As most of you will already know, not only did we complete our first Connacht four-in-a-row since 1951 last Sunday but we also edged in front of the neighbours in terms of Connacht titles won. Although there’s some debate – which, as I discussed at some length last year, revolves around who won out in the province in 1902, 1903 and 1910 – there doesn’t seem to be any doubt but that we went into Sunday’s decider locked on 44 Connacht titles each and so we emerged from the fray one ahead.
Given this new turn in fortunes, I thought it might be worthwhile to graph the share-out of Connacht crown on a time-series basis. Not only would this provide some visceral pleasure to see us nip ahead right at the finish but it’d also show clearly who was on top when. The result is the chart below.
As you can see, there have been two long periods when we’ve both been top dog in the west. We held that position from the early part of the last century all the way up to 1973, with the Tribesmen holding the whip hand up until we caught them twelve months ago and then overtook them at 3.30pm last Sunday.
As the graph also shows, while both counties have enjoyed periods – such as the one we’re luxuriating in now – where a number of provincial titles have been racked up in quick succession, both of us have also had to endure fallow periods, at times of the longish variety. This particular lesson from history is that the good times or the bad times don’t tend to go on forever for either county.
So, even if we might now think that, on the basis of past trends, our new-found supremacy in Connacht should last for at least the next 40-50 years before the next crossover is reached, we all know that it’s not just in the financial world that past performance is no indication of future returns. All we can say at this particular point in time is that we’ll be a short head in front of them going into 2015 and so we should be aiming to keep this run going for as long as we can to open up some real daylight between us while the wind is still at our backs.