Down’s cheeky goal revives memories of draw against invisible team!

It was a sweeping move and a well-worked goal…one that will live in the memory.

The Down players linked beautifully…it was as if their opponents weren’t there. Which they weren’t.

Thank God Roscommon ladies downed Down on Saturday (5-15 to 3-12). Because, had Roscommon lost, it’s likely there would have been even more comment this week about the Ulster team’s controversial goal.

In case you missed it, here’s what happened: Roscommon ladies hosted Down in Kiltoom on Saturday. During a water break, both teams went to the sideline, as per usual. Well, both teams bar the Down ‘keeper. When referee Ciaran Groome blew the whistle to resume play, a few Down players began to walk back on to the pitch. The Roscommon players were still on their break. When the Down ‘keeper took a quick kickout, the returning Down players worked the ball up the field and scored into an empty net, as stunned Roscommon players tried to scramble back into position. The bizarre goal was allowed to stand.

Apologies to my friends in Rooskey, but the strange episode kind of reminded me of a famous ‘match’ over 40 years ago. Rooskey’s opponents didn’t turn up, but the referee allowed the home team to start the game (with no opposition). Once they went through the formality of scoring, they’d be awarded the win.

What happened next made the national papers. One headline read: ‘Rooskey red faces – no score against invisible rivals’.

Unfortunately, when the Rooskey players worked the ball upfield that day – ‘against’ their invisible opposition – complacency set in. One of the Rooskey players put the ball wide. There was no goalkeeper to kick the ball out. Game over.

Well, at least our lads got a draw.