Tipperary strolled to a facile fourteen point victory over struggling Louth at Semple Stadium in their Allianz Football League Division 2 clash.
In this corresponding fixture in Thurles last season Louth beat Tipperary to seal promotion, however another upset was never on the cards as the hosts shot into a unassailable lead of 1-4 to 0-1 with less than ten minutes played.
The high press on Louth’s kickout’s proved a successful tactic for Liam Kearns side. Bill Maher showed the Premier county’s ruthlessness on the day punishing a sloppy kickout for the opening goal.
Kearns has brought in Pascal Kellaghan into his back room team and the former Offaly forward and esteemed coach in his own right, after success’s with Rhode, has added to Tipperary promotion tilt.
Liam McGrath notched two points in either half, while Michael Quinlavin continued his imperious form of late, registering his fourth goal in five games on the 17th minute with a sheering injection of acceleration. Quinlavin drove through the Louth defence from 30 yards out and dispatched a powerful shot across the returning Neil Gallagher in the Louth goal.
The one way traffic meant it was 2-9 to 3 at the interval. Pete McGrath’s side did start brighter in the second half scoring their entire first half tally in six minutes through Ryan Burns free’s and captain Andy McDonnell.
As the game opened up, the intensity levels dipped with Tipp' reeling off four points in a row as the game petered out.
The purple patch came thanks to points from the impressive Lonergan, substitute O’Halloran and Conor Sweeney, Tipp’s scorer in chief, who added two frees to his five point first half tally.
This was a tale of very contrasting fortunes for both promoted sides in Division 2 this season has both counties heading for opposing directions.
Tipperary: Ciarán Kenrick; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Paddy Codd; Bill Maher (1-01), Robbie Kiely, Jimmy Feehan; Steven O’Brien (0-01), Liam Casey; Josh Keane, Jason Lonergan (0-01), Brian Fox (0-01); Conor Sweeney (0-07, 0-05f), Michael Quinlivan (1-01), Liam McGrath (0-04).
Subs Used: Emmet Maloney for P Codd (HT), Liam Boland for M Quinlavin (53), Kevin Fahey for J Feehan (56), George Hannigan (0-01)for S O’Brien (63),Kevin O’Halloran for L McGrath (64), Luke Boland for B Maher (66).
Louth: Neil Gallagher; Darren Marks, Emmet Carolan, James Craven; Eoghan Lafferty, Bevan Duffy, Anthony Williams; Tommy Durnin (0-01), Declan Byrne; Gerard McSorley (0-01), Andy McDonnell (0-01), Ciaran Downey; Derek Maguire,Conor Grimes (0-01), Ryan Burns (0-04, 0-04f).
Subs Used: Conor Early for D Byrne Blood (19), Fergal Donohoe for E Lafferty (55) William Woods (0-01) for R Burns (55), Ross Nally for T Durnin (58), James Stewart for D Maguire (61), Andrew Smyth for J Craven (66)