Cillian could surpass scoring record in Killarney

Photo: RTÉ

Cillian O’Connor has for some time been on the cusp of breaking the all-time top scorer record in the Championship. He’s been our leading all-time scorer for a while and, had our Championship run in 2018 lasted anything like as long as the previous few years, then he’d surely have beaten the record by now.

But then Newbridge happened and the knee surgery he underwent last winter meant that the Championship scores dried up on him early last summer and didn’t start to get racked up this year either.

It was a truly welcome sight to see Cillian join the fray from the bench against Armagh last weekend and the two pointed frees he got that evening were his first Championship scores in over a year. Starting a game – in League or Championship – for us for the first time this year, last night down in Limerick he bagged six more points.

All of which sent me scurrying around today looking to see where Cillian stands vis-à-vis the all-time record and how many more points he needs to break it. The short answers to these questions are very close and not a lot.

Taking as my starting point this piece by Conan Doherty in Sports Joe and assuming that his numbers are correct, it was a straightforward bit of counting on the fingers to figure out how far off the record Cillian now stands. That piece was written before the start of the 2018 Championship, at which juncture Cillian was in second place in the all-time top scorers table, his total of 310 points only bettered by Kerry’s Colm Cooper on 352.

Since then, Cillian added a total of 31 points to his tally up to the night we crashed out in Newbridge last year, followed by another eight points since his reappearance in the colours last weekend. That’s 39 points he’s ladled onto the 310 he had before last year’s Championship.

This means Cillian now stands just three points short of equalling Gooch’s record, four from surpassing it. If last night’s performance – his first start all year – is any indication, that target is well within his range next weekend.

How deliciously appropriate it would be if the prolific Ballintubber sharpshooter were to beat Cooper’s record on the county’s very first Championship match in Fitzgerald Stadium. Here’s hoping he does and, to boot, that it’s part of a winning tally for us down South this day week.

21 thoughts on “Cillian could surpass scoring record in Killarney

  1. Great if he could beat the record in Kerry. He will be singled out for plenty of attention. I well remember 2014 and Enright trying to rough Cillian up. Cillian was returning from injury then also, I believe. Enright should have got a red that day but the ref changed his mind. I imagine the Kerry character assassination will start early in the press this week also. For that reason I wouldn’t be talking it up too much.

  2. Some acheivement given his age. Was a joy to see him back for county. Less so for my own club who will now see him in championship when things settle on county front(hopefully not for couple months yet).
    In more positive note for knockmore good win for minors in summer league A final beating Moy Davitts. Knockmore 6.14 to moy davitts 2.04.
    Hotel booked for next week. Shame 5 days work before it….

  3. It’s no secret that Kerry’s weakness lies in their middle third mobility or, lack thereof.

    They are stuck with Moran and Barry in this sector. Matthew Ruane is the one player they would fear.

    Hopefully, Ruane is available, but if not, then rotating O’Shea/Vaughan/Keegan in this area should be enough.

    After that, I know a lot of Mayo supporters won’t agree, but if Ian Burke was able to create a penalty opportunity out of nothing – then multiply the chances by 5, as to the goal scoring opportunities Kerry will create against full back line..

    I’m sure JH will have thought all his options through. Hope you pull it off..

  4. Sky have exclusive rights to Sat champ games. This game is on the Sunday so will be on RTE or not shown at all (which won’t happen).

  5. I think I must be unwell.
    1- against my better judgement I watched the Sunday Game.
    2 – I found myself agreeing with Pat Spillane more than once, most particularly on his comments with regard the black card.
    3 – I have found myself sympathizing with Peter Harte in that his 3 black cards were probably not black cards, maybe only one of them really was, at a stretch.

    Other than a brain transplant, anyone know of a suitable treatment that I have a better than 765% chance of surviving with all my faculties?.

  6. It’s great to have him back. He takes a lot of abuse to be fair, some of it going well beyond football. A very collected individual though, nothing seems to faze him.

  7. Willie Joe, I’m happy to doff my hat to you for this excellent platform you have provided us with free gratis and for nothing on which we can express our Mayoness and our support for the red and green. It continues to be a wonderfully novel channel of communication between and amongst us. Permit me however, if you will, please, to express the view that next weekend’s engagement is less about personal monuments and milestones to individual players, brilliant and important though they may be to us, and more about us beating Kerry. From a County point of view, it matters little who causes the umpires to bend their backs.

  8. Game on rte Sunday. Cillians record is unbelievable. Hard to believe he only 3pts behind the gooch having played 34 games less. 90 or so ahead of McManus with roughly the same amount of games played. I know he our free taker but so were the other 2 i mentioned .he doesn’t get enough credit imo.

  9. Astounding scoring feats from Cillian.

    I think it was qualifier time last year where he scored an incredible 3 – 9 down in Limerick. I seem to remember him pulling off an audacious flick with his heal as well that evening, which had to be the hottest day of the last Summer.

    The record will come just please God keep him injury free now.

  10. Since 2011 when he burst in scene v Roscommon in Connacht final he has been absolutely Brilliant for us Calm and collected he has had to put up with lots of shite on and off the field He is areal leader who never shirks responsibility. He has some outstanding moments such as last minute equaliser v dubs in 2016 and heart break with last minute missed frees v dubs in 2016 replay and 2017 injury time but he has always stood up and has had to develop a hard edge to cope with the abuse he gets. A brilliant man and a brilliant role model.

  11. FDBinashui.. you would have had a good chance of recovery from one transgression and possibly maybe even survived two but three! I’m afraid surgery won’t work for you now.. exposure that long to the Sunday game can do terrible things to the mind. There’s only one thing for it.. you will have to be put down.. I’m sorry, but it’s the only decent thing to do 🙂 🙂

  12. Congratulations to our entire Mayo organization! Thanks for researching the count for Cillian! We all know he would be the first to down play this record and he would focus on the team accomplishments. He always references the team accomplishments of the game even when being recognized as Man of the Match, like other Mayo players. They all have a team mentality. We, as the fans, have this special opportunity to recognize this amazing accomplishment and show our recognition and our pride in his ability which is driven by the constant unwavering dedication of this team. Congratulations Cillian, thanks for all you do for our County! We are all thankful for this amazing journey that is Mayo GAA!

  13. Top player and we are always a better team when he’s playing. All our big wins over the last 8 years, he’s been top man. As already stated a great role model and every team in the country would want him on their team. Hopefully the best is yet to come.

  14. Some doubt being cast on the actual number per Ed McGreal on Twitter. Seems Cillian may need to score 4 to equal and 5 to surpass the record.

  15. That’s correct, FDB – Ed mentioned that to me and he’s gone back through the scores in each game to try to get to the bottom of it. As I gather, he’s leaning towards the match against Dublin that was abandoned in the fog as a possible cause for the mismatch in the numbers. It does look like 4 to equal and 5 to beat the record alright.

  16. I’ve been doing some perusing Willie Joe – I’ll share this with you once I’ve figured it all out.

  17. Great achievement for Cillian and at such a young age. He really does get a lot of stick both on and off the pitch. It amazes me at times. Is it just sheer jealous because every county would give their right arm to have a player like him. Anyway thank god he’s ours and the best of luck to him on surpassing the current record which of course he will play it down.

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