Time for another rummage round the results archive, this time to get the complete low-down on how we’ve fared in league and championship down the years against Dublin, who we’re set to face for the 34th time this coming Sunday at Croke Park.
Our rivalry with the Jacks is a long one, a very long one in fact because, apart from Cork, they’re the first county outside Connacht that we ever squared up against in the championship. We did so for the first time all of 105 years ago when, on the 13th of May 1906, we met at Athlone in the semi-final of the 1904 championship.
Dublin won that opening encounter and they’ve had the better of the exchanges against us in the century and more since then but the edge they have on us isn’t in any sense an overwhelming one. Of the 33 encounters we’ve had (25 in the league, 8 in the championship), they’ve won 17, we’ve won 11 and we’ve drawn the other five. In the league, it’s even closer with twelve wins to them, 10 to us and two draws.
Although Sunday’s match sees us take on the Dubs in the league at Croker for the first time since way back in November 1993, it still comes as little surprise that over half of all clashes between us have taken place at HQ. Our first such meeting was as high profile as they come when, in June 1923, we squared off in the final of the 1921 championship, a match that Dublin (represented by St. Mary’s) beat us (or, more precisely, Ballina Stephenites) easily enough on a scoreline of 1-9 to 0-2.
We haven’t a great record against them in the championship (winning just once, drawing twice and losing the other five) but the one win we did record over them – needless to say, in the 2006 semi-final – sure was one to savour. Want to savour it again? Go on – here’s Mac’s spine-tingling winner on that August day of days:
That 2006 win was also our most recent win at Croke Park (where we’ve beaten the Dubs five times in all). Apart from that one, you have to go back a full forty years for our next most recent triumph over them at HQ. We beat them in that 1971 NFL semi-final and it’s noteworthy that we’ve had a happy enough record against them in the clashes we’ve had at the business end of the league. Aside from 1971, we also beat them in the 1954 semi-final and, in addition, we took them down in the NFL finals of 1934 and 1941.
Our most recent win over them was recorded back in April 2007 on a gloriously warm day in McHale Park when the Johnno II era was still in its early (pre-election) days and our most recent meeting with them took place at the same venue in March last year when Pat Gilroy’s hard-working side went away with a one-point win.
Here’s the full record of all our meetings: