90 minutes couldn’t separate Meath and Longford in the O’Byrne Cup semi-final today, but a result was very much needed in order to loosen a tightened GAA calendar.
At the 70-minute mark, the game was tied at 1-12 apiece and after another 20 minutes of entertaining football, the sides still couldn’t be separated on a scoreline of 1-19 to 2-16.
For the first time ever, a sudden death free-taking competition from the 45 metre line took place to decide the winner of the game.
The players were allowed to take the free-kick either from their hands or off the ground, with most players opting for the latter option.
— Leinster GAA (@gaaleinster) January 14, 2018
Both teams would have five attempts to place the ball over the crossbar, with sudden death being necessary if the teams were still tied after this.
And now, with thanks to David Rispin’s video skills, the historic occasion can be relived below.
The free taking competition at the end of today's O'Byrne Cup semi-final in Navan with Meath winning out 2-1 in the dark! #Hardbet
In the end, Meath were victorious after slotting two free-kicks over the bar in opposition to Longford’s one in what was a tense shootout in difficult conditions.
The result now means that Meath will move on to face neighbours Westmeath in the final of the O’Byrne Cup on Sunday at 4pm in Portlaoise.
Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena