Kavanagh supreme as Carlow stun Wexford
CARLOW hurlers provided the biggest shock of the campaign yesterday when Kevin Ryan's side deservedly beat neighbours Wexford by three points at sunny Dr Cullen Park.
It was the home side's biggest hurling win for decades and their first win at this level over Wexford in living memory.
The home defence was heroic all through, with full-back Shane Kavanagh outstanding -- he also made his impact on the scoreboard with three superb long-range points from frees.
Level eight times and deadlocked 0-8 apiece at half-time, the expected take-over by hot favourites Wexford never happened.
With Carlow 0-10 to 0-9 ahead in the 41st minute, Wexford midfielder Harry Kehoe saw his goalbound effort splendidly saved by home goalie Kevin Kehoe at the expense of a '65, which Lyng converted into a white flag.
With the Carlow half-back line of Edward Coady, John Rogers and Richard Coady outstanding, the Wexford attack floundered in the late stages and Carlow finished with a flourish, as three well-struck points from frees by sub Denis Murphy clinched the league points and sent Carlow above Wexford in the league table.
Mark Brennan and Craig Doyle and substitute Robert Foley were best in attack for the Christy Ring winners of the past two years.
Besides Diarmuid Lyng, only goalie Noel Carton, Paul Roche and Peter Atkinson in the opening half looked up to the mark for Wexford.
Scorers -- Carlow: P Kehoe (0-2f), D Murphy (0-3f), S Kavanagh (0-3f) 0-3 each, A Gaule, C Doyle 0-2 each, R Coady, E Nolan, M Brennan 0-1 each. Wexford: D Lyng 0-9 (0-3f, 0-1 '65), P Atkinson 0-3, W Doran 0-1.
Carlow -- K Kehoe; A Corcoran, S Kavanagh, D Shaw; E Coady, J Rogers, R Coady; J Hickey, E Nolan; E Byrne, M Brennan, D Roberts; A Gaule, C Doyle, P Kehoe. Subs: R Foley for Hickey (20), D Murphy for P Kehoe (51), B Lawler for Foley (68), D Byrne for E Byrne (69).
Wexford -- N Carton; E Doyle, P Roche, B Kenny; M Travers, C Kenny, D Stamp; C Farrell, H Kehoe; D Lying, W Doran, A Shore; P Atkinson, S Banville, J Berry. Subs: P J Nolan for Banville (45), M Molloy for Doran (61), D Kehoe for B Kenny (64), P Morris for Kehoe (64).
Ref -- A Stapleton (Laois).