Promotion party now in full swing for Louth heroes
Louth 0-16 Tipperary 0-12
They've come a long way in 15 months.
Louth manager Colin Kelly can recall his team's opening game of the 2016 Allianz League campaign, and a victory over London in Darver that fell into the 'flattered to deceive' bracket.
Now, in two seasons, Kelly has masterminded successive promotions and in 2018 Louth will be playing their football in Division 2.
Victory over Tipperary at Semple Stadium in front of 1,067 fans yesterday sealed the deal for Kelly's battlers, who outscored the pre-match favourites by 0-10 to 0-4 in the second-half.
Tipp can still go up as well, but they'll have to beat Armagh away from home next weekend in a winner-takes-all clash.
Tipp manager Liam Kearns described Louth as "fairly cynical", but admitted that some of their tactics are "part of the game".
Louth lost two players to black cards and, defending in numbers, they were determined not to let Tipperary make headway, by fair means or foul.
Kearns said: "They were fairly cynical, in fairness. They took Jack Kennedy down as well (in the second-half), when he was going through.
"Any danger to their goals, rugby tackles were all on. That doesn't matter, it's part of the game."
Tipp paid the price for missed chances, registering 13 wides in total, while Conor Sweeney also smacked a penalty off the upright deep in stoppage time at the end of the first-half. Tipp led by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, but it could have been so much better.
Louth, though, were brilliant in the second-half and while Eoin O'Connor notched five points, they had 10 different scorers on target.
They could have had a goal early in the second-half, but Evan Comerford did well to push James Stewart's effort over the crossbar.
In truth, it was a disappointing Tipp display as they registered just six points from play.
They also lost Michael Quinlivan to a second-half black card, while Josh Keane limped off injured after 20 minutes.
Louth manager Kelly said: "We had a bump last Sunday (against Armagh) which wasn't good and for the first 35 minutes we carried a hangover from that."
Scorers - Louth: E O'Connor 0-5 (1f), Derek Maguire & Dean Maguire 0-2 each, J Bingham, J Stewart, T Durnin, D Byrne, P Smith (f), C McKeever & G McSorley 0-1 each. Tipperary: C Sweeney 0-4 (3f), M Quinlivan (1f) & L McGrath 0-2 each, J Kennedy, J Keane (f), K O'Halloran (f) & P Austin 0-1 each.
Louth: C Lynch 7; P Rath 6, P Reilly 5, J Bingham 7; Derek Maguire 8, K Murphy 7, J Stewart 7; Dean Maguire 8, T Durnin 7; D Byrne 6, P Smith 6, B Duffy 6; C Martin 5, E O'Connor 8, S Mulroy 6. Subs: K Carr 6 for Reilly (b/c 25), G McSorley 7 for Mulroy (41), R Burns 6 for Byrne (b/c 59), R Moore NR for Durnin (64), C McKeever NR for Martin (70+3), D Crilly NR for O'Connor (70+5).
Tipperary: E Comerford 6; A Campbell 7, P Codd 6, W Connors 6; B Maher 5, R Kiely 7, J Feehan 6; L Casey 6, J Kennedy 7; J Keane 5, K O'Halloran 6, B Fox 5; C Sweeney 7, M Quinlivan 6, L McGrath 7. Subs: L Boland 6 for Fox (temp 8-17), P Austin 5 for Keane (inj., 20), K Fahey 6 for Maher (h.t.), L Boland for O'Halloran (59), S O'Connell NR for Quinlivan (b/c 66).
Ref: Padraig O'Sullivan (Kerry)