All-Star nominee Rory Beggan has admitted he suffered a ‘rush of blood’ and ‘immediately regretted’ his decision to take a pot shot at glory against Tyrone.
The Monaghan goalkeeper enjoyed his best season to date though it finished on a low note with a one-point defeat to Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-finals.
The marauding ‘keeper took on the responsibility deep into injury-time when he attempted to kick a long-range equaliser from play but winced as his miscued attempt dropped well short.
The county title winner with Scotstown admitted that a couple of months on he still finds it difficult to talk about the episode and has apologised to team-mates.
“It was probably just a rush of blood and something I immediately regretted after the game,” said Beggan.
“I don’t know, I just felt, ‘If I come up here, can I help my team any more?’ But obviously it didn’t impact at all.
I thought I was closer than I probably was. I didn’t think I was that far out. That’s probably from not being up that area of the field too much.
“Yes, it’s something I regret and I have apologised for.
“I wanted to try to help the team but that obviously didn’t work out for me. It was definitely a regret after the game anyway.”
It still looked like Beggan might have inadvertently created a score as referee Anthony Nolan appeared to signal for a free when Kieran Hughes attempted to collect the effort.
But play continued and Tyrone escaped to victory, resulting in a major talking point afterwards.
“I never looked at the referee, I kicked the ball up in the air and I was like, ‘Oh no’ and sort of turned away,” said Beggan. “I was sort of looking at Kieran as well because if he won the ball we were in a great position.
“But you wouldn’t put that ball into anyone, at any stage of the game. I saw the incident afterward and I saw them talking about it, the ref had his hand up clearly. I don’t know what he was signalling for. I would like to hear what he was signalling for.”
Beggan revealed he apologised afterwards to players individually and then parked the issue.
“I haven’t really talked about it since and I don’t really like talking about it now,” he said. “It’s a learning curve, a steep learning curve.”
Beggan, who has scored from play as a goalkeeper for his club, still feels it’s only a matter of time before an inter-county goalkeeper scores from play.
“Yeah, it’s inevitable, it is,” he said, referencing fellow All-Star nominee Graham Brody of Laois. “If he doesn’t kick one, I don’t know if anyone will. Even the day against us in the qualifiers, he was up on the 21-yard line and still looking for the ball. In fairness to him, he’s good at it, he’s adventurous and he’s sort of brought that model through now of assisting the play. So I think it will happen someday.”
Dublin defender Philly McMahon said the ‘sweeper keeper’ phenomenon doesn’t make any sense to him and leaves a team vulnerable at the back.
McMahon said after facing Brody in the Leinster final: “I don’t get it. I don’t know why you’d do it, why Stephen (Cluxton) or Evan (Comerford) would be running up the pitch. If they could explain to me why it’s positive I might understand it a bit more.”
But Beggan said there’s obvious positives to the adventurous ploy.
Some people probably don’t recognise the importance of it,” responded Beggan. “It’s just about being an option for the players in defence, if they are under pressure from a high press that I am there available because I’m never marked.
Meanwhile, Beggan rejected the new proposal that all kick-outs should cross the 45-metre line with an exclusion zone in place around midfield.
“I don’t know why we have to tinker with it. I think the standard of goalkeeping, the standard of kick-outs in any county has gone up and it’s a huge skill in itself. I don’t think you need to hamper that by forcing it to go long all the time.”