CARLOW hurlers put 14-man Wicklow to the sword at Netwatch Cullen Park yesterday, nine home players sharing in their big tally as they beat their south-east neighbours by a 17-point margin.
Wicklow made the better start and were boosted by a fifth-minute goal from full-forward Andy O'Brien, who got on the end of a long delivery out of defence by Leighton Glynn.
Glynn, who was his side's best player in the early stages, was straight red-carded on 12 minutes, reacting after he had been awarded a free. Wicklow never recovered from the dismissal. Carlow quickly took control and, gaining in confidence, they scored goals in the 14th and 31st minutes from Seamus Murphy and John Michael Nolan which saw them surge into a 2-8 to 1-2 interval lead.
Pat English's side cantered home in the second half with substitute Craig Doyle hitting 1-3 from play while Seán Murphy's point from play on 45 minutes was the scoring highlight of the half. Man of the Match: Sean Murphy (Carlow)
Scorers - Carlow: C Doyle 1-3, Seán Murphy, D Byrne, M Kavanagh (1f) 0-3 each, Seamus Murphy, J M Nolan 1-0 each, E Byrne 0-2, G Coady, C Wall, M Brennan 0-1 each. Wicklow: A O'Brien 1-2 (1f), J O'Neill 0-2, (1f), A Byrne, E Kearns 0-1 each.
Carlow - K Kehoe 6; G Bennett 8, J Kinsella 7, A Corcoran 7; R Coady 7, J Rogers 7, G Coady 7; D Byrne 8, C Wall 7; Seán Murphy 9, E Byrne 7, J M Nolan 7; Seamus Murphy 6, M Kavanagh 7, E Doyle 6. Subs: C Doyle 8 for E Doyle (h-t); M Brennan 6 for Nolan (50); A Gaule 6 for Wall (54); S Kavanagh for Rogers (58) D O'Neill for M Kavanagh (60).
Wicklow - T Kennedy 6; T Doyle 6, S Kelly, P Keane 6; E Dunne 6, L Kennedy 6, M O'Brien 7; E Kearns 8, J Connors 6; L Glynn, J O'Neill 7, A Byrne 6; M Lee 5, A O'Brien 7, D Staunton 5. Subs: D Masterson 7 for Kelly (inj, 8); C Moorehouse 6 for Lee (28); A Nugent 5 for Byrne (52); J Cranley for O'Brien (60); P Doran for Connors (63).
Ref - F Horgan (Tipperary)