Let’s hope Mayo manage more than one point in each half against Dublin this time
If Dublin win the final, we promise not to write a headline like “Dublin’s hollow victory”
At half-time of yesterday’s epic encounter, even whoever was doing the subtitles for RTE was a little too excited.
So it’s Mayo v Dublin again. And by again we mean for the first time in 90 years, or 92 seasons, depending on how you calculate it.
In the first decades of the 20th century the GAA worked off a different calendar to the rest of the world and so the 1921 All-Ireland football final took place at Croke Park on Sunday, June 18th, 1923.
“It was a very orderly, good-humoured crowd,” reported the correspondent sent by The Irish Times - as if Mayo and Dublin fans aren’t known for joking and laughing as they queued at the stiles.
“Thick and thin supporters of intercounty games were in attendance early, and at 3 o’clock fully 12,000 were in the crowds. The turnstiles continued to click, and when the teams were lined up at 3.15 the attendance must have numbered close on 16,000.”
Similar to yesterday then, though it’s hardly likely the Dublin fans were in a nearby pub in the early 1920s waiting an English soccer game to finish at 3.20pm before they dashed down to the Hill (we can only assume they were laughing and joking in the queue at 3.30pm as they heard the match start inside the ground).
As for the 1921 decider, there were some hints of the physical nature of the game. For example, our reporter tells us that “(Mayo’s Sean) Lavin came in for heavy charges when in possession, but his style rather invites danger”.
Believe it or not, the 1921 football final is credited with being the first match to feature the solo run, and it was demonstrated by Lavin (presumably this is what the reporter considered inviting danger).
And, as for the result, it was possibly best summed up by the reporter commenting: “ Mayo were in Dublin territory very frequently, but could make no impression on a stone wall defence.”
In fact, Mayo, represented by Ballina Stephenites, breached the St Mary’s, Dublin, defence only twice in the game, once in each half - to hand the home side the title on a 1-9 to 0-2 scoreline.
The headline writer in The Irish Times on the evening of the match could only have been from Mayo or Tipperary.
The All-Ireland semi-final between Mayo and the reigning All-Ireland champions Tipperary had twice been fixed for April, 1923. Tipp failed to field a team on the first date, and refused the second. Mayo were awarded the tie and a place in the decider.
It didn’t go down well in many quarters and the headline over the match report on the Monday after the All-Ireland decider read: “Dublin’s hollow victory.”
Barry Cahill @barrycahilldub
Dubs v Mayo should be great final. Mayo have beaten Dublin in last 2 champo games but Dublin beat Mayo twice in this years league. #GAA
Jamie Heaslip @jamieheaslip
All the players involved today,Kerry&Dublin,take a bow.somebody has to win,somebody has to lose but what an advertisement for the game #GAA
Sean Kelly MEP @SeanKellyMEP
brilliant game today. Football absolute winner. Seamus Darby wasn’t as cruel to @Kerry_Official as Kevin Mc Menamin! Congrats Dublin #gaa