Murphy-inspired Carlow edge out the Exiles
Carlow 2-14 London 2-9
A superb display by Brendan Murphy helped Carlow get their league campaign off to a winning start at Ruislip.
The Rathvilly man was sent off on his previous visit to London during last year's championship and atoned for that with a tireless performance around centre-field as the visitors eventually ground down a gutsy Exiles side.
Carlow were four points up inside seven minutes but were then caught napping when London skipper Liam Gavaghan combined with Killian Butler and fired a low shot past Robbie Molloy.
London had seven home-grown players in their starting XV and were competitive throughout, but they shot themselves in the foot on 21 minutes when Anthony McDermott was dispossessed in front of his own goal and Eoghan Ruth punished him by slamming the ball to the net.
Carlow were threatening to pull clear when they switched off in defence. Mark Gottsche's ball over the top found Gavaghan, who was fouled in the area as he pulled the trigger, and Eoin Murray sent Molloy the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Carlow led 1-11 to 2-4 at the interval, during which they were forced into a double change due to injuries to Barry John Molloy and Sean Murphy.
The scores dried up after the restart, despite some barnstorming runs from Murphy, while Butler missed a great chance for a third London goal.
An Adrian Moyles free made it a one-score game on 49 minutes but Carlow hit back with a quick-fire 1-1 to put the game to bed. Substitute Kieran Nolan exposed a tiring London defence with a quickly-taken free over the top and Jordan Morrissey was on the end of a slick passing move to raise the green flag.
Scorers - Carlow: P Broderick 0-6 (5f, 1 s/l); J Morrissey, E Ruth 1-1 each; D Foley 0-2 (2f); S Murphy, C Moran, D St Ledger, G Kelly 0-1 each. London: L Gavaghan 1-4 (4f); E Murray 1-0 (pen); K Butler, A Moyles (2f) 0-2 each; R Elliott 0-1.
Carlow: R Molloy; BJ Molloy, D St Ledger, J Morrissey; D Moran, C Lawlor, C Moran; S Murphy, S Gannon; E Ruth, B Murphy, D O'Brien; P Broderick, D Foley, J Murphy. Subs: K Nolan for S Murphy (h-t), G Kelly for Molloy (h-t), B Kavanagh for Lawlor (52), J Clarke for O'Brien (60), L Walker for Foley (68).
London: G McEvoy; P Butler, R Jones, P Begley; C Dunne, S McManus, A Moyles; A McDermott, J Moran; E Murray, L Gavaghan, T Waters; R Elliott, M Gottsche, K Butler. Subs: M Mangan for McManus (45), G Byrne for Murray (52), M Carroll for McDermott (60), J Daly for Jones (60).
Referee: J Bermingham (Cork).
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.
Sunday Indo Sport