Morrissey on the mark to lead Éire Óg to glory
Carlow SFC final: Éire Óg 2-8 Rathvilly 1-8
Éire Óg claimed their 27th senior football title, and became the first holders of the new Nationalist Cup, with a deserved one-goal win over 13-man Rathvilly in yesterday's replayed final at Netwatch Cullen Park.
The game was a bad-tempered, fractious clash, producing mediocre fare for the attendance of 2,500.
Rathvilly led for the only time when midfielder Ken Doyle kicked the game's first point.
Éire Óg responded and hit the front in the fifth minute when left-half forward Eoghan Ruth hit the net from Darragh O'Brien's astute pass.
Both sides set up defensively and there was little in the way of quality football, with referee David Hickey issuing a plethora of cards of all hues.
Rathvilly lost centre-back Wayne O'Donoghue to a black card on 21 minutes as they trailed 1-4 to 0-5 at half-time.
Early second-half points from Jordan Morrissey and captain Séan Gannon doubled the Éire Óg advantage.
Rathvilly were in deep trouble when wing-forward Alan Kelly was red carded on 43 minutes and almost immediately Morrissey, a county minor this year, found the Rathvilly net to put his side into a commanding 2-6 to 0-6 lead.
Late on, JJ Smith's penalty was pushed on to the post by Éire Óg keeper Robbie Moore and went safe, before Gary Dempsey slotted a second spot-kick with the last action of the game, by which stage Rathvilly wing-back Jeffrey O'Donoghue had received a second yellow card.
The five-time Leinster Club champions can now plan for an away tie in the provincial series against Mullinalaghta of Longford.
Scorers - Éire Óg: D O'Brien 0-4f, J Morrissey 1-1, E Ruth 1-0, S Gannon 0-2, D Hayden 0-1. Rathvilly: G Dempsey 1-5 (1 pen 4f), K Doyle, D Molloy, JJ Smith (45) 0-1 each.
Éire Óg: R Moore; F O'Toole, M Fitzgerald, B Kavanagh; J Lowry, P McElligott, R Dunphy; S Gannon, K Chatton; S Rea, J Morrissey, E Ruth; M Furey, D Hayden, D O'Brien. Subs: E Kelly for O'Toole (35); C Mullins for Dunphy (41); M Ware for Rea (51); C Blake for Morrissey (58); N Quinlan for Hayden (63).
Rathvilly: R Molloy; B J Molloy, C O'Brien, T Bolger; J O'Donoghue, W O'Donoghue, J B Leonard; Brendan Murphy, K Doyle; A Kelly, E Finnegan, D Molloy; Brian Murphy, G Dempsey, J J Smith. Subs: J Moore for W O'Donoghue (black card) (23); R Ryan for J B Leonard (54); D Murphy for Doyle (54); C Byrne for D Molloy.
Ref - D Hickey (Fenagh).