Thursday 19 September 2019

Final spot is still possible for Carlow

Carlow 0-21 Meath1-14 

'Carlow will feel relieved to have come out on top - they have four points from three games following a home win over Kerry and an away loss to Antrim.' Photo: Stock image
'Carlow will feel relieved to have come out on top - they have four points from three games following a home win over Kerry and an away loss to Antrim.' Photo: Stock image

Carlow hurlers remain in contention for a final spot in the Joe McDonagh Cup following this hard-earned four point victory over visitors Meath in this Round 3 tie played before a small attendance at Netwatch Cullen Park yesterday.

This was the Royal County's third successive McDonagh Cup defeat.

Carlow looked to be in serious trouble when Meath's left full forward Gavin McGowan's third point from play put them 1-13 to 0-15 in front on 52 minutes - it was the first time the Royals led.

The momentum was with Nick Fitzgerald's side at that stage, but Carlow found a response with three successive points from their elusive right full-forward Chris Nolan, supplemented by an inspirational white flag from left half back Richard Kelly.

Overall Nolan hit 0-6, 0-5 from play while three points out of play from the home side's right corner forward James Doyle was also influentioal in fashioning this win.

There was little to choose between the sides in the first half, reflected in the half-time score of 0-11 to 1-8, the Meath goal coming in the 33rd minute from Meath's top forward Patrick Conneely, who finished with 1-7.

Carlow will feel relieved to have come out on top - they have four points from three games following a home win over Kerry and an away loss to Antrim. They face a vital away match with neighbours Laois.

Scorers: Carlow D Murphy 0-8f, C Nolan 0-6, 0-1f, J Doyle 0-3, E Byrne, P Coady, R Kelly, D English (f) 0-1 each. Meath: P Conneely 1-7, 0-6f, G McGowan 0-3, A Gannon 0-2, S Brennan, A Douglas 0-1 each.
Carlow: B Tracey; A Corcoran, P Doyle, M Doyle; D Wall, D English, R Kelly; J Murphy, K McDonald; J M Nolan, P Coady, E Byrne; J Doyle, D Murphy, C Nolan. Subs: E Redmond for Wall (40); T Joyce for D Murphy (52); A Casey for Kelly 70).
Meath: S McGann, N Weir, S Geraghty, D Kelly; J Keena, D Healy, K Keoghan; M O'Sullivan, A Douglas; C McCabe, J Kelly, P Conneely; S Brennan, A Gannon, G McGowan: Subs: K Keena for O'Sullivan (h/t); S Morris for Weir (61); E O'Donnchadha for McCabe (61); N Heffernan for K Keena (66).
Referee: S Keane (Galway).


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Laois pick up first points of campaign

Laois 1-20 Antrim 1-19

Fourteen-man Laois earned their first points of the Joe McDonagh Cup with a hard-fought win over Antrim at Pearse Park in Dunloy yesterday.

Lee Cleere saw red on 62 minutes with the game still in the balance but it was Laois who kicked on, with Ross King's accuracy from placed balls edging them into what looked like a safe lead, however Antrim came back with a Ciaran Clarke goal and a James McNaughton point to leave the minimum between the sides.

Playing with a strong breeze, Antrim made the better start and led by 0-4 to 0-1 after 10 minutes, two Neil McManus frees added to points from play from Conor Johnston and Donal McKinley. King supplied Laois's opener from a placed ball and the Rathdowney-Errill man was his usual unerring self throughout the 70 minutes, finishing with 11 points, all but one from frees.

The game's first clear cut goal chance arrived when Ross set up Willie Dunphy with just the goalkeeper to beat but Dunphy somehow shot wide from just outside the square.

Charlie Dwyer and Ben Conroy stretched the Laois lead to four as half-time approached, and Conroy added his second of the day in between two McManus frees to leave Laois 0-11 to 0-8 ahead at the break.

Three McManus frees levelled matters after the restart but Dunphy then made amends for his earlier miss, firing to the top corner of the Antrim net to restore a three-point gap.

Laois sub Aidan Corby scored with his first touch on 70 minutes but despite Clarke's late goal and an excellent point from McNaughton, Antrim couldn't maintain their 100 per cent record.

Scorers - Antrim: N McManus 0-11, 9f, 0-1 '65', C Johnston 0-3, C Clarke 1-0, E McCloskey, N Elliott, D McKinley, C McCann and J McNaughton 0-1 each. Laois: R King 0-11, 10f, B Conroy 0-4, W Dunphy 1-1, P Purcell 0-2, C Dwyer and A Corby 0-1 each.
Antrim: R Elliott; S Rooney, J Dillon, A Graffin; P Burke, C McKinley, R McCambridge; E McCloskey, S McCrory; N Elliott, C Johnston, J McNaughton; D McKinley, C Carson, D McCloskey
Subs: J McNaughton for R McCambridge (26), C McCann for D McCloskey (26), N McAuley for S Rooney (45), C Clarke for D McKinley (49)
Laois: E Rowland; J Phelan, M Whelan, L Cleere; C Stapleton, J Ryan, R Mullaney; P Purcell, C Taylor; C Dwer, B Conroy, C Comerford; R King, N Foyle, W Dunphy
Subs: E Killeen for J Phelan (blood, 9-16), S Maher for C Taylor (60), P McKane for W Dunphy (65), A Corby for N Foyle (69), E Killeen for C Dwyer (74)
Referee: J Heffernan (Wexford)

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