GAA | Kelly has no complaints following Tipperary’s win at Croke Park
Louth boss happy with his side’s progression
Louth manager Colin Kelly had no complaints about Saturday’s outcome at Croke Park which saw Tipperary return home with the Allianz National Football League Division Three trophy after their nine-point win over the Wee County.
Kelly’s side started the first half well and led until the 28th minute of play but Tipp responded with a 1–5 salvo to take the lead and they never looked like relinquishing it after that.
Speaking afterwards, Kelly said that he was satisfied with Louth’s attacking play which yielded 19 points but he was left to bemoan the defensive errors that saw his side cough up three soft goals.
“We put up a score that was good enough to score any match but ultimately we conceded three goals,” said the Reds manager.
“We spoke about offensive turnovers and today we lost the ball in the sweeper and cornerback positions.
“You can’t do that against a team like Tipperary or you’ll be punished and that’s what happened.
“When they had their good spell they really went to town but that’s what you get when you’re up against quality like that,” he continued. “Michael Quinlivan, Conor Sweeney, O’Halloran, they’re all top class players and they punished us when they got their opportunity.
“Look, we had a cut, we scored 19 points and we played really attractive football at times. We were just caught out a couple of times at the back. Being beaten by nine points is probably hard for the boys to take. I don’t think that was justified but without a shadow of a doubt, Tipperary were better than Louth today.
“They probably brought last year’s Championship form into the league this year. They were the favourites going into it and rightly so. They proved today they’re the best team in the division.”
Despite the loss, it has been a promising year for Louth and with promotion secure, and the National League now put to bed, Kelly’s focus will solely be on the Leinster Senior Championship opener with Wicklow on May 21st.
Louth’s exploits in Division Three will make them favourites to dispatch the Garden County — and set up a mouth watering derby with Meath in the last eight — but Kelly said that he was taking nothing for granted.
“We’ve a sticky first match against Wicklow and you don’t know what way that can go but we have seven weeks to pass between now and then and we have to get bodies fit and bodies recovered.
“If we can get over Wicklow then there’s a plum tie against Meath. One of the disappointments of last season was that we didn’t function in the Championship against Meath. We were poor and we were chasing the game from an early stage.”
With that in mind, Kelly would love another tilt at the old enemy, especially now that his players have another year of experience under their belt.
“There has been huge progression this year,” he said. “They are a serious bunch of lads with loads of talent and a lot of commitment and they’re getting more belief with every week that passes.
“We spoke about getting up the divisions to make us a real competitive team and it will only bring us on when we have days like today. We’ll have the likes of Cork and Meath as opposition in next year’s National League and teams like that will only improve us.
“It’s about us becoming more competitive as a county. Maybe three or four years down the line we can think about coming out here deep into the summer and performing at a really higher level.”