The GAA has taken Sky Sports by storm this summer, with UK fans stunned by the electric pace and incredible skill of the two codes. Or they just enjoy watching the schmozzles which inevitably features both teams, coaches, club doctors, fans and anyone else quick enough to jump into the melee. A few minutes of argy-bargy later and the referee regains order and tells a few lads to cool their jets, before everyone carries on like nothing happened. Everybody loves watching that.
This year 2012 champions Donegal take on 36-time All-Ireland winners Kerry, and we’ve crunched the numbers to see how Blighty’s bettors differ from their Irish counterparts.
Ahead of the final on Sunday (3.30pm RTE2 and Sky Sports) it’s a close call with 52 per cent of punters in the UK plumping for Donegal to win at 8/11, with Kerry at 13/8 attracting 48 per cent of punters’ bets across the Irish Sea.
On the Emerlad Isle, punters see things slightly differently with 59 per cent of wagers on the Kingdom, and just 41 per cent on Jim McGuinness’ men.
The double-denim wearing GAA nut in Power Tower who crunched the numbers said, ‘There’s a lot that the Irish and the British don’t agree on and we can now add the All-Ireland final to that list. Interest in the GAA amongst our UK customers has soared since the Sky deal and plenty of our English, Scottish and Welsh friends will have a financial incentive to cheer on either Donegal or Kerry on Sunday.’
Donegal took Paddy Power for a six-figure sum when they upset the odds to beat Dublin in the semi-final at 7/1, and plenty of punters in the UK believe that they’ll go all the way and win their second Sam Maguire in three years. Kerry had to come through an epic replay against perennial bottlers Mayo to make the final, and the most successful county in GAA football history will have their eyes on Championship number 37.
Three of the last four football finals have been won by a single point, and the last three hurling finals have ended in a draw and had to go to a replay. You can guarantee there’s going to be very little between the teams this weekend. Bring it on.
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