I know, I know – it’s ahead to Sunday we should be looking at this stage and not back into the history books and, yes, there is life beyond our frequent showdowns with Galway but we’ve named our team and they’ve yet to reciprocate so here’s some history stuff to keep you occupied in the meantime.
As we’re all well aware, we’ve played the Tribesmen a gazillion times at this stage – full details apart from our most recent league meeting are available here – but the question that came into my head earlier on this morning was this: how many times have we met in the championship at McHale Park?
Twenty times is the answer and full details of same are set out in this handy table which I’ve culled from my results archive. They’ve won eleven of those clashes to our nine so the first interesting stat to pop out is that we’ve never yet drawn with them in a championship match at McHale Park. Given all the uncertainty surrounding the mental condition of both teams going into Sunday’s contest (“We’re shite!” “We’re even shiter!”) what are the odds on a first ever summer stalemate between us at Castlebar? 7/1, according to Paddy Power.
This will be our first meeting in the championship on home soil in the current decade and in the decade just ended our McHale Park clashes ended 2-2 apiece, as did our meetings there back in Eighties. It was during the Nineties, unsurprisingly, when we had our best run at home against them – we recorded four straight wins over them at the venue between 1989 and 1997 – and it won’t come as a shock to learn that they had it largely their own way against us in Castlebar during the 1960s.
Before then, summer clashes between us at McHale Park were very much a rarity, as the vast majority of our championship showdowns with them in those earlier times tended to be played on neutral ground. Our first ever championship clash with them at the venue was back in 1944, less than two weeks after D-Day. We beat them there then and, sure, won’t we beat them there on Sunday too?