Mulligan leading from the front
LEITRIM captain Emlyn Mulligan led by example as the FBD league champions scored their first league win with a seven-point margin over a disappointing Carlow side at Dr Cullen Park.
The St Brigid's clubman scored 0-8, 0-5 from play, as the visitors put Anthony Rainbow's men to the sword.
Leitrim were the superior team throughout and caused trouble for the home county by breaking from defence, using their superior pace to create and finish scores.
Carlow led through a brace of Brian Murphy points but Leitrim hit back after Mulligan, Kevin Conlon and James Clancy combined for the latter to fist home the game's only goal. Leitrim never looked back after that, going on to lead 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time.
Both sides were down to 14 men by the break.
Leitrim's Colm Clarke was given a straight red for a striking offence followed just on half-time by Derek Hayden, Carlow's influential centre-back, also on a straight red after referee Neil Ward had consulted an umpire.
Leitrim's dominance continued in the second half, as they defended in numbers and counter-attacking at speed to keep the home defence under constant pressure.
The visitors picked off points almost at will with Mulligan, Clancy, Gerry Hickey and substitute Ray Cox all raising white flags.
Carlow had goal chances but brothers Brendan and Brian Murphy both shot straight at Leitrim goalie Brendan Flynn.
Carlow forced three successive '45s' late in the game but were no real threat to the Leitrim defence.
Man of the match: E Mulligan (Leitrim).
Scorers – Leitrim: E Mulligan 0-8 (3f), J Clancy 1-2, G Hickey 0-2, P Brennan, B Brennan, C Reynolds, R Cox 0-1 each. Carlow: Brian Murphy 0-5 (3f), E Ruth, D Foley (2f) 0-2 each, S Redmond, K Nolan, Brendan Murphy 0-1 each.
Leitrim – B Flynn 7; D Beck 7, C Egan 7, P Maguire 7; C Clarke 6, P Brennan 7, E Williams 6; W McKeon 7, B Brennan 7; K Conlon 6, E Mulligan 9, G Hickey 7; C Reynolds 6, J Clancy 8, B McDonald 5. Subs: R Cox for Reynolds (55), C Beirne for Conlon (68).
Carlow – T O'Reilly 7; S Murphy 5; S Mernagh 5, B Kavanagh 6; K Nolan 5, D Hayden 6, T Bolger 5; D Foley 6, Brendan Murphy 6; S Redmond 6, P Reid 5, E Ruth 7; Brian Murphy 6, R Walker 5, W Minchin 5. Subs: A Kelly 5 for Michin (h-t), M Doyle 5 for S Murphy, C Moran for Reid (63), J Murphy for Foley (68).
Ref – N Ward (Westmeath).