If you search through the record books of most team sports you can find an interesting trend of individual players who like playing against a certain opposition team and have some of their most productive games against them.
For Dublin sharpshooter Bernard Brogan the one team he loves to play against is Sunday’s All Ireland Final opponents Mayo.
In the previous four championship meetings between the teams the St Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh club man has scored 3-12 against the men from the West, that’s an average of just over five points a game.
Bernard scored 0-06 in the 2012 All Ireland semi-final, 2-03 in the 2013 All Ireland Final, 0-02 in last years drawn All Ireland Semi-Final and in the replay bagged 1-01.
That is just the scores that can be directly attributed to Brogan against Mayo and doesn’t highlight his overall contribution in those games and his contribution in the build-up to a host of Dublin scores against the men in green and red.
There were some surprisingly questioning Brogan’s form earlier in the year which Bernard answered emphatically with a return of 1-04 in the Leinster Final.
But after a quiet day by Bernard’s standards as far as scores were concerned against Kerry in the semi-final were he scored just two points, there has again been some pundits this week suggesting he might struggle to hold onto his starting place on the team for the Final.
That’s a ludicrous suggestion given Bernard’s big game experience, plus his record against Mayo over the last couple of seasons. Also if you take that Brogan normally after criticism over his form tends to answer his critics by shooting the lights out in the very next game, there is no chance Jim Gavin would drop him to the bench.
Mayo will be all too aware of the damage Bernard has and can cause against them and will be extremely worried at what he can do on the biggest day of them all if they peruse his scoring record in the last three All Ireland Finals he has played in.
In those three finals Brogan has amassed 2-11 that’s an average per final of just over five points and with some criticism ringing in his ears and Bernard always the man for the big occasions, that spells real danger for Mayo in Sunday’s All Ireland Final and is definitely a case of Watch Out Bernard Is About.