GList: Mark of consistency

You’ve often heard the statement about the league table never telling a lie. Michael McMullan looks back at the most consistent counties in the last 10 years of league action.


Div 1 – 10 years

IT’S hardly surprising to see the Kingdom top of the tree and having been playing top flight league football since being promoted as Division Two champions in 2002 after a one year hiatus. Before that, they were bobbing about in the different restructures.

The current All-Ireland champions have lifted Sam twice during the last nine seasons of this comparison, and have that remarkable five minor titles in a row.

At u-21 and u-20 level, they’ve remarkably never even reached an All-Ireland final, something new manager Tomás Ó Sé will be keen to rectify this year.


Div 1 – 9 years, Div 2 – 1 year

JACK McCarron’s magic kept Monaghan afloat on the last day with a dramatic finale in Clones to maintain nine years in Division One, relegating Dublin in the process. They’ll need a win in Mayo this weekend to extend their stay,

The Farney have never reached an All-Ireland senior final in the last decade, but they were Ulster champions twice once and reached another two finals.

One of the points of note has been the rise in Monaghan schools appearing at the cutting edge of competitions and they have two minor and an u-20 title to their name over the last decade. It will be a help player likes Darren Hughes and Conor McManus nearing the end of their careers.


Div 1 – 9 years, Div 2 – 1 year

THIS has been Dublin’s first year out of Division One since 2008 following the breakup of the greatest team to have ever have played the game.

Under Jim Gavin, the Dubs lifted Sam on a staggering six occasions in a row, but despite their drop from the league they could well have notched another All-Ireland title last year. What Dessie Farrell wouldn’t have done for a Con O’Callaghan, Jack McCaffrey or Paul Mannion – or all three – in a season when they were close to toppling Kerry.

During the last nine seasons, the Dubs haven’t been to a minor final, but have won two u-21 finals and lost two u-20 finals.


Div 1 – 9 years, Div 2 – 1 year

BAR 2016, the Red Hands have been playing Division One football every other year in the last decade and needed victory in Kerry last season to secure their spot at the top table.

Mickey Harte brought a level of consistency during his tenure that always placed McKenna Cup with the importance that generated their drive for success.

Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher came on board and took Sam Maguire north in their first season before failing to get back to those lofty heights.

Tyrone are the current All-Ireland u-20 champions and were in a recent minor final with some of the players coming through to the senior ranks already.


Div 1 – 9 years, Div 2 – 1 year

THE championship bridesmaids bounced straight back from their one season in Division Two, in 2021, and have set the pace this year already under new manager Kevin McStay.

It’s impossible to file a report on Mayo without mentioning how much they have brought to the game without actually getting their hands on the biggest prize of all.

They came closest to ending a championship drought in 2017 and it’s a testament to the county that they are still muted as potential Sam Maguire winners despite losing Lee Keegan and Oisin Mullin.


Div 1 – 8 years, Div 2 – 2 years

JIM McGuinness brought the county on an adventure since 2011 when they doubled their previous tally of five Ulster titles and added an All-Ireland in his second season.

That has been rubber-stamped by a consistency over the last decade that has saw them outside Division One on just two occasions, but need an unlikely series of results this weekend to stay up on score difference.

Outgoing  manager Paddy Carr inherited a team without Michael Murphy for the first time since he came on the scene.

Donegal have never been able to make a significant mark on the MacRory Cup scene and have just one All-Ireland minor appearance in their history.


Div 1 – 5 years, Div 2 – 5 years

THE Tribesmen were promoted last season and had a four-year unbroken stint in Division One before that.

They have three Connacht titles and four final appearances in the last decade before coming close last season to winning a first senior All-Ireland since 2001 under former attacking ace Pádraic Joyce.

Galway are the current minor champions and won the u-20 All-Ireland in 2020.

Another factor in their rise has been NUI Galway’s impact on the Sigerson Cup.


Div 1 – 5 years, Div 2 – 4 years, Div 3 – 1 year

THE Rossies are the third Connacht county to make our top eight. They have been up and down, but five years at the top level is not to be sniffed at.

After climbing from the third tier in 2014, the year they reached the u-21 All-Ireland final and they were back in the u-20 decider as recent as 2021 when they lost to Offaly.

They edged out Ulster champions Derry for a promotion spot last year before setting the ball rolling with three straight wins in their opening three games to pour water on their yo-yo reputation and keep their chances of a second year in in the top flight since 2016 and 2017.

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