Murphy books final berth for Carlow
Carlow 0-24 Wicklow 2-8
Carlow hurlers are through to a June 10 Christy Ring Cup final meeting with Antrim in Croke Park following this win over Wicklow at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday before an attendance of 1,200.
Wicklow missed the influence of their injured captain Christopher Moorehouse, while Carlow were hit by the withdrawal of corner-forward James Doyle, who went over on his ankle in the warm-up.
Colm Bonnar's side were the dominant force for the greater part of the tie, putting down an early marker with four unanswered points from Jack Kavanagh, Denis Murphy (free), man of the match John Michael Nolan and captain Marty Kavanagh.
Wicklow were buoyed by a goal in the 12th minute, when George O'Brien did all the heavy lifting in setting up Eoin McCormack.
Carlow regained their momentum and went on to lead by 0-16 to 1-3 at half time, when the tie looked settled in their favour.
Wicklow, though, hit a purple patch in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half. A point from the impressive Andy O'Brien was followed by a goal from George O'Brien and a long-range pointed free from Diarmuid Masterson.
Although Wicklow did come within four points at 0-17 to 2-7, the challenge stalled and unanswered points from Paul Coady, John Michael Nolan, and two from Denis Murphy killed off the game.
Scorers - Carlow: D Murphy 0-8 (6f), J M Nolan 0-5, M Kavanagh 0-3, J Kavanagh, P Coady, C Nolan 0-2 each, K McDonald, E Byrne 0-1 each. Wicklow: A O'Brien 0-4, E McCormack, G O'Brien 1-0 each, D Staunton, J Henderson, D Masterson, (f), R Keddy 0-1 each.
Carlow: J Carroll 6; A Corcoran 8, P Doyle 6, G Bennett 6; R Coady 6, D English 6, R Kelly 6; J Kavanagh 7, P Coady 7; J M Nolan 9; M Kavanagh 7, J Murphy 6; D Murphy 7, K McDonald 6, C Nolan 7. Subs: E Byrne 6 for Murphy (47); G Coady for P Coady (64); J O'Hara for R Coady (69); E Redmond for English (70 + 1); E Nolan for Bennett (70 + 2).
Wicklow: E O'Mahoney 7; W Kavanagh 6, S Kelly 7, M O'Brien 6; Byrne 6, J Henderson 7, E Kearns 6; D Staunton 7, R Keddy 6; P Keane 6, P Doyle 7, D Masterson 6; G O'Brien 7, A O'Brien 8, E McCormack 6. Subs: A Byrne 7 for Keane (31); J Byrne for McCormack (60); L Moloney for Kearns (61); M Verney for A Byrne (68); W Kinsella for Keddy (70).
REF - J Keane (Galway).