Monstrous Varley point hands UL victory over brave Carlow
Enda Varley's point 10 seconds from the end gave UL victory in a fiercely competitive tie at Plassey, where referee Mike Meade showed yellow cards to eight players.
Extra-time loomed large when Varley, from way out on the right, put over the winner.
At half-time UL led by a point, 1-5 to 1-4, with the Carlow goal coming after only four minutes when Michael Tierney created space for Craig Rodgers to blast low past Niall Doonan.
UL had to wait until the 27th minute to get back the lead they held briefly after a minute. But a splendidly-taken goal by Paul Larkin gave them their single-point interval lead, 1-5 to 0-4.
A UL goal from a penalty by Mike Tim O'Sullivan had the home side five points clear but Carlow had a second goal by JJ Smith as the sides continued to trade points in the second half.
Scorers -- UL: MT O'Sullivan 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), E Varley 0-4, P Larkin 1-0, S O'Shea 0-2, F Coffey 0-1. Carlow IT: M Tierney 1-4, JJ Smith, 1-0, C Rodgers, J Doyle (1f) 0-2 each, J Finn 0-1.
UL -- N Doonan; F Fitzgerald, C O'Mahoney, R Brady; S Lonergan, G O'Donnell, D Rattigan; S O'Shea, A Moloney; F Coffey; P Austin, P Larkin, E Varley, D Niblock, MT O'Sullivan. Subs: K Smith for O'Mahony (15), J O'Reilly for Doonan (23), J Lyne for Brady (41).
Carlow IT -- C Swaine; S George, J Roche, L Hiney; N Kilcoyne, G Hanrahan, C Boyle; K Meaney, S Gannon; C Rodgers, JJ Smith, J Finn; J Doyle, W Heffernan, M Tierney.
Ref -- M Meade (Limerick).