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15th Jul 2023

Meath score most bizarre goal in Croke Park history to win Tailteann Cup

Lee Costello


This was just weird.

Meath had arguably scored the most bizarre goal in the history of Croke Park against Down to help them win the Tailteann Cup.

Down seemed to be cruising in the first half, as they dominated possession, picked their shots, and did just about everything right.

Danny Magill was causing all sorts of problems, and the Ulster side were varying their scorers with Ryan Johnston, Shealan Johnston, Odhran Murdock and Pat Havern getting the scores.

Then, in the weirdest sequence of play that was against the run of how things were going, a shot from Meath came off the crossbar, ricocheted off Havren and Ronan Jones, and the little bit of contact was enough to put it into the net.

Colm O’Rourke would have been delighted as his side got a new lease of life and started to take control of the game from there, while Conor Laverty could only raise his eyes to the heavens.

The weather in Dublin was awful, with the heavy rain making a slippy surface that was always going to cause problems, but nobody could have foreseen a goal as unusual and fortuitous as that from a Meath perspective.

Down’s bright start had been completely dampened, and Laverty would have been eager to get them in at half time, shake them down, and try to re-kick the momentum they had in the opening 15 minutes.

The mistake for the goal goal seemed to have affected the confidence of Havern who went on to miss a free, and then a shot from play.

The second half saw Meath take complete control, they always kept Down at arms length, and no matter what the Ulster team tried they just couldn’t get it into the net.


They had a brilliant goal chance but it seemed like nobody wanted to take the shot, and eventually it worked its way to Havern who held onto to it for too long.

Meath kept possession as much as they could, a part from moments when Jack O’Connor, the substitute, produced two moments of absolute brilliance, kicking points that were speculative at best, but he managed to put them over.

Despite everything going against them, Down only found themselves with two points down in injury time, and it was clear that O’Rourke’s team was getting nervous.

However, they managed to stay strong and seal victory , with a crazy ending that saw that man O’Connor, score a goal right at the death, and win the 2023 Tailteann Cup for Meath.

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