GAA Football

Darren Hughes hits out at 'unfair commentary' surrounding Rory Beggan Allstar selection

Rory Beggan stayed cool and calm to slot over the match-winning free in Sunday's Ulster semi-final victory over Eoghan Rua, Coleraine. Picture by Philip Walsh
Neil Loughran

SCOTSTOWN midfielder Darren Hughes has spoken of his surprise at the “unfair commentary” that surrounded goalkeeper Rory Beggan’s Allstar award ahead of Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton.

Beggan was in sensational form for Monaghan all year, and has continued to steal the show at the business end of the club season as Scotstown swept to a fourth county title in-a-row.

He stole the show once more in Sunday’s Ulster semi-final against Eoghan Rua, stepping up to slot over the match-winning free that sent An Bhoth into a provincial final showdown with Gaoth Dobhair on December 2.

Still the debate continues to rage about who should have been handed the number one spot in the Allstar team, and Hughes admits he has been a bit bemused by some of the discussion surrounding his club and county team-mate.

“I was surprised at the tone used. They were saying that it was a robbery - I think it was a good debate between the two of them,” he said.

“Cluxton had a good year but I think on this occasion Rory was better than him. They were trying to write one ’keeper off against the other, and suggesting that one was basically no good.

“I think the commentary was wrong, they are two top class ’keepers. Rory makes no secret of the fact that he followed Cluxton and models his game [on his] and I think Rory can do stuff now that Cluxton can’t do.

“There is no doubt that they are two top class’ keepers and I just think some of the commentary was unfair on Rory.”

Beggan spent much of the final 10 minutes of Sunday’s game camped in the Coleraine half as the Monaghan men hunted down the Derry champions.

And Hughes wasn’t surprised to see the Scotstown goalkeeper play such a big role in swinging the game back towards Kieran Donnelly’s side.

“No. I see it all the time - he is top class.

“I see it every night in training, he is comfortable on the ball. Some day he will get caught but he had got us out of jail on many a day and he is on a roll at the minute.

“It [his kicking style] is effortless – it’s like a golfer’s swing. His confidence is sky high, his kick-outs are just spot on every time and his handling is excellent. We are glad to have him.”

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