Kehoe brace gives Carlow impetus to storm past Westmeath
Carlow 5-17 Westmeath 1-10
CARLOW hurlers gained their first victory in the league this season as they put visitors Westmeath to the sword at Dr Cullen Park.
The home county were fast out of the blocks and raced into an early 1-3 to 0-1 lead, the goal coming from Craig Doyle on 10 minutes.
It took Westmeath 17 minutes to open their account with an Andrew Mitchell point from a free. However, a brace of Carlow goals from their top marksman Paudie Kehoe -- his first from a penalty after 27 minutes -- put Kevin Ryan's men into a comfortable 3-7 to 0-7 interval lead.
Shortly before the half-time break, Westmeath's problems were compounded when left half-back Paul Greville was given his marching orderes after receiving his second yellow card.
The Lake County made three half-time substitutions in order to get themselves back in the game, with the most significant being the introduction of Brendan Murtagh, who crashed a close-range free to the Carlow net on 40 minutes to cut the home lead to six points.
But Carlow remained composed despite being under some pressure and were 4-9 to 1-8 to the good when Doyle found Damien Roberts for their fourth goal.
Substitute Derek Byrne nabbed Carlow's fifth green flag before the end as the Westmeath challenge disintegrated, despite the best efforts of Andrew Mitchell and Brendan Murtagh in particular.
Paudie Kehoe was Carlow's top marksman on the day -- scoring 2-5, 2-1 from play -- in what, overall, was a game dominated by Carlow against poor opposition.
Scorers -- Carlow: P Kehoe 2-5 (1-0 pen, 0-4f), R Coady 0-6, (0-5f, 0-1 '65'), E Byrne 1-0, D Roberts, C Doyle 1-1 each, C Hughes, M Brennan, D English, A Gaule 0-1 each. Westmeath: B Murtagh 1-2 (1-1f), A Mitchell 0-4 (0-4f), D Carthy 0-2 (0-2f), A Dowdall, D McNicholas 0-1 each.
Carlow -- K Kehoe; A Corcoran, D Shaw, E Nolan; E Coady, J Rogers, R Coady; C Hughes, D Roberts; C Doyle, M Brennan, D English; A Gaule, E Byrne, P Kehoe. Subs: D Byrne for E Byrne (50); B Lawler for Brennan (60).
Westmeath -- P Burke; G Gavin, D McCormack, E Price; A Price, A Mitchell, P Greville; J Clarke, E Loughlin; A Dowdall, J Shaw, K Cosgrove; D Carthy, P Dowdall, C Curley. Subs: D McNicholas for Cosgrove (h/t); B Murtagh for Loughlin (h/t); R Jackson for Price (h/t); P Gilsenan for Clarke (47).
REF -- T Ryan (Tipperary).