Early goal blitz seals victory for Éire Óg
Éire Óg (Carlow) 4-6 Castletown (Wexford) 1-10, Leinster SFC
The first-quarter scoring burst from Éire Óg laid the platform for this first-round win at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow.
Castletown had the better start with Jonathan Bealin rifling over a point on 38 seconds. It took the home side three minutes to find an equaliser through Chris Blake, and a minute later Carlow intercounty player Sean Gannon tacked on another point to give Éire Óg a lead they were never to lose.
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On seven minutes Cormac Mullins and Blake interchanged passes with the former finding the net from close range.
The home side were cutting through the Castletown defence at will.
Castletown goalkeeper Anthony Masterson saved brilliantly from Jordan Morrissey but could do nothing about the rebound as Morrissey picked up to score a goal.
Blake then raised another green flag and Castletown were facing a hammering.
At times, with points for the taking, Éire Óg overcooked passes in search of goals. Blake missed an easy free and had a shot blocked on the edge of the small square.
Failure to put a side away can come back to haunt you and Castletown grew into the game.
Colm Morris broke through the Éire Óg defence but Ricky Keating managed to spread himself well.
At half-time there was still hope for the Wexford champions with Éire Óg leading 3-4 to 0-4.
Éire Óg were happy to hold what they had. While Bealin knocked over frees Castletown needed a goal. Instead Blake's goal with less than 10 minutes to go sealed a home victory.
Robbie Brooks did find the net for a late Castletown goal though and the visitors finished with 14 players after Morris picked up two yellow cards.
Scorers - Éire Óg: C Blake 2-2 (0-1f); J Morrissey, C Mullins 1-1 each, S Gannon, D O'Brien 0-1 each. Castletown: J Bealin 0-8 (6f); R Brooks 1-0; C Morris, B Brosnan 0-1 each.
Éire Óg - R Keating; R Mahon (E Kelly 60), M Fitzgerald, B Kavanagh; J Lowry, M Furey, P McElligott; J Morrissey, E Ruth; S Gannon, D O'Brien (K Chatten 60), R Denieffe (R Dunphy 37); C Blake, D Hayden (C Hulton 37), C Mullins (N Quinlan 49).
Castletown - A Masterson (D Brooks 19); J Ahern, J Gardiner (C Kennedy 18), F Roche; C Carty, C Morris, D Gardiner; R Heffernan, L Coleman; J Holmes (Condren 56), D Holmes (R Brooks 37), B Halpin (S Moloney 19); J Bealin, B Brosnan, J Shaughnessy (R Farrell h-t, C Kennedy for Farrell 33).
Ref - F Smyth (Offaly)