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”


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

Brian O’Driscoll @BrianODriscoll
Brilliant line in the IT today ‘...if Kerry could sue a scoreline for libel, the damages would be immense’.

Colm Keaveney TD @Colm_Keaveney
Dublin, Kerry. Today’s game was academic. Mayo will crush Dublin into a pulp in the final. So enjoy Coppers tonight folks.The end in nigh!

Dara O Briain @daraobriain
Holy Jesus. Just watched the Dublin-Kerry match. What an epic. One of the best football games I’ve seen in years.


Kerry to lead at half-time, Dublin to win: 4/1
Dublin to win by 7 points: 14/1

OULU ELKS Up and running

Imagine how much training intercounty managers would inflict on their squads if there were 24 hours of continuous daylight here.

Of course, in Oulu, northern Finland, they also have very little daylight at all during the winter so it would make the off-season training ban a little easier to enforce. Perhaps, anyway.

The European County Board alerted September Road last week to one of the newest GAA clubs in the world, and certainly the most northerly.

The Oulu Elks are up and running, and have already claimed some column inches in the Finnish press.

The Irish Festival of Oulu (located at 65 degrees North) takes place in the first week of October, and Helsinki GAA club are scheduled to visit.

That’s Oulu’s closest club, just 540km flight away.

When it comes to cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, only three (all in Russia) are closer to the North Pole.

When someone in Norilsk, Murmansk or Novy Urengoy forms a GAA club, we’ll let you know.

LOMAN O’LOINGSIGH gets 11 correct

Séamus Durack and John McMahon of Clare, Mick Jacob of Wexford and Gary Kirby of Limerick didn’t make the recently selected ‘Stars of the 80s’ team.

But they should have.

That is, according to Loman O’Loingsigh of Kiltipper Road, Dublin.

The team, selected by GAA pundits, consists of the best players from that era who never claimed an All-Ireland senior medal – and they will be honoured at half-time of next Sunday’s All-Ireland decider.

Eleven of Loman’s team matched the official team and that’s enough for him to win a pair of tickets for the clash between Cork and Clare.

Congratulations to him.

The winner of the football competition will be
announced closer that final.

For the record, here’s the official hurling team.

Tommy Quaid (Limerick)
John Galvin (Waterford), Leonard Enright (Limerick), Dessie Donnelly (Antrim)
Ger Loughnane (Clare), Seán Stack (Clare), Terence McNaughton (Antrim)
Mossy Walsh (Waterford), Pat Critchley (Laois)
Johnny Callinan (Clare), Martin Quigley (Wexford), Paddy Kelly (Limerick)
David Kilcoyne (Westmeath), PJ Cuddy (Laois), Jim Greene (Waterford)


The Monaghan women’s football team have had a secret weapon at their games this summer. Well, he’s not so much a secret, and less a weapon than a mascot really.

Pajo the calf was at Breffni Park on Saturday for the victory over Galway, but how are they going to get him in Croke Park for the women’s final?

Maybe he’ll be allowed in with the caterers?