Louth survive red card to hold off Carlow fightback
Louth 3-11 Carlow 2-10
Fourteen-man Louth survived a gritty fightback from Carlow in Darver to advance to a quarter-final date with Longford.
The home side stormed into a 10-point lead in the opening half, but saw their lead whittled down to the minimum after the break, and when Cian Doyle received his marching orders 15 minutes from a time, an upset looked possible.
Playing with a strong breeze at their backs, Louth made a dream start as goals from Robbie Carr, Doyle and Ryan Burns (right) carved out a 3-4 to 0-3 lead after 17 minutes.
But Carlow didn't buckle and blood sub Mark Rennick set up a goal for Graham Power, before netting one himself to close the deficit to 3-4 to 2-4.
Louth rallied again before the break to lead by four, but Carlow tore into the second half with gusto and points from Power, Kelvin Chatten and Fiach O'Toole reduced the arrears to a point.
Louth restored a one-goal cushion before Doyle's dismissal, and despite their numerical advantage, Carlow seemed to tire in the closing stages.
They were five points down by the time Diarmuid Walshe rattled the crossbar, and a goal at that stage may have swung the momentum back in their favour.
However, they could only muster a Niall Quinlan free in the final minutes as Louth held on for a deserved victory.
SCORERS - Louth: R Burns 1-5 (4fs), R Carr 1-1, C Doyle 1-0, C Grimes 0-3 (1 sl) R Quigley 0-2. Carlow: G Power 1-2, M Rennick 1-1, N Quinlan 0-3 (2fs), R O'Brien, D Walshe, K Chatten, F O'Toole 0-1 each.
LOUTH - D Breen; A Smith, C Kirk, C Ward; B Faulkner, D Marks, K Faulkner; J Stewart, W Campbell; R Quigley, E Lafferty, R Carr; R Burns, C Doyle, C Grimes. Subs: S Kilcoyne for Marks (ht), C Carthy for Ward (46), D Maguire for Campbell (48), C Sheridan for Carr (59), C Lenehan for Smith (59), S McConnell for Grimes (60 BC).
CARLOW - L Roberts; M Furey, B Cawley; G Power, D Hickey, F O'Toole; J Dwyer, K Chatten; T Kenny, C Fenlon, S Webb; D Walshe, R O'Brien, N Quinlan. Subs: M Rennick for Cawley (28), C Blake for Kenny (37), C Kelly for Hickey (53), L O'Sullivan for Fenlon (56), MJ Doran for O'Toole (59).
REF - B Tiernan (Dublin)