Louth supremo Colin Kelly has taken the unprecedented step of calling up all surviving members of the 1957 All Ireland winning side to the county panel for Sunday’s showdown with Carlow in Carlow. The move comes after successive dispiriting defeats in the O’Byrne Cup.
Kildare 1-16 Louth 0-07
Sunday’s trip to Newbridge saw the Lilywhites tear the Wee County apart, coasting to a twelve-point victory. Only one of the Louth points came from play and save for a flurry of frees late on, the men from the Wee County would have finished with less points than a fork.
The second half saw some panicked looks on the Louth bench as rumours filtered through that a new rule was being tested by the GAA Rules Committee. The Committee would dock points in play from teams displaying such flagrant disregard for the basic skills of passing, fielding, picking up on the toe, blocking, kicking, the fist pass, teamwork, movement and marking.
For a while a negative final score was a certainty for the Lú men. A nervous call was made to Headquarters by kit man Philip from Ardee before Kelly’s team could breathe a sigh of relief.
Louth 0-12 UCD 2-8
A goal late on in Wednesday’s game stole victory for UCD over a profligate Louth. Despite dominating for long periods, Louth kicked an impressive 17 wides. Seasoned Lú watchers shook their heads and scrunched their lips in frustration; young supporters suspected that the students from Belfield were warging into their markers every time a Louth forward shaped to shoot.
Speaking at the press conference in Haggardstown after the match, Kelly told reporters that the door was open for the ’57 veterans.
“I genuinely feel that at this juncture, we need a bit of that spirit of ’57 about the panel and sure what better way to achieve that than to recall the surviving members?
“The panel has lost a lot of experience with Paddy, Shane and Ray retiring. We need to blood new players and this county has a fine tradition of producing good fuhbillers.”
Responding to questions that surely the team of ’57 are now too old and that efforts should be made to secure Dreadnot duo Pepe Smith and Peach Califf, Kelly glowered at the gathered ensemble and explained that while speed and strength were but temporary, class was permanent.
It is thought that the Louth boss plans to build the new team around 1957 legend Jim ‘Blackie’ Judge, the jinky corner forward.
“Blackie likes an early ball in the corner so we will be adapting our tactics to get the best out of him. Veterans Alfie Monk and Jim McArdle will also be togging out. These are exciting times for Louth football.”
Quizzed on whether minor star and two time winning Eurovision Louth man Johnny Logan might add some flair to the panel, Kelly had this to say.
“He’s knocked back approaches from Louth selectors in the past, what’s another year?”
Carlow host Louth on Sunday. Throw in is at 2.15.