Feeling confident, Down and Meath supporters? Look away now...
Meath manager Seamus McEnaney spoke about the myth of the six-day turnaround for provincial final losers in the All-Ireland qualifiers. But as a quick glance over the past 11 years shows, it’s a bit more than a myth.
The qualifier system was introduced in 2001 and since then 14 beaten provincial finalists have returned to action the following weekend for a knock-out match in the qualifiers.
The record makes for bleak reading, and it doesn’t seem to matter, either, whether the turnaround is six or seven days.
Beaten Leinster and Ulster finalists Meath and Down will try to buck the trend this weekend when take on Laois and Tipperary respectively. But it’s quite a trend to buck – those 13 next-weekend qualifier defeats for provincial final losers come with an average margin of defeat which approaches seven points.
Beaten provincial finalists’ record in quick turnaround All-Ireland qualifiers:
Derry (lost to Kildare, 0-19 to 0-13)
Monaghan (lost to Kildare, 1-15 to 1-11)
Sligo (lost to Down, 3-20 to 0-10)
Galway (lost to Donegal, 0-14 to 0-13)
Antrim (lost to Kerry, 2-12 to 1-10) *
Fermanagh (lost to Kildare, 0-11 to 0-5) *
Limerick (lost to Derry, 0-10 to 0-7)
Laois (lost to Tyrone,3-15 to 2-4) *
Limerick (lost to Armagh, 4-10 to 0-11) *
Down (lost to Donegal, 3-15 to 2-10)
Kildare (lost to Roscommon, 1-18 to 0-19)
Tipperary (lost to Mayo, 0-20 to 1-14) *
Cork (lost to Galway, 1-14 to 1-10) *
Dublin (beat Sligo, 3-17 to 0-12) *
* Denotes seven-day turnaround