Football review: Maroon High-Five

westmeath

As a Meathman there are certain things you just expect – certain records you grow to interpret as concrete rules, rather than historical quirks. One is that Meath Don’t Lose Replays – a rule which finally came to an end in 2007, when Dublin beat us in a Leinster quarter-final replay. But in 128 years of Championship football, that’s the only time Meath have been beaten on the second time of asking.

The other is that Meath Do Not Lose To Westmeath. 23rd time lucky. To Westmeath’s eternal credit, at half-time last Sunday, they could easily have succumbed to that same mindset and fought simply for a respectable scoreline. But onwards they trudged, and the result is there for all to see. Their win is a shot in the arm for the provincial championships and a reminder of everything that’s good about the Irish sporting summer.

Elsewhere, Donegal weren’t quite so sparkling as they disposed of Derry – but then again, as a departing Division 1 side Derry would never have been a pushover – and Dublin were… well, Dublin. Is there anyone to stop them? Dublin now have a higher rating than Kerry did after winning Sam last year – and, in fact, than any recent All-Ireland team (other than themselves in 2013). This blue bandwagon will take some beating.

The historic win sends Westmeath hurtling four places higher in the ratings, with Meath going two places in the wrong direction. Kildare, the team dismantled on Sunday, are now considered the second-best team in Leinster…

Football rankings
(w/e June 28, 2015)
1 Dublin 1977
2 Kerry 1856
3 Donegal 1836
4 Mayo 1797
5 Cork 1775
6 Monaghan 1700
7 Tyrone 1588
8 Derry 1497
9 (+1) Kildare 1439
10 (+1) Armagh 1417
11 (-2) Meath 1407
12 Galway 1381
13 (+1) Roscommon 1361
14 (-1) Down 1310
15 Cavan 1276
16 (+4) Westmeath 1255
17 (-1) Tipperary 1238
18 (-1) Laois 1207
19 (-1) Sligo 1205
20 (-1) Fermanagh 1194
21 (+2) Wexford 1086
22 (-1) Clare 1081
23 (-1) Longford 1067
24 (+1) Louth 1046
25 (-1) Limerick 1016
26 Offaly 993
27 Antrim 955
28 Leitrim 849
29 Wicklow 761
30 Carlow 682
31 Waterford 616
32 London 563

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