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Watch: Phantom Foul Decides London Championship Final

Watch: Phantom Foul Decides London Championship Final

The London Senior Football Championship final went the distance this weekend, with Fulham Irish needing extra time to defeat Tir Chonaill Gaels - but they had the helping hand of one of the most ludicrous frees we've ever seen in the dying stages of normal time to level the game.

The final of the 2020 championship was delayed due to the pandemic, but it was finally played on Sunday afternoon in Ruislip. It was a repeat of the 2018 and '19 finals, when the Gaels overcame Fulham Irish on both occasions.

It seemed as though it was to be another year to forget for Fulham Irish in the early stages, as Tir Chonaill Gaels roared into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead in the opening 12 minutes. But, having pulled the lead back to 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time, they remained in touching distance until the closing stages, and sat a point back as the game ticked into injury time.

With the score locked at 0-13 to 0-12, Fulham Irish were awarded a free-in on the 45.  They proceeded to pass the ball neatly and Ronan Sloan slotted the ball over brilliantly to level the game and force extra-time.

The only problem was the player who was "fouled" didn't have an opposition within five yards of him.

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There's a chance the "fouled" player was tapped on the shoulder a couple of seconds before he inexplicably dropped the ball out of his hand, but we're not buying it.

In fairness to Fulham Irish, the decision to take a quick free rather than allowing Tir Chonaill Gaels to regroup and re-organise their defence was an inspired one and got them the equaliser.

As it happened, Fulham Irish ultimately had the better of proceedings in extra-time, and eventually ran out 2-17 to 0-16 winners. Having been behind for all of normal time, a seven-point win was quite the turnaround for the west Londoners, who took only their third ever London crown.

With Tir Chonaill Gaels denied a third Championship in a row, you can imagine this will be a refereeing decision talked about for a long time to come in the GAA club bars of Ruislip and beyond.

 

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fulham irish

Eoin Harrington

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