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Murphy helps Carlow leave the Yellowbellies red-faced

CARLOW hurlers provided the biggest shock of the campaign yesterday when Kevin Ryan's side deservedly beat neighbours Wexford by three points, 0-16 to 0-13, 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.

Level eight times and deadlocked on 0-8 apiece at half-time, the expected take-over by hot favourites Wexford never happened.

Three well-struck points from frees by sub Denis Murphy clinched the league points and sent Carlow above Wexford in the table.

Mark Brennan and Craig Doyle and substitute Robert Foley were best in attack for the Christy Ring winners of the past two years.

LAOIS remain in contention for automatic promotion after they outclassed 13-man Westmeath 4-14 to 0-13 in Portlaoise.

The hosts quickly took control of the contest in the opening half with goals from Tommy Fitzgerald, Neil Foyle and Owen Holohan -- all in a superb 15 minute blitz -- and along with a late Willie Hyland strike and easily saw off the Lake County.

Antrim suffered another league defeat as they were edged out by table-toppers Clare 0-13 to 1-9 at Casement Park. The home side got off to a great start when Neil McManus fired home a penalty in the second minute but the Saffrons, who trailed by the minimum (0-9 to 1-5) at the break, fell short with Clare the sharper side.

PAUL Braniff scored 1-9 as Down recorded their first league win of the season 2-16 to 1-15 against Kildare in Newbridge on Saturday. The Mourne men led 1-9 to 0-8 at half-time, with Braniff goaling, but David Harney's 42nd-minute green flag briefly put the home team ahead. Conor O'Prey went up the other end and lashed the sliotar to the back of the net, however, before three long frees from Simon Wilson completed Down's win.