14-man Carlow do enough to cut down Lilies
Carlow 0-14 Kildare 0-12
Carlow, reduced to 14 men for the game's final 19 minutes, just did enough to edge out Kildare in a sub-standard opening-round tie at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday.
A hailstorm before throw-in made conditions extremely difficult for good hurling.
The Lilywhites led briefly with early points from Conor Kielty and Ciarán O'Regan, but once Chris Nolan pointed Carlow into a 0-3 to 0-2 lead from an eighth-minute free, they remained in front.
Good goalkeeping by Kildare's Jeff Keane denied Carlow at least one first-half goal as the Barrowsiders led 0-10 to 0-7 at half-time.
Carlow lost right corner-forward Jon Nolan to a second yellow card in the 41st minute and it took 13 second-half minutes for a first score - a free from Kildare's James Burke.
Carlow's Cathal Treacy had his side's opening score of the half on 48 minutes, with home county substitute Niall Roche hitting the final point out of play from long range deep into injury time.
Scorers - Carlow: C Nolan 0-6 (4fs); C Treacy 0-3; C Lennon 0-2; T Lawlor, J Nolan, N Roche 0-1 each. Kildare: J Burke 0-6 (5fs); S Ryan 0-3; C O'Regan, C Kielty, C Smith (f) 0-1 each.
Carlow: D Jordan; P Slye, D Tobin, R McEvoy; J Holden, G Lawlor, T Lawlor; G Connolly, A Nolan; C Nolan, T Dowling, C Treacy; J Nolan, N Lynam, C Lennon. Subs: J O'Neill for Lennon (36); A Whelan for Connolly (36); D Nolan for A Nolan (36); N Roche for Holden (53).
Kildare - J Keane; B Giffney, R Boran, B Blackburne; S Leacy, C Dowling, J Dolan; C Smith, K Gorman; J Burke, A Kelly, M Moloney; C O'Regan, C Kielty, S Ryan. Subs: P Tierney for Keane (injured, h/t); P Mortell for Boran (h/t); M Moran for Moloney (54); K Aherne for O'Regan (54); A Doran for Dowling (injured, 57).
Ref - M O'Sullivan (Kilkenny).