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7 Ridiculous Stats Only Made Possible By The Introduction Of The Qualifiers

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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The qualifiers are in their fifteenth season this year. Some teams have harnessed them well and used them as a stepping stone (Fermanagh - 2004, Down - 2010) while others haven't been bothered once they were dumped out of the province (Leitrim - nearly every year).

They have allowed championship fixtures that never before occurred. Fermanagh and Wicklow finally got to play someone from outside their province, Longford and Leitrim even met in the championship in 2009.

Their relatively recent introduction (in the grand scheme of things) has created some curious records and statistics. Here are few weird (some stupid) records which are only possible thanks to the introduction of the qualifiers.



The qualifiers have allowed some unlikely counties bragging rights. Longford, for instance, have knocked Derry out of the championship three times in the last decade. But our favourite record is their 100% winning ratio against Mayo.

Living up to their reputation as the great 'final straw' of the GAA, they precipitated John O'Mahony to say 'enough is enough' and bring an end to his abjectly disappointing second stint as Mayo manager.






The quarter finals of the 2010 championship created history as all provincial champions were landed on their backside.

Down blew Kerry early on to create the biggest shock. Cork, unsurprisingly, demolished Roscommon and still seemed underwhelmed by the whole thing. Kildare beat Meath in a scintillating performance. And Dublin continued their renaissance with a defeat of Tyrone.





Westmeath, who had never won their province on the introduction of the qualifiers, have met three Connacht teams in the championship since 2001. Full disclosure, one of these wins was against London but the two wins over Mayo (2001) and Galway (2006) were big shocks.







The outcry from the Rossies caused the GAA to insist that all future quarter-finals go to Croke Park. A shame given the spectacle that was the Kerry-Dublin match in Thurles.

Having beaten Galway in Tuam, Roscommon were sickened at facing the same opposition in the 'not glamorous enough' surrounds of Castlebar in the All-Ireland quarter final. They went down limply on a scoreline of 0-14 to 1-5 and their goal came in injury time when half the crowd were filing towards the exits.

Tyrone faced the same fate as Derry upset them in Clones.





A remarkable run, in which they lost eight championship games to Kerry and beat everyone else. They did beat Kerry in Munster championship matches in 2006, 2008 and 2009.




Ten one-point defeats in both the Connacht championship and All-Ireland series. In eight years. They lost championship matches by the minimum to Mayo (2006, 2009), Sligo (2007, 2010), Westmeath (2006), Donegal (2009), Wexford (2010), Meath (2011), Antrim (2012) and Cork (2013).



That honour goes to Pat O'Shea's Kerry team of 2007. The only team who went unbeaten in a season between the years 2005 and 2010.

Read more: The So-Called Weaker Counties All-Time All-Star XV





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