Carlow restore pride with narrow victory over Waterford
Daniel St Ledger gave an exhibition of place-kicking as Carlow restored some pride to register their first qualifier win since 2005.
Anthony Rainbow would surely have called for a battling performance from his men after the 28-point hammering by Meath that had Waterford the bookies’ favourites coming to Dr. Cullen Park.
He got it in spades as they dominated the possession stakes by virtue of an excellent middle third effort, while the ability of his men to force turnovers was also significant.
They looked in trouble early in the second half when they trailed by five points but some stupendous dead ball kicking by centre-back Daniel St Ledger edged them ahead.
The centre-back finished with four points, with one from a 45 and three frees. The last free from 60m in the 70th minute gave his side a vital two-point cushion that was needed, as Waterford’s top scorer, Paul Whyte brought his tally seven with a free before substitute referee, Pádraig O’Sullivan (in at half time for heel injury victim Cormac Reilly) called a halt to proceedings.
Waterford started strongly but Carlow settled into the game and dominated much of the opening half, only to spurn 13 scoring chances.
Liam Ó Lonáin was the chief threat for the visitors, and was denied himself in the opening minute by an Andy O’Brien save before flashing a shot over the bar soon after.
It was the An Rinn man that goaled right at the interval to give his side a flattering 1-6 to 0-6 lead. He was also fouled for the two frees slotted by Whyte to put Waterford five clear early in the second half but Carlow retained their composure and scored six consecutive points to got two points clear.
Waterford did get it back level with just over three minutes left thanks to two pointed frees by Whyte but Carlow showed their resolve as points by Jack Kennedy, and that last mammoth effort by St Ledger pushed them clear once more.
CARLOW: A O’Brien, R Mahon, C Lawlor, BJ Molloy, K Nolan 0-1, D St Ledger 0-4(3fs, 1 45), B Kavanagh 0-2, E Ruth 0-1, H Gahan, M Meaney 0-1, C Moran, D Bambrick, D Foley 0-1, S Kinsella 0-3(2fs), C Coughlan 0-3(1f). Subs: W Minchin for Gahan inj (28), G Power for Mahon (43), J Kennedy (0-1) for Moran BC (66), J Lowry for Kavanagh (69), M Ware for Foley BC (70+1).
WATERFORD: S Enright, D Crowley, T O’Gorman, Maurice O’Gorman, W Hutchinson, S Briggs 0-2, O Keevers, S Aherne, T Prendergast 0-1, D Grey, L Ó Lonáin 1-2, T Ó hUallacháin, B Wall, P Whyte 0-8(5FS), JJ Hutchinson. Subs: M Curry for Grey (43), D Allen for Wall inj (46), C O’Keeffe for W Hutchinson (53), Michael O’Gorman for Ó hUallacháin (65), N Walsh for Briggs inj (66).
REFEREE: C Reilly (Meath) / P O’Sulivan (Kerry)