2 = 2 to Galway 0 =6 [@ Claremorris, 9/11/1902], According to this account the Connacht Council was formed after a previous match [Mayo 2 = 3 to 0 = 3, 12/10/1902 also@ Claremorris which resulted in an objection. However there is a footnote to the team listings which reverses the results on the day [Mayo won both]. It has Mayo also winning 1902 Mayo 2 = 2 Galway 0 = 6 [@Claremorris 3/5/1903] According to this history the 1903 Championship was awarded to Galway as Mayo and Roscommon were not properly registered. According to this history 1910 was won by Galway beat Rosc 1 = 3 to 1 = 2 on 8/10/1911 played in Athlone. the 1911 title is credited to Galway over Mayo with no score given and no details of any other matches.
    Incidentally following our win over Galway this year reference was made to 1907 as the previous highest margin in a Mayo win over Galway. This history is uncertain about the Mayo score giving it as 3 = 6 or 3 = 9. It also gives a score of Mayo 2 = 16 Galway 0 = 1 for 1906 giving the biggest ever margin of 21 pts. Something to aim for next year!!!
    However as I said before this book also credits Roscommon with the 1985 final although on another page giving team listings it lists Mayo first indicating they were winners. This was Dermot Earley’s last final and I don’t think there is any doubt about Mayo’s win.

  6. Looking further in to Conacht Final stats I see Cillian O’Connor has moved into second spot as all time top scorer in a final with his 3 = 3, just behind Mickey Kearns’ 1971 total of 0 = 13..
    Previous second spot was Joe McGrath’s 2 = 5 in the 1979 final while Gerald Courell’s 2 = 4 in 1931, Peter Solan’s 3 = 1 in 1951, Seamus Leyden’s 1 = 7 in 1971 and Kevin McStay also 1 = 7 in 1984 now share fourth spot.
    Five of the top seven are Mayo men.

  7. In the spirit of History let me run this by you in terms of Mistakes and injuries.

    1989- Mistake- Too many natural midfielders playing – Kilgallon,McHale,Padden,Greg Maher,Sean Maher with the result people pushed into places.

    1992-1993- Mistake: Turning up in Croke Park at all!

    1996_ Mistake- The mistake in first game could arguably be attributed to John Madden but Im not so sure. In second game remember Mayo had been castigated for having a yellow streak up to that- Meath had been vicious in the SEmi-Final so was it any wonder when the fracas began it became one in all in. THe biggest mistake was McAneaneys and no amount of revisionism will change that. We got 5 all stars that year same as Meath- a sign from the powers that we were at least as good as Meath and had been harshly treated.

    97- Changing all the tyres was the mistake and having no back cover. Yet injuries conspired too- O Neill- Flanagan- Sheridan. In that milleu no wonder Holmes left on FItzgerald!

    2004-2006-2012- Mistake- Not expecting high diagonal ball!

    WE have had loads of injuries through the years- Jimmy Burke- Frank Noone- Kevin McStay

    Lesson: You have to cut down on mistakes in 2013 and deal with the injuries. Use what you have not what you would like to have!!! Now is the time- mistakes and injuries are the old excuse, This year lets win in spite of ,not lose because of.

    Great work WJ by the way!

  8. Haha!!! These typos on my iPhone r getting better!! Obv I tried to type Mayo!!!!!!

    Bed time I think!! Oiche mhaith gach duine!

  9. Well done Willie Joe on caring out such an in-depth analysis on this number of Connacht titles issue. For years there’s been different numbers bandied about but reading your piece one can understand the confusion. Often wondered if there’s any attendances records for these early finals ?

  10. Mayonaze, we might need Nato on our side if we meet the Dubs later this year.

  11. Brilliant willie joe … Cool hand Luke spot on and mayonaze very good … Love this blog always puts a smile on my face …???? Hoping to make it to hq at weekend and have a look at those cork boyos the tribesmen in for a roasting I’m afraid … Anyone any update on David Clarke? Didn’t think his injury was this serious when he went off at the Roscommon game? Edwin’s piece in the Mayo news is very good this week !!! and on another note hope we just about win our quarter final play ok in semi final and win by 2 and absolutely let rip like there’s no tomorrow in the final …. Loved if it panned out like that !!!

  12. Clarke is very doubtful for 1/4 final.
    Alan Murphy, Keith Rogers and Brian Gallagher omitted from the squad for the rest of the championship since Tuesday night training.

  13. Interesting to see that Brian Gallagher has been dropped considering the commentary from Horan just a few months ago touting him as “the real deal”…

  14. Supposedly playing great stuff too last few weeks. Think it’s more evidence of tightening the belt.

  15. Well done WJ and all others for the in-depth search on the mayo Connacht tally……..It was me who raised this a few topics back and thank you for that additional info And detail I hadn’t known…………..We’ll take it as 44 to 44 so for us and the Tribesmen and try to overtake that in 2014 “!………..To more pressing matters I was delighted to see us get Donegal in the Quarters……Definitely the best for us at this stage and hopefully all will be motivated to raise the bar and avenge 2013……….

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