So, it wasn’t a bad dream after all – we did really get our arses handed to us in front of an enormous home crowd at MacHale Park last night. No wonder then, despite the fact that I didn’t have a drink before or after the game, that I feel like I’ve got a rather bad hangover this morning.
I was awake early this morning and, fool that I am, decided to go hunting in the results archive so that I could place last night’s meltdown in its proper historical context. As I’ve already mentioned in the comments, my research tells me that last night’s paddling was the worst reversal suffered by the county since the 5-15 to 0-10 defeat to Cork in the 1993 All-Ireland semi-final. Later that same year, the same opposition as last night beat us by the same 14-point margin in a League fixture at Croke Park.
Then, sad case that I am, I kept on hunting as I wanted to see when – if ever – we’d previously been beaten by a margin such as last night’s at MacHale Park. Part of me didn’t want last night’s thumping to go down in history as our worst ever in Castlebar and so I was slightly relieved to find an even worse one. This hiding occurred way back in 1956 when Galway, with the Terrible Twins in their ranks, came to town and went to town on us to the tune of 5-13 to 2-5.
So that’s what we’re looking at when contextualising the defeat we suffered last night. It wasn’t any old defeat (by the way, the one against Donegal in 2012 that shocked James Horan’s charges into action was only a seven-pointer), it was a hammering of historical proportions and it’s one that, as I said last night, demands an immediate response.
Back to last night, though, and the match reports, which was the original point of this piece before I went all Diarmuid Ferriter on you. Here’s a selection of what’s out there:
Finally, please do vote in the MOTM poll. I know a few of you have questioned the logic of putting up such a poll in light of how the lads performed last night but I still think it’s worthwhile gauging what the consensus is on who performed best for us in the games we play, regardless how of those matches pan out.