For Dublin, it’s back to square one in Sunday’s Division 1 final as Monaghan last week ended their 12-game unbeaten run across league and Championship.

That said, they won’t want to depreciate their sublime final record under Jim Gavin — 13 wins, one draw and one defeat.

Then there’s the fact this is a chance to make up for what happened against Kerry at this stage last year never mind in Salthill when Galway sneaked a draw last Sunday week.

Even if it has become a playground for them, they’ll also want to break before their Leinster SFC preparations in a positive frame of mind, where they will aim to extend their Championship stretch without a defeat to 21 matches, against Offaly or Wicklow on May 26 or 27.

However, Galway are the side who are putting the records on the line this weekend.

Beat Dublin and they will make it a 12th match unbeaten in the league, their last coming against Meath in Navan last March when Donal Lenihan stole a victory for the home side with a late goal.

Before that, their previous league loss came in April 2016, in a final round game with Cavan in Pearse Stadium.

It’s not “Dublin impressive” but it’s a fine spell that would scream progress were it not for Galway letting themselves down when it comes to GAA HQ. Last year’s Division 2 win over Kildare was a first success in their 13 visits to Croke Park since 2001 and was hoped to have broken the hoodoo only for them to cough up a plethora of goal chances against Kerry before finishing meekly.

It’s a result Kevin Walsh felt too much was read into.

“The pen is mightier than the sword — people can reflect on whichever way they want, and people can reflect on it with agendas as well,” he said last month.

Nevertheless, it fed the theory the Croke Park itch is back and Galway don’t have the ability to scratch it.

So what happens this Sunday — do Galway consider a national final for what it is and go for it, or does the spikiness of the recent bout with Dublin and fear of suspension ahead of the crucial May 13 clash with Mayo blunt their edge? Either way, one of the accompanying records will be belied, the other corroborated.


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