Murphy ruins Westmeath's day
Carlow 1-13 Westmeath 1-11
An opportunist second-half goal by Carlow substitute Seamus Murphy proved decisive as Colm Bonnar's men edged out Westmeath in a closely-fought game in Mullingar yesterday.
Michael Ryan's charges had the aid of the wind in the first-half and they led by 1-2 to nil with less than four minutes gone, the goal coming from Niall Mitchell.
However, with Paul Coady on form from frees, Carlow were trailing by just four points (1-8 to 0-7) at the break.
The deficit was halved by the time Murphy whipped the ball into the net in the 48th minute, after Shane McGovern had saved Craig Wall's initial effort.
The visitors were wasteful in the second-half, but they were still a point to the good (1-11 to 1-10) when Alan Devine hit a Westmeath penalty wide.
Impressive Westmeath sub Killian Doyle soon equalised, but a great long-range point from play by Sean Whelan and a routine free by substitute Denis Murphy earned Carlow the win.
Scorers - Carlow: P Coady 0-6 (5f, 1'65'), S Murphy 1-0, JM Nolan 0-2, S Whelan, K McDonald (f), M Kavanagh, E Byrne, D Murphy (f) 0-1 each.
Westmeath: A Devine 0-6 (4f, 1'65'), N Mitchell 1-0, E Price, K Doyle 0-2 each, D McNicholas 0-1 (f).
Carlow: B Tracey 6; D Wall 6, P Doyle 6, G Bennett 6; S Whelan 7, D English 7, R Coady 6; K McDonald 6, J Kavanagh 6; M Kavanagh 6, P Coady 6, E Byrne 6; C Nolan 5, JM Nolan 7, C Wall 6. Subs: S Murphy 6 for C Nolan (42), D Byrne 6 for McDonald (53), D Murphy 6 for P Coady (58).
Westmeath: S McGovern 6; S Power 6, T Doyle 7, A McGrath 5; A Craig 6, A Clarke 7, C Shaw 6; J Boyle 5, G Greville 6; N Mitchell 6, D McNicholas 5, E Price 6; R Greville 6, A Devine 7, D Clinton 6. Subs: J Galvin 6 for McGrath (h-t), K Doyle 7 for McNicholas (44), D Egerton n/r for Clinton (64).
Ref: J O'Brien (Laois).