Broderick and Moran fire Carlow into third round of qualifiers
Carlow 2-14 Leitrim 0-13
Paul Broderick and Ciaran Moran fired second-half goals as Carlow recovered from a dismal start to oust Leitrim and qualify from Round 3B of the qualifiers.
It was a shocking opening quarter from Turlough O’Brien’s side at the balmy Carlow venue, but once they rediscovered the intensity of their play and a hunger to break quickly out of defence they easily accounted for the Connacht side, who are still waiting for their second qualifier win in their history.
A game with a few hard hits ended in a fiery fashion as Carlow’s Chris Crowley and Leitrim’s Brendan Gallagher were shown red cards for their role in a mass brawl three minutes from time, but it was a case of running out the clock at that stage for Carlow, who were deserving winners.
Considering Carlow were guilty of a sleepy opening quarter, missed two good goal chances and let a few frees go astray, they would have been pretty happy to only trail by 0-9 to 0-7 at half-time. Add in the fact that they were 0-5 to 0-1 behind after 13 minutes and it wasn’t a bad return for O’Brien’s side, who now have three championship wins to their name this season.
On the other side, Leitrim looked like a side that had no hangover from their 17-point Connacht semi-final loss to Roscommon. They had little trouble finding space inside Carlow’s heavily populated defensive system, and with Conor Cullen sending some accurate kick passes inside a couple of Ryan O’Rourke points had Leitrim four ahead by the 13th minute.
John Murphy and Sean Gannon failed to convert decent goal chances for Carlow in the first-half, but with Broderick accumulating points from placed ball and open play, the home side hauled themselves back into contention and only trailed by one point after 30 minutes, only for O’Rourke to stretch Leitrim’s lead to two at the interval.
A point from captain Darragh Foley and another from Broderick from around the 45 soon had Carlow level. But the vital score arrived from a piercing Sean Murphy run through the middle, which drew the Leitrim cover and Broderick slipped the ball under Brendan Flynn.
Two more points in a row ended Leitrim’s faint hopes, and when Foley and Broderick combined to send Moran in for the second goal seven minutes from the end the Carlow supporters could plan for another day in the sun.
Scorers – Carlow: P Broderick 1-6 (0-3f); C Moran 1-1; D Foley 0-2 (0-1f); E Ruth, G Kelly, K Nolan, S Gannon, S Clarke 0-1 each. Leitrim: R Kennedy (0-4f) & R O’Rourke 0-4 each; B Gallagher 0-2 (0-1f); C Cullen, D Rooney & K Beirne (0-1f) 0-1 each.
Carlow: R Molloy; C Crowley, S Redmond, BJ Molloy; D Moran, D St Ledger; G Kelly; S Murphy, S Gannon; A Kelly, D Foley, E Ruth; P Broderick, C Moran, J Murphy. Subs: S Clarke for A Kelly (h-t), M Rennick for Molloy (h-t), K Nolan for G Kelly (57), D O’Brien for Broderick (67), J Clarke for Moran (67), C Lawlor for S Murphy (72).
Leitrim: B Flynn; O Madden, P Maguire, M McWeeney; J Rooney, G Reynolds, R Gallagher; S Moran, D McGovern; B Gallagher, C Gaffney, C Cullen; R O’Rourke, R Kennedy, G Plunkett. Subs: N McGovern for D McGovern (35, black card), D Rooney for Plunkett (45), D Moran for S Moran (45), N Plunkett for R Gallagher (51), K Keegan for J Rooney (58), K Beirne for Kennedy (68).
Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh).