We are in the midst of a goalkeeping evolution in Gaelic footbal

Rory Beggan wasn’t the first Monaghan goalkeeper to do it. But when one Patrick Kavanagh was making sallies up the field back in the 1930s, it was seen as a fundamental betrayal of a goalie’s duty to the safety and security of his team.

ccording to the poet’s biographer, Antoinette Quinn, Kavanagh wasn’t making these raids out of his goals as part of a radical new strategy concocted by the tactical brains trust at his club, Inniskeen Rovers. No, wrote Quinn back in 2001, it was because he was “easily bored with standing about when there was nothing happening in his vicinity.” And therefore he acquired “a bad habit of deserting his post to run up the field and take close-in frees, hot-footing it back before the action returned to his end.”

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