Kilkenny U21s suffer a total humiliation

Conor McKeon

KILKENNY'S tenuous relationship with football hit a new low last night when they were humiliated in a 50-point drubbing by Louth in the Cadbury's Leinster Under-21 football championship first round.

The 6-34 to 0-2 scoreline wasn't even the most scandalous aspect of the night from a Kilkenny perspective after 11 players selected to partake failed to show up and left the Cats with just 15 players and management, unable to make substitutions.

Fourteen different Louth players made it onto the scoresheet while Kilkenny had to wait until the 33rd minute for their opening score from Brian Byrne, who later added their second and only other point.

The result puts last year's 29-point hiding to Carlow in the shade in a season when Kilkenny had already withdrawn from the O'Byrne Cup and are set to prop up Division 4 of the Allianz Football League yet again.

OFFALY caused the upset of the first round when they overcame the loss of a man to beat Meath by 1-9 to 0-9 last night.

A straight red card for Paul McPadden late in the first half looked like handing the advantage to the Royals with the scores locked at 0-5 apiece at half time.

But a haul of 1-1 from substitute, Mark Young, in a third quarter scoring-spree saw the Faithful County through to a quarter-final clash with Kildare next Wednesday.

CARLOW are also through to the last eight of the competition after securing a 0-14 to 1-6 victory over Wicklow in Baltinglass -- their second victory over their neighbours in successive years.

Wicklow led early on when Brendan McCrea scored a goal but led by influential senior midfielder, Darragh Foley, the away team battled back to forge a 0-9 to 1-2 lead at the break. Carlow could even afford to miss a second half penalty as they set up a quarter-final pairing with Westmeath in a week's time.

CADBURY LEINSTER U21FC QUARTER-FINALS - Parnell Park: Dublin v Laois; Carlow IT: Carlow v Westmeath; Haggardstown: Louth v Longford; Gracefield: Offaly v Kildare. (All games next Wedneday, March 7).

D-Day for McCarthy

DUBLIN will not appeal James McCarthy's one-match suspension if the player fails to have the red card rescinded at tonight's personal hearing.

The Ballymun Kickhams defender was red-carded in Dublin's abandoned (fog) Allianz League Division 1 clash with Mayo two Saturdays back after referee Marty Duffy adjudged he had used his elbow in a clash with Alan Freeman.

The CHC will hear McCarthy's case but Dublin officials confirmed that they would not pursue the case to the Central Appeals Committee if the suspension stands given the proximity to Saturday's clash with Laois.