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On-song Sweeney helps Tipp demolish Carlow

TIPPERARY right full-forward Conor Sweeney led the way, scoring a total of 1-8, as the Premier County demolished an insipid Carlow side by a massive 19 points in this one-sided opening round game at Dr Cullen Park.

The visitors gained more than ample revenge for their one-point home defeat to Anthony Rainbow's men in last year's opening round league clash as they dominated a game in which Carlow were down to 14 men from the 10th minute when Paul Broderick was issued with a straight red card for a striking offence.

A physically bigger and more mobilie Tipperary side were on top in all sectors and were in front within 30 seconds of the throw-in when left half-back Donagh Leahy pointed from play.

Sweeney quickly raised another white flag, before a brace of Carlow points by Brendan Murphy and Darragh Foley levelled matters.

Almost immediately the visitors were back in front when Barry Grogan pointed and this time there was no way back for Carlow as Tipp continued to build on their lead, picking off some fine points as the Barrowsiders' challenge fell apart.

By half-time Peter Creedon's men were 0-12 to 0-4 ahead – Carlow might have had a goal on the cusp of the break when left half-back Graham Power found himself one on one with Tipperary goalie Paul Fitzgerald, but shot over the bar.

Interval Carlow substitute Jordan Lowry pointed direct from the restart but it proved a false dawn for the home support as Sweeney countered almost immediately with a Tipp point.

Tipperary were 0-14 to 0-5 ahead when Seamus Kinsella scored Carlow's goal on the 45th minute after he himself was foot-tripped in the large square. The Tipperary response was for Grogan to point from the kick-out.

Tipp goals from Philip Austin and Sweeney in the 49th and 54th minute rubbed salt into the Carlow wounds as the visitors romped to a 19-point victory, with 11 players sharing in their huge total.

SCORERS – Tipperary: C Sweeney 1-8 (0-2fs), B Grogan 0-6, (3fs), P Austin 1-1, D Leahy 0-2, A Morrissey, P Acheson, C McCullough, M Quinlivan, I Fahy, A Matassa, G Hally 0-1 each. Carlow: S Kinsella 1-0 (pen), D Foley, G Power 0-2 each, B Murphy, D St Ledger (f), J Lowry, S McGrath (f) 0-1 each.

Tipperary – P Fitzgerald 7; J Coughlan 7, P Codd 7, A Morrissey 7; G Mulhare 6, R Kiely 6, D Leahy 7; G Hannigan 6, P Acheson 7; B Fox 6, B Grogan 8, C McCullough 6; C Sweeney 9, M Quinlivan 6, P Austin 7. Subs: S O'Brien for Kiely 21; I Fahy 6 for McCullough (44); A Campbell 6 for Mulhare 51; A Matassa (57); B O'Brien for Quinlivan (62); G Hally for Acheson (66).

Carlow – A O'Brien 6; B J Molloy 5, M Curry 5, J O'Donoghue 5; K Nolan 5, B Kavanagh 6, G Power 6; H Gahan 5, D Foley 6; P Reid 5, D St Ledger 5, D Bambrick 5; P Broderick 5, B Murphy 6, S Kinsella 5. Subs: J Lowry 5 for Nolan (h/t); C Moran 5 for St Ledger (h/t); S McGrath 5 for Reid (49); M Brennan for Gahan (60); M Meaney for Curry (60).

Ref – D Gough (Meath).

Irish Independent