Relieved Carlow survive Exiles fightback
Carlow 4-4 London 1-11
Carlow survived a late London comeback to run out two-point winners in Ruislip on Saturday.
Carlow were clinical through the first 30 minutes against the wind, with Sean Gannon raising two green flags and John Murphy converting a penalty as Turlough O'Brien's side led 3-2 to 0-5 at the interval.
The Exiles had been short on composure as well as scores but that changed with the introduction of veteran Mark Gottsche. The midfielder gave London renewed focus and Scott Conroy and Adrian Moyles began to nibble away at Carlow's lead with some accurate frees.
Even JJ Smith's palmed finish on 41 minutes failed to halt the Exiles' momentum. Driven on by Gottsche, London were within a score of victory after Eoin Murray's late goal and another Conroy point.
"I'm very disappointed with our second-half performance," said O'Brien. "We took our foot off the pedal and we nearly got caught."
New London manager Ciaran Deely said: "It was an annoying game; we were so poor in the first half and were seven points behind and yet we lost the game by two against a good Carlow team. We have a lot of work to do."
Man of the match: Sean Gannon
Scorers - Carlow: S Gannon 2-0, JJ Smith 1-1 (1f), J Murphy 1-0 pen, B Muphy 0-2, D Foley 0-1. London: S Conroy 0-5 (4f), A Moyles 0-4 (3fs), E Murray 1-0, S Hickey, L Gavaghan 0-1 each.
Carlow - C Kearney 7; B J Molloy 6, D St Ledger 6, K Nolan 6; G Kelly 6, D Hayden 7, B Kavanagh 6; B Murphy 8, S Gannon 8; A Kelly 6, J Murphy 7, D Foley 7; B Murphy 7, JJ Smith 7, E Finnegan 6. Subs: C Blake 7 for Murphy (51), D O'Brien 6 for Murphy (54), H Gahan 6 for Foley (56), D Moran 6 for Smith (69), M Fitzgerald 6 for St Ledger (BC, 71).
London - G McEvoy 6; P Butler 6, D McGreevey 6, D Quinn 5; C Carty 6, D Ryan 6, C Dunne 7; J Moran 7, C Og Greene 6, A Moyles 7, P O'Hara 6, A Hanlon 6; S Conroy 7, S O'Grady 6, S Hickey 7. Subs: J Lynch 6 for Dunne (BC, 9), M Gottsche 8 for Greene (h/t), Liam Gavaghan 7 for Hanlon (h/t), E Murray 7 for Moyles (51), D Molloy 6 for Hickey (62), S Buckley 6 for Lynch (70).
Ref - E O'Grady (Leitrim)