Wicklow advance in Leinster U21 Championship after eight-goal thriller
Wicklow 5-12 Carlow 3-13
A goal from Wicklow midfielder Seán McGraynor finally killed off the challenge of a Carlow side which had wiped out second half arrears of nine points in this thrilling opening round Eirgrid Leinster Under-21 football championship tie at the IT grounds.
Carlow took a first minute lead through a goal from right half forward Diarmuid Walsh but a porous home defence conceded three first half goals as the pace o Wicklow centre forward Patrick O'Connor's saw him score the opening goal and set up the second for full forward Marc Lennon. A first half goal from a penalty by Gary Allen saw the Garden County 3-6 to 1-7 at half time, which was a harsh commentary on Carlow's contribution to the game.
When Cathal Magee finished his side's fourth goal to the net on 40 minutes (4-8 to 1-9) it looked curtains for Carlow but they were right back in contention with a brace of goals in the space of two minutes from left full forward Niall Lowry.
Carlow hit three points to level matters – the equaliser from a long-range free from Diarmuid Walsh as the game looked destined to end level.
But Wicklow reasserted themselves and a pointed free from Gary Allen, followed by McGraynor's goal provided the visitors with safe passage through to the next round.
Scorers: Wicklow: G Allen 1-4, 1-0 pen., 0-3f, P O'Connor 1-2, M Lennon 1-1, J C Magee, S McGraynor 1-0 each, J O'Callaghan 0-2, D Boothman, M Cullen 0-1, M O’Sullivan 0-1 each. Carlow: N Lowry 2-2, D Walsh 1-2, 0-2f, C O'Brien, D Lunney, D Smithers, L O'Sullivan 0-2 each, S Webb 0-1 each.
Wicklow: I Murphy; C McGorman, E Mara; C Healy, E Murtagh, M Cullen; D Boothman, S McGraynor; J O'Callaghan, P O'Connor, C Magee; G Allen, M Lennon, M O'Connor. Subs: B McCormack for P O'Co nnor (44); D Gethings for Healy (56); R Marron for Allen (black card) (63). Carlow: C White; A Byrne, J Murphy, C Kelly; M Rennick, M Furey, C O'Toole; K Chatten, D Wall; D Walsh, C O'Brien, L O'Sullivan; D Smithers, D Lunney, N Lowry. Subs: C Byrne for Furey (27); S Webb for Wall (black card) (32); C McGrath for O'Toole (45).
Referee: D Moore (Laois).