You’ll have it all (and more) in the match programme tomorrow but seeing as I have the stats, like, I thought it might be as well to provide them to you. I’ve only collected results (so far) for the last fifty years and I’m sure the programme will have the full list tomorrow but, the day before any game, I think that half a century of championship results against the opposition is more than enough upon which to ruminate.
As you can see, I’ve set out our results for the last fifty years in the championship against the Rossies in a nice colourful table below. Looking at it now, however, I accept that this lurid creation could only have come from the hand of someone who is truly colour blind (which regular readers will know is one of my many afflictions). It started out being green and red but then I thought it’d be kinda handy to show the Rossies’ wins in yella and, of course, I then had to factor in the two drawn games, which appear in what MS Word calls ‘Gray-25%’. And so this is the resultant mélange:
As you can see, the record shows that for the first twenty five years, they gave as good as they got (and, in the period 1977 to 1980, a good deal better than that) but we’ve been well on top in more recent years. We’ve won eight out of our last nine clashes (one of these was, of course, in the qualifiers – that 2002 encounter was the only time we’ve met the Sheepstealers in the championship where it wasn’t a Connacht clash of some sort) and we can, with some validity, claim that we wuz robbed in the one, in 2001, that they managed to win. Most of our recent wins have been convincing ones too – twice in this decade we’ve knocked over more than twenty points in matches against them – while that solitary win for them was an archetypal smash-and-grab one-pointer (not that this would have worried them, mind).
Overall, we’re ahead 15-10 and, as you can see, we’re well ahead on aggregate scores too. Despite the still raw memories of that 1986 defeat to them in Castlebar, our McHale Park record is solid enough too: we’ve beaten them five times (and have drawn twice, in 1989 and 1991) at home since that 1986 loss and overall we’re 7-4 up in terms of McHale Park jousts. Maybe it’s worth reminding them of that fact tomorrow, just in case they get the wrong idea when they see for themselves that nice homely colour scheme – that even us colour blind folk can only cringe about – we’ve got for them in the new stand.