Video: Goalkeeper Rory Beggan makes his point and this one came from play
RORY Beggan is well known for converting long-range free-kicks and ‘45s’ with a swing of that trusty right boot of us. Last Sunday he landed a point for his club Scotstown in a Monaghan league clash against Clontibret, but this one was different – it came from play.
Video footage shows the Monaghan netminder all on his own in acres of space on the right wing during the game. After the ball comes his way he runs and runs and runs unopposed until he has the Clontibret posts in his sights. Still unchallenged, he lashes the ball high over the bar from a difficult angle before running back to his own goal. His team won the game 1-12 to 0-11.
“It was out of the blue to be honest,” said Beggan, a county championship winner with his club and an Ulster Championship winner with his county.
“I went out to provide an option for a free-kick and there was no-one really down that side so when I got the ball I just went soloing and no-one really closed me down.
“I just kept going and when I got close enough I said ‘I’ll just go for it’.
“They probably expected me to pass it. You never expect a goalkeeper to come up that far and they were caught off guard, but it’ll probably never again.”
Beggan admits he’s never heard of a goalkeeper scoring from play before in Gaelic Football. It surely must have happened before but a painstaking internet search didn’t reveal any previous evidence of a point-scoring netminder.
“I’ve never heard of it myself,” said Beggan.
“It’s not something that happens – it probably happened once back in 1976 or something, but that’s it.”
During his underage days with the ‘An Bhoth’ club, Beggan had a spell outfield but even back then scores were few and far between.
“I played outfield for a couple of years at underage but I was never much good so they threw me back in goals,” he said.
“I was a tall enough child so I played a bit at full-forward, I played out at half-forward for a while and in midfield. Most of the time I was in the forward line but I can’t remember many scores – I think I scored a point in minors, it was a handy-enough tap-over.”
Despite his breakthrough, Beggan doesn’t expect that goalkeepers breaking from their own goal to score at the other end of the field will be a feature of this year’s Championship.
“I’ve seen a few goalkeepers go up the field before,” he said.
“Niall Morgan (Tyrone) did it in the Championship and I think Ken O’Halloran (Cork) did it against us up in the ‘Blayney.
“I think a lot of ’keepers are capable of doing it but they’re probably just told not to. I don’t think they’re ever going to get that space in the inter-county game – a team wouldn’t back off you that much so I can’t imagine it would happen, but you never know.”
The Monaghan ’keeper admits that the attention his point has received has come as a surprise.
“I didn’t really expect it, but it’s probably something people never hard of,” he said.
“One of my friends got the footage of it and he put it up on his page and it took off from there. It’s something you could look back on in a couple of years.”