Louth are All-Ireland champions in 1957

Magnificent Louth won the All-Ireland title for the first time since 1912 with a dramatic 1-7 to 1-5 victory over favourites Cork before 72,732 fans at Croke Park on Sunday Septmeber 22, 1957.

Louth, wearing the green-and-white of Leinster, rather than the traditional red, looked out of the game early in the second half but a courageous comeback was completed when corner forward Sean Cunningham fisted home the decisive goal five minutes from time.

Cork opened the scoring through an Eric Ryan free but Jim Roe levelled almost immediately. Neally Duggan put the Munster side back in front on five minutes, but again Roe levelled, this time from a free on 10 minutes. After 13 minutes Seamus O'Donnell put Louth ahead for the first time, but this time Cork hit when Eric Ryan pointed to make it 0-3 apiece. Kevin Beahan then landed a free for Louth, and his side went 0-5 to 0-3 up when Dan O'Neill hit the target.

However, Louth suffered a serious setback when Neally Duggan's speculative effort foun its way into the net on 25 minutes. Cork went into the break with a two-point lead when Niall Fitzgerald landed the final point of the half to send his side in leading by 1-4 to 0-5.

It was looking ominous for Louth as Cork dominated the opening minutes of the second half and a Denis 'Toots' Kelleher effort put the Munster side three points up. Louth made a number of changes, bringing Seamus O'Donnell to midfield, Kevin Beahan to the right wing and Stephen White to centre-half back which helped turn the game in their favour.

Two long range efforts from Beahan cut the gap to just one by the 18th minute, before Roe levelled matters from a clcose range free. Sean Cunningham then put the Wee County ahead when he fisted over the bar, but Cork hit back in impressive fashion when Kelleher kicked two quick points to put his side 1-7 to 0-9 in front with a little over five minutes remaining. However, Louth responded with a swift attack that resulted in a wild clearance from Driscoll going over the sideline.

Kevin Beahan stepped up to take the kick and with his dangerous centre causing all sorts of confusion, Sean Cunningham reacted quickest to fist the ball to the back of the net. Cork threw everything they had at Louth in the closing stages but the superb defence held out to secure a thoroughly deserved.

As a result Dermot O'Brien had the honour of becoming the first Louth man to lift the Sam Maguire Cup and in the process sparked wild celebrations throughout the county.

Louth: Sean Óg Flood; Ollie Reilly, Tom Conlon, Jim 'Red' Meehan; Patsy Coleman, Peadar Smyth, Stephen White; Kevin Beahan, Dan O'Neill; Seamus O'Donnell, Dermot O'Brien (captain), Frank Lynch; Sean Cunningham, Jimmy McDonnell, Jim Roe. Subs: Jim McArdle, Alfie Monk, Mickey Flood, Barney McCoy, Aidan Magennis, Jim 'Blackie' Judge, Jackie Reynolds.

Cork: L. Power; M. Gould, D. Bernard, D. Murray; P. Harrington, P. Driscoll, JJ Henchion; E. Ryan, S. Moore; J. O'Sullivan, N. Fitzgerald, T. Furlong; E. Goulding, C. Duggan, D. Kelleher. Sub: F. McAuliffe for O'Sullivan.

Referee: P. Geraghty (Galway).

The Louth team trainer was the legendary Jim 'Sogger' Quigley, while selectors were, Brian Reynolds, Joe Burke, Mickey McKeon and JJ Matthews.

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Posted On 14/12/2009 21:31 pm