CARLOW advanced to the semi-finals of the Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U21 Hurling Championship following a deserved two-point victory over Dublin at Parnell Park last night.
Glenn Whelan's point in the 60th minute looked to have spared Dublin's blushes after a largely ineffective performance, but Marty Kavanagh seized on a pass from Daryl Roberts before producing a stunning finish beyond Conor Dooley.
It was the equitable conclusion to a contest in which Carlow dominated for large spells and despite Dublin improving in possession stakes upon the restart, there was a continuous lack of fluidity to their play.
Following two early wides, the Dubs finally opened the scoring through a sixth-minute free by Jamie Desmond and from the resultant puck-out, Eamonn Dillon gained possession 30 metres from goal with his driving run culminating in a low finish beyond Brian Treacy from eight yards.
Marty Kavanagh responded through a ninth-minute free and despite a Whelan point in reply, Carlow gradually began to grow into the game with James Doyle and Peter Shaw landing excellent points from play.
Captain Danny Sutcliffe briefly restored Dublin's equilibrium with a composed point at the end of the first quarter, but with Kavanagh becoming increasingly influential, Carlow landed successive points through the St Mullins player and Daryl Roberts.
It was Sutcliffe again who inched Dublin two points clear, but the momentum was with the visitors at this juncture and a brace of excellent points from John Michael Nolan ensured they enjoyed deserved parity on the scoreboard.
An Aodhán Clabby free from limited possession pushed Dublin a point clear as the game approached the break, but Carlow confirmed a well-merited 0-9 to 1-5 half-time lead thanks to late scores by Darren Dalton and Doyle.
Clabby brought Dublin level within two minutes of the turnaround, but despite the influence of Chris Crummy and Sutcliffe, Dublin proved errant in their shooting, never pulling clear despite their territorial advantage.
Two further frees by Clabby had Dublin two points clear and their progression should have been confirmed, but Cormac Costello shot wastefully wide from clear on goal following a pass by Ciarán Kilkenny in the 48th minute.
Carlow took full advantage of that let-off through points by Johnny Corcoran and Kavanagh and despite Dublin replying through Sutcliffe and substitute Tom Devlin, the momentum continued with the visitors.
Nolan and Dalton brought Carlow level by the 59th minute and despite Whelan's fine solo score, Dublin allowed Roberts to seize possession with the impressive Kavanagh putting paid to Dublin's provincial ambitions.
Scorers - Carlow: M Kavanagh 1-3 (0-3f), J Nolan 0-3, J Doyle, D Dalton 0-2, D Roberts, P Shaw, J Corcoran 0-1 each. Dublin: A Clabby 0-4 (4f), D Sutcliffe 0-3, E Dillon 1-0, G Whelan 0-2, J Desmond (f), T Devlin 0-1 each.
Carlow: B Treacy; D Galway, P Doyle, D Wall; G Bennett, J Corcoran, D Byrne; C Wall, P Coady; J Nolan, D Dalton, M Kavanagh; P Shaw, J Doyle, D Roberts. Subs: L Kinsella for Bennett (22), P Fortune for Shaw (46).
Dublin: C Dooley; R Mullins, M McCaffrey, C Murphy; S Moran, J Desmond, C Crummy; C Costello, G Whelan; C Kilkenny, D Sutcliffe, C McHugh; F McGibb, E Dillon, A Clabby. Subs: D mulligan for McHugh (half-time), T Devlin for McGibb (37).
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)