The Dublin-Meath rivalry lit-up the eighties and nineties and naughtiest
The Dublin-Meath rivalry during the eighties, nineties and naughties is fondly remembered by spectators from both counties.
There was an air of excitement among supporters in the lead up to games and a hope of securing bragging rights over their near neighbours and fierce rivals.
Games between the two weren’t for the faint hearted, the players tore into each other, there were huge hits, both legal and illegal and neither Dublin or Meath would take a step backwards.
Only on rare occasions would either side hand the other a hiding on the scoreboard and in the main there was only ever a couple of points between the teams in most games.
That was one of the reason that the Dublin-Meath rivalry back in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s was so intense.
In thirty five games in league and championship between 1980 and 2009 the sides drew nine times, eighteen games were won by between one and four points and two games were won by five points.
With so many meetings over three decades there were always going to be a couple of games were one side dominated the other.
It happened on six occasions, Dublin winning four of them, the 1980 Leinster semi-final by 3-13 to 2-07, a National League game in 1988 by 1-12 to 0-04, the 1995 Leinster final by 1-18 to 1-08 and 2002 Leinster semi-final by 2-11 to 0-10.
Meath’s two big scoring wins against Dublin both came in the National League.
The first of those was a Division 1 game in 1986 which they won by 2-13 to 0-09 and the second was the 1988 National League final replay which finished 2-13 to 0-11.
Between 2001 and 2009 the Dublin-Meath rivalry was victory wise dominated by the metropolitans who got the upper hand in six of the seven meetings between the sides.
2010 brought the promise that these two giants of Leinster football would once again battle it out for honours and bragging rights for the foreseeable future when Meath hit five goals past the Dubs in the Leinster semi-final which the Royal County won by 5-09 to 0-13.
But sadly it’s been downhill for Meath ever since as both sides have headed in different directions as far as form is concerned.
At this stage the Dublin-Meath rivalry is all but extinguished as the Dubs have dominated their once fierce foes over the last decade.
In that time Dublin have beaten Meath by three points in 2012, seven points in 2013, sixteen points in 2014, ten points in 2016 and sixteen points in 2019.
Both sides meet on Sunday in Croke park in the penultimate round of National League.
It will be the first league meeting between the two teams since 2008 and the first time since 1994 that Dublin and Meath have faced off in division one.
Meath have struggled back in the top division and having lost all five of their games to date will be relegated back to division 2.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Royal County as they have competed well in a number of their games but lack fire-power up front particularly with Mickey Newman , Shane Walsh and Donal Lenihan all missing.
They won’t find any sympathy from a Dublin side still in the hunt for a league final place, particularly in the confines of Croke Park.
It looks a very tall order for Andy McEntee’s side to get anything from Sunday’s encounter, but if they could pull off a shock result, it might give a much needed jolt to the Dublin-Meath rivalry, Leinster football certainly needs it but those halcyon days are probably still way off in the distance, if they ever return at all.