Scoring in the lower divisions of the league generally requires spectacular numbers to carry through to football’s analytical grades.
o It was after the fourth round of this year’s National Football League.
At Ardees Páirc Mhuire, Sam Mulroy scored 0-11 (all frees) while Louth batted Westmeath for whom John Heslin scored 1-10 (0-7f) in Division 3.
On the same day, Keith Beirne competed in Division 4 in Leitrim’s seven-point win over Waterford at Fraher Field, 0-12 (5f).
The following day, on RTÉ’s GAA Podcast, Pat Spillane – unprompted – mentioned all three.
“These are guys who are serious players,” he said. “They are not in the limelight or in the limelight. If there was a transfer market these guys would be in the forwards of one of the top 3 counties.”
The three are among the top 10 scorers in this year’s league, with Mulroy likely to be top of the list now, even if he doesn’t score – or even play – against Wicklow in Aughrim on Sunday.
At 3-44, he has eight points more than Beirne (1-42), a record that has pushed Louth to the brink of promotion to Division 2.
Last Saturday Irish IndependentColm Kelly – the man who gave Mulroy his senior Louth debut in 2018 – described him as “one of the best forwards playing the game right now”.
“He’s certainly the best forward in Division 3 right now and, for me, on par with any forward in any division,” he said.
“But he is probably the most valuable footballer currently playing for any team in the country. I would stand above it.”
The statistics support Kelly’s claim.
So far, Mulroy has accounted for 59 percent of Louth’s total points in the league.
Beirne’s 1-42 is 45 percent of Leitrim’s tally, while Seán Quigley – third overall at 4-29 – has 45 percent of Fermanagh’s Division 3.
It should be noted that Quigley has collected 4-9 (21 points) of his bounty from the game, compared to 1-13 (16) for Beirne and 3-5 (13) in the case of Mulroy.
But by far the most impressive goal in this year’s league, if you exclude placed balls, has come from a man who performs at the highest level in every respect.
David Clifford is eighth in the league standings 4-18, three behind Kildare’s Jimmy Hyland in Division 1.
But at 4-14 (26 points) from open play, not to mention the standard of defense and quality of markings he’s encountered, Clifford’s performance so far in 2022 has been nothing short of phenomenal.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE GOAL PLAYER
53 – Sam Mulroy (Louth): 3-44 (0-35f, 0-4 ’45)
45 – Keith Beirne (Leitrim): 1-42 (0-27f, 0-2 touchline)
41 – Sean Quigley (Fermanagh): 4-29 (0-17f, 0-2m, 0-1′ 45)
36 – Conor Sweeney (Tipperary): 4-24 (0-18f, 0-2m).
33 – Jimmy Hyland (Kildare): 2-27 (0-9f, 0-5m)
32 – John Heslin (Westmeath): 1-29 (0-20f); Ryan O’Donoghue (Mayo): 1-29 (0-23f, 0-2m)
30 – David Clifford (Kerry): 4-18 (0-4f); Shane McGuigan (Derry): 1-27 (0-20f); Steven Sherlock (Cork): 1-27 (0-18f, 0-1 ’45)
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/louth-sensation-sam-mulroy-already-home-and-hosed-in-race-for-leagues-golden-boot-41477288.html Louth sensation Sam Mulroy already hosed at home and in the running for the league’s golden boot