ATHLONE IT led from start to finish of this scrappy O'Byrne Cup tie at Dr Cullen Park yesterday and were in no way flattered by a four-point victory over Luke Dempsey's poor Carlow side.
An attendance of about 200 saw the college visitors race into an 0-6 to nil lead after 22 minutes with scores from Ray Galligan, Frank Burke, David Egan, David Reilly and John Reynolds.
Carlow took an embarrassing 27 minutes to register a score and trailed 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.
They did fight back to within two points but Athlone sealed the victory with a splendid brace of points in the dying minutes.
Scorers -- IT Athlone: R Galligan 0-5 (2f), D Reilly, P Bannon (1f) 0-2 each, F Burke, D Egan, J Reynolds 0-1 each.
Carlow: J Kavanagh 0-4 (3f), S Rea 0-2 (2f), J J Smith, E O'Toole 0-1 each.
IT Athlone -- G Connaughton (Westmeath); F O'Reilly (Westmeath), D Masterson (Longford), D Reilly (Galway); S Higgins (Roscommon), K Smyth (Longford), J Reynolds (Westmeath); G Dennigan (Longford), B Connors (Offaly); P Bannon (Longford), J Reynolds (Offaly), D Egan; (Offaly), R Galligan Cavan), C Blake (Galway), F Burke (Galway). Subs: N Judge (Sligo) for Burke (28); D Cash (Kildare) for Connors (h/t); D Reynolds (Westmeath) for Egan (45); C Duncan (Westmeath) for O'Reilly (53); A Rowan (Longford) for Galligan (68).
Carlow -- J Clarke; S Daly, L Murphy, P Murphy; A Curran, J Hayden, T Bolger; J Murphy, W Minchin; S Gannon, W Donohue, D Dowling; S Rea, J J Smith, J Kavanagh. Subs: K Doyle for Dowling (24); E O'Toole for Donohue (47); M Carpenter for Kavanagh (53); S Myers for Daly (60); J Doyle for Minchin (65).
Ref -- D. Maher (Westmeath).