CARLOW footballers provided new manager Turlough O'Brien with his first win in a deserved victory over visitors Louth in this O'Byrne Cup tie at Dr Cullen Park.
The home side was never headed and had the tonic of a goal within the first minute when full forward Hughie Gahan got the final touch to a long ball from midfielder Darragh Foley. Louth fought their way back into strong contention but were hit by a second goal for the Barrowsiders from midfielder Seán Gannon in the 27th minute as Carlow assumed a 2-3 to 0-6 interval lead.
A brace of Paul Broderick points and another from Seán Gannon eased home worries but Louth finished on the front foot and came within two points of their opponents before time ran out on them.
Carlow's Daniel St Ledger at centre back had a fine game all through to emerge as man of the match as Carlow repeated their Leinster SFC victory of 2011.
Scorers - Carlow: S Gannon 1-1, H Gahan 1-0, P Broderick 0-3, 0-1f, K Toner 1-0 og, J Murphy 0-2, D O'Brien, D Bambrick 0-1 each. Louth: D O'Connor, R Holdcroft 0-3 each, S McCann 1-0, D Byrne, R Moore 0-2 each, R Burns, T Durnin 0-1 each.
Carlow: R Molloy; D Kelly, S Redmond, K Nolan; M Fitzgerald, D St Ledger, B Kavanagh; S Gannon, D Foley; E Finnegan, J Murphy, D Bambrick; E McCormack, H Gahan, D O'Brien. Subs: P Broderick for McCormack (h/t); C Mullins for O'Brien (h/t); E Ruth for Foley (42); A Kelly for Finnegan (46); D Moran for Fitzgerald (46); J Kennedy for Mullins (59).
Louth: C Lynch; K Toner, D Crilly, D O'Hanlon; A Williams, P Rath, D Finnegan; D Byrne, R Brodigan; B Duffy, D O'Connor, T Durnin; R Burns, H McGinn, R Holdcroft. Subs: R Moore for McGinn (24); P Nixon for Brodigan (30); D McComish for Finnegan (43); S McCann for Durnin (50); R Quigley for Holdcroft (55).
Ref: E Kinsella (Laois).