GAA | 1 month ago
Dick Clerkin leads chorus of doubters calling bullshit on Dublin's 31-game unbeaten run
Feel the O'Byrne

If Tyrone left a point behind them in Croke Park last night, Mickey Harte did not seem too bothered.

Five points up with 20 minutes to go, when Mark Bradley was sent off, the Ulster champion still looked well-placed to defeat Jim Gavin's side.

However, they retreated further and further into their defence, allowing Dean Rock to kick Dublin back to parity during six minutes of injury-time.

Tyrone would love to win the National League, but they would prefer an All-Ireland, and Harte knows that his team have landed a glove on Dublin. That knowledge will stand them well come the summer.

For the neutral the most significant outcome of Dublin's fightback was the preservation of their unbeaten run, which now stretches to 31 games.

Advertisement

Or does it?

Retired Monaghan 'hardman' Dick Clerkin is calling bullshit on the headlines reporting Dublin unbeaten run, which dates back to a defeat to Kerry in March 2015.

That is if you consider a 'League and Championship unbeaten run' to be a true unbeaten run.

That is if you discount the O'Byrne Cup.

Dublin were beaten by Longford in the 2016 pre-season tournament, while what was effectively their 'third team' lost to UCD in the group stages before rallying to win this year's competition.

It is a philosophical question: Do pre-season competitions count?

Advertisement

On the one hand, upwards of 10,000 fans starved of football can turn up at a McKenna Cup game in January. On the other hand, All-Ireland champions Tipperary did not even bother to enter the Munster Hurling League this year, while Mayo and Kerry were represented in their respective tournaments by their under-21 panels.

However Clerkin makes one valid point in terms of the media's framing of the pre-season tournaments.

Harte's men went into last summer's All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Mayo on the back of a 19-match unbeaten run, which included their McKenna Cup campaign.

If it's good for the Tyrone goose, should it not be good for the Dublin gander?

Others agree with Clerkin.

Advertisement

It's just a number and either way does not alter the fact we are living in the era of one of Gaelic football's greatest teams. But wouldn't it be nice to agree on just how good they are?

What do you think?

Westmeath star John Heslin joins Colm Parkinson on the latest GAA Hour with Cian Ward and Conán Doherty in studio to discuss black cards, Tyrone's weakness and Banty's mind games. Listen below or subscribe here on iTunes.

Read more about:

Dublin GAA, allianz leagues 2017, O'Byrne Cup, Dick Clerkin