If this year wasn’t strange enough history has thrown up the same last four football teams that challenged the All Ireland in 1920
As the country watched the remaining three provincial finals in the football championship at the weekend, I guarantee nobody could’ve predicted the outcome of some of the action. Nor could we ever have imagined as we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, that the championship would throw up the same Semi Final pairings from that very year in 1920.
Mayo had done their job a week prior securing the Connacht Championship. A solitary point seperated them and Galway at full time in Pearse Stadium, as Mayo collected their 47th provincial crown. In 1920 the Westeners saw off Sligo by 2-03 to 1-04 to book their Semi Final slot.
Against the script, Tipperary picked up their 10th Munster Senior Football title, their first since 1935. After Cork dumped Kerry out of the competition in the Semi Finals, the men from the Rebel County were installed as favourites. But Tipp had other ideas, and with a three point margin stole the crown on a 0-17 to 0-14. Back in 1920 the Premier boys beat Kerry by 2-02 to 0-02. And that set up their date with Mayo in the All Ireland Semi Final.
Dublin will not want a repeat of the 1920 All Ireland Final
Dublin made no mistakes against a stunned Meath side as they picked up a record 10th Leinster Crown, their 15th in 16 years. All the questions about this Dublin side and their killer instinct under new manager Dessie Farrell were answered. The boys in blue were ruthless against their old rivals running out convincing 3-21 to 0-09 winners.
They’ll be hoping for a repeat of their 1920 All Ireland Semi Final as they take on Cavan, who silenced Donegal on Sunday to capture their first Ulster Championship crown since 1997. Like Cork, Donegal went into Sunday’s decider as strong favourites. It was the same pairing as the 2019 final, with Donegal collecting the honours back then. But the Breffni men ensured the 100 years after Bloody Sunday, the last four in the All Ireland Championship would be the same. Their 1-13 to 0-12 victory over the Tir Connaill men sends them into this year’s Semis.
Dublin fans really won’t mind who they face at any stage, with many wishing for another chapter in their rivalry with Mayo to be written. But they won’t look past Cavan in 2 weeks time. And they’ll be hoping to come the other side of that fixture, just like they did after their 3-06 to 1-03 win against Cavan in 1920.
Should history really repeat itself, the footballing gods will be looking down as Tipperary dispense of Mayo in a fortnight, just like they did 100 years ago. But could it be Tipperary that finally dethrone Dublin in their bid for six in a row, in the strangest of years?
1920 All Ireland Semi Finals
Tipperary 1-05 Mayo 1-00
Dublin 3-06 Cavan 1-03
1920 All Ireland Final
Tipperary 1-06 Dublin 1-02