Furlong helps Wicklow ease to table's summit
Wicklow went top of the table on points-difference following this victory over their 13-man arch-rivals at Aughrim yesterday.
In an error-ridden contest, it took Carlow 20 minutes to register a point, through Johnny Kavanagh's free. They missed out on two earlier scores by trying to walk the ball into the net.
Wicklow had wind advantage but only had two points to their credit at that stage, both scored by Seanie Furlong, one from a free. They went on to lead by 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time.
The hosts were slow in getting the ball forward and were spilling a lot of possession, which was putting a lot of pressure on their excellent defence.
Carlow brought on U-21 star Brendan Murphy at the break but they suffered a fatal blow three minutes into the second half when Alan Curran was sent off on a second yellow card, and their problems were compounded six minutes from the end when Padraig Murphy suffered a similar fate.
Still the visitors traded points with Wicklow and were just 0-10 to 0-6 behind with 15 minutes to go.
Wicklow, though, had their best spell in the final quarter when they fired over four unanswered points from Furlong, Ciaran Jones, Paul Cunningham and the roaming Paul Earls to underpin a victory that keeps their promotion hopes very much alive.
Scorers -- Wicklow: S Furlong 0-3 (0-1f), L Glynn, C Jones, P Earle 0-2 each, P McWalter, S Canavan, R Finn, P Cunningham, T Hannon 0-1 each. Carlow: J Kavanagh 0-3 (0-3f), Mark Carpenter (0-2f), S Gannon 0-2 each.
Wicklow -- M Travers; C Hyland, S Kelly, A Byrne; P McWalter, B McGrath, S Canavan; J Stafford, JP Dalton; L Glynn, T Hannon, R Finn; P Earls, S Furlong, C Jones. Subs: P Cunningham for R Finn, P Dalton for T Hannon, P Byrne for C Jones.
Carlow -- M Hennessy; P Murphy, L Murphy, T Bolger; P Cashin, J Hayden, A Curran; K Doyle, J Murphy; W Minchin, S Gannon, M. Carpenter; E O'Toole, Ken Doyle, J Kavanagh. Subs: B Kavanagh for T Bolger, B Murphy for E O'Toole, C Nolan for J Kavanagh, S Redmond for L Murphy, S Myers for W Minchin.
Ref -- S Doyle (Wexford).