Meyler's men bounce back after early blip to land crown
Carlow 1-16 Westmeath 1-7
INSPIRED by their centre-back and captain David English, Carlow recovered from the concession of a first-minute goal to dominate Westmeath and take the title at Dr Cullen Park.
WALSH SHIELD FINAL
Carlow midfielder Craig Wall opened the scoring with a point from play within 15 seconds of the throw-in but, from the puck-out, Westmeath went on the attack and a high ball from the right wing by Davy Gavin deceived Carlow 'keeper Brian Treacy and visiting captain Eoin Price goaled.
John Meyler's men shook off that setback to take complete control however, aided by the wind.
Picking off their points, the home side were quickly level through an English free and another from the influential Shane Kavanagh.
In the seventh minute Carlow's Mark Brennan picked out an unmarked Andrew Gaule, who crashed home a goal. By half-time Carlow led 1-13 to 1-2.
Westmeath, despite having the breeze, were unable to mount anything by way of a second-half comeback, pitted against a superior Carlow side in which captain English got great support from Alan Corcoran, Pauric Nolan, Paudie Kehoe, Wall, Kavanagh, James Kane, Mark Brennan and Gaule.
Eoin Price was the Lake County's outstanding player, while Robbie Greville, Philip Kilsenan and Noel Conaty were also prominent.
Scorers – Carlow: D English 0-5fs, A Gaule 1-2, J Kane 0-3, P Kehoe (2fs), C Wall, S Kavanagh 0-2 each. Westmeath: E Price 1-2 (0-1 '65'), N Conaty 0-4fs, R Greville 0-1.
Carlow – B Treacy; C McCabe, M Ryan, A Corcoran; P Nolan, D English, M Doyle; P Kehoe, C Wall; P Shaw, S Kavanagh, M Brennan; John Doyle, J Kane, A Gaule. Subs: James Doyle for Shaw (46), D Roberts for John Doyle (54), P Doyle for Wall (62), K English for Nolan (62).
Westmeath – P Maloney; B Doyle, T Doyle, L Varley; G Greville, T Gallagher, P Reilly; E Price, P Gilsenan; R Greville, D Gavin, C Curley; N Conaty, A McGrath, N Leonard. Subs: A Craig for Gallagher (37), P Layde for Reilly (56), S Fagan for Curley (60), M Heaney for Leonard (63).
Ref –G McGrath (Dublin)