After a disappointing start to their championship campaign against Kildare, Roscommon have no room for error when they take on Laois this Sunday afternoon in Kinnegad in the TG4 Ladies intermediate championship, needing to win by at least three points (and possibly four) to advance to the quarter-final stages.
Should Roscommon pick up a win against the O’Moore County and avenge the 3-15 to 4-9 defeat they suffered in the Lidl NFL Division Three semi-final, all three teams in the group will have one win and one defeat, so it will all come down to scoring difference. Kildare, with a scoring difference of plus two, will qualify regardless of what happens in Kinnegad. In the event of two teams tying on scoring difference, the side with the most points (not goals) in the group stages will be the top team.
What this means is that should Roscommon win by six points or more, and score at least 19 points (not including goals) they will top the group. A win by four, five, or six (but scoring less than 19 points) means they will finish second, and a win by three will be enough if they raise at least four more white flags than Laois. So 0-15 to 0-12 would not suffice, but 0-15 to 1-9 would be enough.
However there is also one other anomaly – which arises from the LGFA’s attempts to ensure that there is no need for playoffs, and that the season will finish on time and allow club teams to have a substantial window in which to play their games. By rule, all drawn games must go to extra time, and if necessary, a 30-metre free kick shootout will be played.
So Roscommon could be in a situation very late in the game where they lead by a point (or two) and decide that rather than striving for a goal with only a short period of injury time remaining, they choose to deliberately concede, or possibly even kick points over their own crossbar themselves, in order to secure extra time and thus 20 extra minutes in which to try and win by a sufficient amount. There aren’t too many things we’ve never seen before in the world of gaelic games, but this has the potential to be a first.
Is it likely? Probably not. Is it worth tuning in to see? Absolutely!
For those who have not been able to get a ticket for the game, this fixture and all TG4 LGFA senior, intermediate and junior championship fixtures can be watched free of charge on the LGFA’s dedicated streaming portal, https://page.inplayer.com/peilnamban/