Thursday 16 August 2018

Kearns plays down Tipp's promotion prospects

Tipperary 2-17 Louth 0-9

Louth’s Andy McDonnell wins the high ball ahead of Tipp duo John Meagher (L) and Josh Keane. Photo: Sportsfile
Louth’s Andy McDonnell wins the high ball ahead of Tipp duo John Meagher (L) and Josh Keane. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

These two sides were promoted last season and could be both on their way out of Division 2 - in opposite directions.

It will take something special for Louth to avoid relegation after five straight defeats, while it's also asking a lot of Tipperary to head to Down and Cavan and get the wins which will take them into the top flight.

Liam Casey of Tipperary in action against Gerard McSorley of Louth. Photo: Sportsfile
Liam Casey of Tipperary in action against Gerard McSorley of Louth. Photo: Sportsfile

But Tipp are most certainly heading in the right direction and while they will have a crack at the two Ulster counties over the next two weekends, you suspect Liam Kearns would be content if they just stay where they are.

He rightly pointed out they still have a lot of work to do but a third win safeguards their Division 2 status and leaves them with a shot at promotion, even if Kearns doesn't think they are ready.

"No, not yet. I don't think so. We have still more work to do. The loss against Roscommon was one, our performance against Clare was another. We have work to do.

Progressing "We are progressing all of the time. It's up to the players now. We have got two games and if they win the two games we will be going to Division 1 so we will wait and see," said Kearns.

Bill Maher of Tipperary shoots to score his side's first goal despite the attentions of Emmet Carolan of Louth. Photo: Sportsfile
Bill Maher of Tipperary shoots to score his side's first goal despite the attentions of Emmet Carolan of Louth. Photo: Sportsfile

His men were never troubled at Semple Stadium by a Louth side who were well on their way to a fifth defeat on the trot when Bill Maher's goal helped Tipp lead by 1-4 to 0-0 after just eight minutes.

Louth, who only managed one point from play in the opening half against the wind, had no answer. Michael Quinlivan continued his excellent goalscoring form this season with a cracking effort after 16 minutes to put Tipp 12 points (2-9 to 0-3) ahead at the break.

A third free of the afternoon from Ryan Burns and an effort from Andy McDonnell suggested a Louth revival with the breeze, but Tipperary resumed control.

Steven O'Brien and Liam Casey dominated midfield and while Timmy Durnin and Conor Grimes pointed for Louth, Tipperary led by 2-13 to 0-8 going into the final quarter and cantered home with Conor Sweeney and Liam McGrath in top form.

"We have a young team and have a lot to learn. We have two games left and will fight tooth and nail to get points from them," said Louth manager Pete McGrath.

 

Scorers - Tipperary: C Sweeney 0-7 (5f); M Quinlivan & B Maher 1-1 each; L McGrath 0-4; S O'Brien, J Lonergan, B Fox & K O'Halloran 0-1 each. Louth: R Burns 0-4 (4f); G McSorley, T Durnin, A McDonnell, C Grimes & W Woods 0-1 each.

Tipperary - C Kenrick 7; A Campbell 8, J Meagher 8, P Codd 7; B Maher 7, R Kiely 7, J Feehan 6; S O'Brien 7, L Casey 7; J Keane 7, B Fox 7, J Lonergan 8; C Sweeney 8, M Quinlivan 7, L McGrath 7. Subs: E Moloney 7 for Codd (36), L Boland 7 for Quinlivan (53), K Fahey 7 for Feehan (57), G Hannigan 6 for O'Brien (63), K O'Halloran 6 for McGrath (65), L Boland 6 for Maher (67).

Louth - N Gallagher 7; D Marks 6, E Carolan 7, J Craven 6; E Lafferty 7, B Duffy 6, A Williams 7; T Durnin 6, D Byrne 6; G McSorley 7, A McDonnell 7, C Downey 6; D Maguire 6, C Grimes 6, R Burns 7. Subs: C Earley 6 for Byrne (17-21, blood), F Donohoe 6 for Lafferty (55), W Woods 7 for Burns (55), R Nally 6 for Durnin (59), J Stewart 6 for Maguire (61), A Smyth 6 for Craven (67).

Ref - Paul Faloon (Down)

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