Kelly feels Louth will bounce back for Wicklow
corner back turning it over in a high position and you can’t do that against a team like Tipperary, you’ll be punished and that’s what happened.
‘When they had their spell they went to town, but that’s what happens when you come up against guys like Michael Quinlivan, Conor Sweeney and Kevin O’Halloran, they’re topclass players and they punished us when they got their opportunities.
‘We played some attractive football at times and kicked 19 scores, but we were just found out a couple of times. The last goal I wouldn’t worry about because we were pushing hard at the other end. To be beaten nine points wasn’t justified, but without a shadow of a doubt Tipperary were better than Louth today.
‘We came out after half-time and kicked three points, but another turnover let them back in and they responded with three or four unanswered. That probably pushed the boat out again. We got it back to three again I think, but they broke us down pretty easily.
‘We chased and pushed but ultimately we couldn’t break them down. They probably brought last year’s championship form into the league and they were favourites and rightly so. Today they proved they are the best team in the division.’
Kelly rejected the notion that Louth’s win in Thurles spurred Tipp to victory, and that in a wide open game, he just felt Tipperary were more clinical.
‘I don’t think the defeat motivated it them. I’ve loads of motivation but I can’t do anything about it. On the day they were better and I don’t think guys like Michael Quinlivan or Michael Sweeney need motivation, they are top quality operators and Liam Kearns is a good operator and they know what they’re doing. If you’re looking for motivation to win games it’s not going to happen, but what they did bring today is quality.
‘It was an open game and people will probably analyse goalkeepers popping the ball to corner backs, but when you have players like Louth and Tipp have, that can break up the field at pace, it probably served both of us well. Was it 41 or 42 scores? Which is huge, but unfortunately we didn’t score enough and Tipperary exploited us at the back.’