His Tipperary team will join a raft of northern heavyweights in the bowl for this morning’s round 3B football draw and the Premier manager says they’ve been left ill-prepared by virtue of the “non-event” that was Saturday afternoon’s qualifier contest.
In a fixture that resembled more a challenge game than a knock-out championship tie, Tipperary signalled their intent when moving 2-8 to 0-6 clear 27 minutes in, stretching the gap out to 2-10 to 0-6 by the halfway mark. Such was the appalling Louth effort that the home side cantered to a 14-point lead after 41 minutes, 23-points separating the sides at the finish.
Colin Kelly’s charges, totally devoid of both spirit and determination, went 44 minutes without a score and had their first of the second half three minutes from the final whistle.
Creedon’s frustration was understandable and while there have been a scattering of results already this summer to suggest a two-tier football structure is required sooner rather than later, Saturday’s desperately one-sided encounter is further evidence of its merit.
A Division 3 outfit annihilating a fellow Division 3 team by 23-points. Enough said.
“It is hard to comment on the match, we won by 23-points,” said Creedon afterwards.
“We should be delighted for it is another win in the championship, but if I am being honest, we were hoping for a really tough test today.
“We are moving on, but Louth were not good. Next week will be way up from that and we will have to improve an awful lot.”
The gulf in class between the sides was evident as early as the third minute, Ger Mulhair’s goal following a Kevin O’Halloran free.
And while Louth, through Ryan Burns (free), Colm Judge (free), Declan Byrne and Ronan Holdrcoft, were level by the 11th minute, they would manage just three more points in the next hour.
Tipperary had four wides during Louth’s brief spell of dominance but they shot back impressively with five on the bounce from the razor sharp O’Halloran (0-2), Peter Acheson (0-2) and Philip Austin.
Acheson’s redeployment to midfield, partnering Colin O’Riordan, saw the home outfit dominate the middle sector, while further forward, O’Halloran, Austin and Michael Quinlivan asked the toughest questions.
Louth’s Declan Byrne and Páraic Smith swapped points with Austin and a fine Quinlivan minor to momentarily keep in touch, Tipperary then driving further out of sight on 27 minutes.
Midfielder Tommy Durnin produced a foot-block to deny Conor Sweeney and referee Rory Hickey awarded a Tipperary penalty. Sweeney dusted himself down to dispatch the place-kick.
Louth wasted two placed ball efforts thereafter – Ryan Burns and James Califf the guilty parties, further deflating their efforts approaching the break.
The progression of the home outfit was all but secured six minutes into the second period, Colin O’Riordan’s speculative punt from halfway slipping through the gloves of ‘keeper Craig Lynch. Their third major left the scoreboard reading 3-13 to 0-6 and from there to the finish, Creedon’s charges laid siege to the opposition goal.
Having kicked 10 second-half wides, Louth eventually brought an end to their 44-minute scoring drought on 67 minutes, Ryan Burns splitting the posts after a succession of poor misses.
Surmised Creedon: “We got a fortuitous goal in the second-half and we could have had five or six more.
“The last quarter of an hour was a non-event. We are very comfortable with Division 3 and 4 teams. I don’t believe we have lost to one in the championship over the past three years. It is getting up to the next level. That will be next week.”
K O’Halloran (0-7, 0-4 frees, 0-2 ’45’s); C Sweeney (1-2, 1-0 pen, 0-1 free); C O’Riordan (1-1), G Mulhaire (1-0); R Acheson, P Austin, M Quinlivan (0-2 each); B Grogan (0-1 free), S Kennedy, L Casey, J Lonergan, B Fox (0-1 each).
R Burns (0-1 free), D Byrne (0-2 each); C Judge (0-1 free), R Holdcroft, P Smith (0-1 each)
E Comerford; C McDonald, P Codd, J Feehan; S Kennedy, R Kiely, A Campbell; C O’Riordan, P Acheson; G Mulhair, C Sweeney, L Casey; K O’Halloran, M Quinlivan, P Austin.
B Fox for Mulhair (43 mins), C O’Shaughnessy for Kennedy (44), J Lonergan for Casey (45), B Grogan for Austin (48), A Morrissey for Acheson (60), B Mulvihill for Kiely (62).
G Lynch; P Rath, D Finnegan, A Williams; D Byrne, D O’Hanlon, A Reid; T Durnin, J Cailiff; B Duffy, P Smith, C McKeever; R Burns, C Judge, R Holdcroft.
E O’Connor for C McKeever (24 mins), C Grimes for Judge (26), E Lafferty for O’Hanlon (HT), Jim McEneaney for Califf (43), D Maguire for Holdcroft (44), D McComish for Lafferty (51, bc).
R Hickey (Clare).