Heartbreak for Louth football teams
The high expectations that Louth fans brought to All-Ireland semi-final day in Croke Park in August, 1953 were dashed when both the Seniors and Minors were beaten before the second highest attendance to attend a semi-final, 68,048.
The Seniors were beaten by Kerry, 3-6 to 0-10 while the Minors suffered an unexpected reverse at the hands of Clare, 1-10 to 0-2.
It may all have been different for the Seniors had they not conceded three soft goals in the first half and had they played with what one newspaper called 'that wonder man of Gaelic football, - Kevin McArdle'.
The unnumbered sub who was introduced in the second half was a former Louth centre-field player who had not donned the Louth jersey for quite a while and was a real nuisance to the Kerry defence.
According to match reports 'he pin-pricked his way through, probing here and there, obviously enjoying the discomfort he was causing. He was the pulse of the Louth team that trobbed to life in the second half'.
He obtained none of the Louth scores during this ever to be remembered second half revival, but is he did not put his name on the score sheet he paved the way for his colleagues to score.
The Louth Senior team that day was: Niall O'Neill, Jim Conlon, Tom Conlon, Jim Tuft, Paddy McArdle, Paddy Markey, Stephen White, Hubert Reynolds, Michael McDonnell, Dermot O'Brien, Jimmy McDonnell, P. Smith, Kevin Behan, Jack Regan, H. O'Rourke. Subs. K. McArdle, P. Judge, P. Behan and F. Wynne.
The Minors were outplayed, outmannoeuvred and outpaced by the unfancied Clare team and never recovered from a poor start. Behind 1-7 to 0-1 at the interval, Louth tried had but were outclassed much to the disappointment of the large Louth following who had turned up early at Croke Park to support the team.
The team was: S. Flood, T. McArdle, K. Smyth, P. McEntee, P. Coleman, J. McArdle, E. McGrath, P. Halliman, O. Judge, P. McMahon, J. Reynolds, J. Judge, F. Murphy, B. Little, R. Kierans.