Posted by Shane Stapleton

Antrim have not beaten Monaghan in the Ulster championship since 1970 — and mental barriers can be hard to break down all across the GAA

2013 Antrim Monaghan

Amid the rivalries and local feuds, there are plenty of examples of teams holding an edge over another. In Galway’s case below, there is the tale of one of the footballing strongholds failing to even clock up much mileage since last winning Sam in 2001.

Antrim’s clash with Monaghan this weekend — and the Farney men’s totalitarian relationship over the Saffrons — got us wondering how many will predict an upset or will some classic GAA hoodoos remain. While we're jogging your memory, why not also try our Weekly Quiz to win tickets to a match of your choice?

When Monaghan beat Antrim by 3-15 to 0-13 in their League clash in Clones on April 7, the odds on a win for Frank Dawson’s men springing a surprise at Casement Park this weekend became all the longer.

Because with Monaghan winning the last five Ulster championship meetings in a row between the sides going back as far as 1983, it means Antrim’s last provincial triumph in this fixture was in the 1970 semi-final when they ran out 2-10 to 1-8 winners.

Form would suggest that there is unlikely to be an upset: Monaghan were promoted and won the Division 3 title (Played 8, Won 6, Lost 2) while Antrim (Played 7, Won 1, Drew 2, Lost 4) were relegated to Division 4. But a hoodoo is there to be broken, as Westmeath showed when they put four consecutive losses against Louth bed in the first round of the championship last year. 

The Rebels might have won their share of Munster titles in recent seasons but the Croke Park hoodoo with Kerry has yet to be banished. Let’s look at how the Kingdom have built up this psychological edge over the past decade or so.

  • Cork won the provincial titles in 2002 but were hammered 3-19 to 2-7 in the All-Ireland semi-final.
  • Fast-forward three years to 2005 when the Kingdom won the Munster title and beat the Rebels by a shocking 12 points in the All-Ireland final-four again: 1-19 to 0-9.
  • A year after that, Cork regained the provincial bragging rights with a 1-12 to 0-9 win in Pairc Ui Chaoimh but once more they faltered at HQ, this time 0-16 to 0-10.
  • 2007… well, the hoodoo only strengthened as Colm Cooper hit 1-5 and Kieran Donaghy bagged a couple of goals in a 3-13 to 1-9 win.
  • Cork looked set to finally break the spell in 2008 but Kerry forced a replay and then a 3-14 to 2-13 replay win, with Gooch’s 1-8 doing most of the damage.
  • The latest misery came in 2009 in a 0-16 to 1-9 Kerry win, and the pair have not played against each other there since.

A hoodoo of the highest order, and one that strangely only manifests itself in Dublin. 

Galway’s woes run quite deep and past players have come out lamenting the structures within the county since that 17-point defeat at the hands of Mayo recently. The glory of 2001 seems a long time ago now and the list below points out how much unsuccessful the county has been since last lifting the Sam Maguire 12 seasons ago.

Galway’s form has been so poor that they have unable to even once get to Croke Park through the qualifier system; on each occasion that they have each GAA HQ for the All-Ireland series, it has been because they were Connacht champions in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008.

Defeat awaited each time and, at this stage, 12 years is quite the mental barrier to break down, never mind the physical ones.

  • 2012 – didn’t get to Croke Park, out in qualifiers
  • 2011 – didn’t get to Croke Park, out in qualifiers
  • 2010 – didn’t get to Croke Park, out in qualifiers
  • 2009 – didn’t get to Croke Park, out in qualifiers
  • 2008 – Galway 1-16 Kerry 1-21 AI QF 
  • 2007 – didn’t get to Croke Park, out in qualifiers
  • 2006 – didn’t get to Croke Park, out in qualifiers
  • 2005 – Galway 2-11 Cork 2-14 AI QF 
  • 2004 – didn’t get to Croke Park, out in qualifiers
  • 2003 – Galway 1-11 Donegal 0-14, Galway 0-11 Donegal 0-14
  • 2002 – Galway 1-12 Kerry 2-17 AI QF 

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