By the numbers: Mayo look to match Brogan brilliance
Dublin team are just seven wins away from equaling a record held since 1933
Dublin’s Bernard Brogan reacts to a missed chance during the All-Ireland semi-final clash with Kerry. Photo: Inpho
In All-Ireland final week, you don’t be long growing tired of words. So here are some numbers just to ease passage into the days ahead. Some of them might mean something and there’s an equally decent chance a lot of them might mean nothing. But feel free to drop them into conversation as the week goes by, obviously passing them off as your own.
0: In their last two All-Ireland finals, no Mayo starting forward has scored a point from play after half-time. In 2012, Richie Feeney came off the bench to land a point against Donegal. In 2013, Andy Moran rolled home a goal in front of the Hill. Otherwise, their scores came from frees or from points by Lee Keegan and Jason Gibbons in the 2012 final.
1: Stephen Cluxton has scored one point in the past two championship seasons, a free against Kerry in last year’s final. Dean Rock’s emergence as a dependable free-taker has reduced the Dublin goalkeeper’s scoring contribution almost entirely. His totals for the four seasons before 2015 bear this out - 2014 (5); 2013 (15); 2012 (9); 2011 (12).
2: In each of their past four seasons, Mayo have conceded at least two goals in their last game of the summer. They gave up three in semi-final replays against Dublin last year and Kerry the year before, as well as two each in the finals of 2012 and 2013.
3: Mayo have conceded three goals in seven games. In 1997 and 2013, they made the final only conceding one goal along the way, albeit that they only played four and five games respectively in those years. Only two Mayo teams have ever made a final giving up more than a goal a game – the 1989 side who coughed up six in five and the fabled 1951 team who conceded five in four.
5: Dublin have scored five goals in five games so far this summer. Only twice in the past 50 years have they scored fewer goals on the way to a final. In 1995, they scored three in four games; in 2011, they scored four in five. The 18 they scored before the final last year is their highest number over the past half-century, with only the 13 scored in the run-in to the 1975 final coming close.
6: In a quarter-century of finals including this one, only six have not featured at least one of Dublin, Mayo or Kerry. Taking 1992 as a starting point, Kerry have been in 12 of the last 25 finals, while Mayo and Dublin have been in seven each. The list is filled out by Cork (5), Tyrone (4), Galway (3), Donegal (3), Meath (3), Down (2), Armagh (2), Derry (1) and Kildare (1).
7: Mayo have played seven games already this summer, the most that county has ever had to in order to make an All-Ireland final. There would need to be a couple of draws and replays left in the year, however, for them to match Tyrone’s feat from 2005 of playing 10 games to win an All-Ireland. No team has won Sam Maguire through the qualifiers since Cork in 2010.
0-12: At least one of Mayo’s half-back line of Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle and Patrick Durcan has scored in every game so far this summer, with the exception of the London game, for a combined 12 points on the board. Keegan in particular has been a regular on the scoresheet in recent years – amassing 3-14 in 18 games over the past three seasons.
14: Only 14 teams in history have made it to six All-Ireland semi-finals in a row. Up to now, only two of those didn’t convert their provincial dominance to an All-Ireland somewhere along the way. Those were Antrim 1908-1913 and Cavan 1939-45. Mayo 2011-2016 will be aiming not to join that fairly niche club next Sunday.
2-11: Bernard Brogan has been Dublin’s leading scorer – either jointly or on his own – in each of the last three All-Ireland finals. He scored 0-6 in 2011 (0-4 frees), 2-3 in 2013 (0-1 free) and 0-2 last year (0-1 free).
27: Dublin’s unbeaten streak in league and championship stands at 27 matches. Their last defeat was in Killarney against Kerry in February 2015. It is the second longest unbeaten streak in Gaelic football’s history, behind only the Kerry team that remained unbeaten for 34 matches in the five years between 1928 and 1933.
28: In three All-Ireland finals since 2011, Dublin have used 28 different players. One goalkeepers, 11 defenders, four midfielders and 12 forwards. Stephen Cluxton, Rory O'Carroll, Diarmuid Connolly and Bernard Brogan have played every minute of all three finals. Kevin McManamon has come off the bench in all three finals.
79: Since Mayo last won the All-Ireland in 1951, 79 different players have taken the field for them in finals. Broadly, these are divided into five goalkeepers, 28 defenders, 10 midfielders and 36 forwards. They include a father and son (the Paddens) and three sets of brothers (the O’Sheas, the Mortimers and Greg and Sean Maher). Diarmuid O’Connor will presumably make it four if and when he joins his brother Cillian in Sunday’s line-up.
84: Stephen Cluxton will draw level with Seán Cavanagh in fourth place on the all-time championship appearances table on Sunday on 84. Only Colm Cooper (85) and Tomás and Marc Ó Sé sit above him, both on 88.