The Biggest Upsets Ever In GAA History

The Biggest Upsets Ever In GAA History
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The GAA Hurling and Football championships have been taking place since 1887 and along the way we have seen some huge upsets which has left some counties reeling while others embark on huge celebrations.

We wind the clock back to take a look at the six biggest upsets in GAA betting history and for good measure we have included the odds to show just how big these upsets were.

2012 All-Ireland Football Champions Donegal - 16/1

It's fair to say not many people would have predicted Donegal's 2012 All-Ireland triumph as the Ulster side ended a 19-year wait to get their hands on Sam Maguire again. The Forgotten County came through the hardest section of the Ulster provincial draw beating Cavan, Derry, Tyrone and Down to land the spoils in the northern province.

That victory teed up an All-Ireland quarter-final tie against a well-fancied Kerry side who they beat by two points and went on to get the better of another Munster side, Cork, by the same margin in the All-Ireland semi-final. Donegal got off to a dream start in the final which saw them lead 2-01 to no score after 11 minutes, which was too big a deficit for Mayo to claw back as Donegal went on to shock the country with their first All-Ireland victory since 1992.

2018 All-Ireland Hurling Champions Limerick - 16/1

After consistent success at underage level, Limerick were massive under-achievers in the senior ranks but that all changed in 2018 when the Shannon siders made a mockery of the 16/1 price quoted on them winning the All Ireland with the best betting sites. A format change which saw the provincial championships use a group system where every team played each other once was a huge success and although Limerick just managed qualification through Munster, they were certainly dark horses as many people wrote them off after a heavy defeat to Clare in Ennis.

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The Treaty side made quick work of Carlow before edging past Kilkenny in the quarter-final. They needed extra-time to see off Cork in an epic semi-final clash at Croke Park. Limerick then faced the reigning champions Galway in the final and despite two late goals from Joe Canning's men, Limerick held on by a point to win their first All-Ireland title since 1973.

2020 Munster Football Champions Tipperary - 16/1


Tipperary are a county steeped in success in hurling, but football took centre stage for the Premier County in 2020. David Power's side edged past Clare by a goal in the opening round which set up an enticing clash against Limerick in the semi-final. A spectacular Conor Sweeney sideline kick with the last attempt of the game forced extra-time as it tied up the semi-final for a fifth time, and Tipperary went onto win by a point.

There was more heartbreak on the opposite side of the draw as Cork scored a last minute goal to knock out Kerry, who were going for their 10th Munster title in-a-row. A shock Munster final between Cork and Tipperary saw the latter run out comfortable three-point winners to claim their first Munster championship title since 1935.

1994 Leitrim Connacht Football Champions - 16/1

Unfortunately, as bigger intercounty teams get ever more professional and leave their smaller counterparts in the dust, days like July 24, 1994 become ever rarer. However, that does mean they are even more fondly remembered.

Having not won a provincial title since 1924, Leitrim players were surprisingly confident heading into that year’s Championship, and legend has it that the panel had a whip-round to take advantage of the tasty 16/1 pre-Championship odds for them to win the Connacht title.

However, the Lovely Leitrim side had reason for optimism after dumping Galway out of the Championship in the preceding year. John O'Mahony’s men also had to do it the hard way, seeing off neighbours Roscommon by a just point at Dr Hyde Park. They then drew with Galway at home in the semi-final, before going on to win the replay in Tuam – yet again by a single point.

History beckoned in the final as they took on Mayo and disaster struck straight from the throw-in as they conceded a calamitous goal after 20 seconds. But, they steadied the ship to run out 0-12 to 2-04 winners, claiming only their second ever Connacht Championship.

2013 All-Ireland Hurling Champions Clare - 20/1

Clare got their 2013 All-Ireland Hurling campaign off to a brilliant start with an impressive eight-point win over Waterford, but they were quickly brought back down to earth after suffering defeat by the same margin against Cork in the Munster semi-final. Davy Fitzgerald's men had to reach the quarter-finals the hard way by coming through the qualifiers against Laois and they needed extra-time to beat a talented Wexford side.

A surprise victory over Galway in the quarter-final was backed up with another impressive performance against Munster champions Limerick in the semi-final - as they breezed past the Treaty County by seven points. The Banner faced Cork in the All-Ireland final and after the sides drew a wild first final, an eight-goal thriller saw Clare win their first All-Ireland since 1997 - with Shane O'Donnell grabbing the spotlight after a fantastic hat-trick.

2020 Ulster Football Champions Cavan - 25/1

Despite Cavan holding the record for most Ulster titles (39) they have found it difficult to keep up with the likes of Donegal, Tyrone and Monaghan of late. The Breffni County faced a tough preliminary round opener against Monaghan in 2020, but they caused a huge upset when holding out to win by a point. Antrim were no match for Mickey Graham's charges in the quarter-final and Down came to within a point of Cavan but also failed to get the job done in the last four.

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On the other side of the draw Donegal had knocked out the favourites Tyrone and after an emphatic 12-point win over Armagh in the Ulster semi-final, they looked nailed on to claim their 11th Ulster title. Nobody gave Cavan a chance and they were as big as 8/1 in the final before the best In-Play betting sites could even get their teeth into the game, but they weren't going down without a fight and a late goal from Conor Madden was the final nail in the coffin for Donegal. It was Cavan's first Ulster title since 1997 and those who had faith in the Breffni county from the beginning of the tournament were rewarded with a 25/1 winner.