National Football League Division 3 Final:Tipperary 3-19; Louth 0-19
After a long League campaign, Tipperary senior footballers have beaten Louth in the Division 3 Final played at Croke Park yesterday evening. This followed a splendid away win against Armagh last Sunday after a last-minute goal by Michael Quinlivan. These two victories were all the sweeter having lost two home games unexpectedly in the earlier stages of the league.
Louth had rested a number of their players in their game on the previous Sunday having already gained promotion and qualified for the final. With a fresher team than Tipperary, they started strongly and led by 6 points to 3 after 15 minutes. However, Tipperary managed to stay in touch and, in the last 15 minutes before half-time, they produced a 1-05 blitz which laid the foundation for this win.
Louth began the second half as they had done in the first, reducing the deficit to two point, but a vital goal by Conor Sweeney in the 43rd minute gave Tipperary the cushion to push on for victory. Louth kept battling to the end but two Tipp points in the 69th and 70th minutes, and another goal by Conor Sweeney at the end of stoppage time, put a further gloss on the score.
Tipperary football has now built a good foundation to move forward and challenge for top honours. However, more needs to be done at County Board level as regards the organising and completing of club competitions. Better grading and fewer fixtures can get players used to competing at a higher level intensity; all club games should be completed far earlier in the year; and top coaches should be in place for all under-age players.