McDonagh Cup: Carlow defeat Meath
Joe McDonagh Cup
CARLOW 0-21 MEATH 1-14
By Conor McKenna at Netwatch Cullen Park
Carlow picked up their second win of their Joe McDonagh Cup campaign, after a narrow four point victory over Nick Fitzgerald’s Meath side following an entertaining encounter.
Denis Murphy opened the scoring for Carlow with a free in the second minute, with Murphy superb from frees throughout the game.
Shane Brennan and James Doyle traded points, before two points in succession from Denis Murphy gave his side a 0-4 to 0-1 lead in the early stages.
Chris Nolan added a further score for Carlow, but two Meath points brought the gap down to two, with 13 minutes gone.
Denis Murphy and Patrick Conneely traded points, before scores from Paul Coady and Chris Nolan stretched Carlow’s advantage to four points.
Meath were kept in the game, courtesy of Conneely in the first half, with the Meath sharpshooter’s goal, before the interval vital, as it levelled procedures at a crucial stage.
Mark O’Sullivan found Conneely with an excellent pass, after a solo run by the former and Conneely made no mistake with the finish, with the goal a huge confidence boost to his side going into half-time.
Murphy and Conneely exchanged further frees, as the teams went into the break level on a score-line of 0-11 to 1-8.
The second half was an entertaining affair with Meath holding their own in all departments, but it was Colm Bonnar’s side who started the half better courtesy of points from Edward Byrne and Denis Murphy.
Adam Douglas opened Meath’s second half account, before James Doyle restored his sides two points advantage.
The sides were level in the 50th minute, after an outstanding score from Adam Gannon and Meath were in front for the first time shortly after, with Gavin McGowan’s effort splitting the posts.
Carlow responded, though, with three points in succession from Chris Nolan at a crucial stage, with Nolan stepping up to the plate to sway momentum back in the direction of his side.
Richard Kelly and James Doyle added further scores, as Carlow turned a one point deficit into a four point lead.
Patrick Conneely brought the gap down to three points with a late free, but a long-range effort from Carlow centre-back David English with time almost up, sealed the victory for his side, who held on for a deserved four point victory.
Scorers for Carlow: Denis Murphy 0-8 (8fs), Chris Nolan 0-6 (1f), James Doyle 0-3, Paul Coady, Edward Byrne, Richard Kelly and David English (1f) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Meath: Patrick Conneely 1-7 (6fs), Gavin McGowan 0-3, Adam Gannon 0-2, Adam Douglas and Shane Brennan 0-1 each.
CARLOW: Brian Tracey; Alan Corcoran, Paul Doyle, Michael Doyle; Dion Wall, David English, Richard Kelly; Jack Murphy, Kevin McDonald; John Michael Nolan, Paul Coady, Edward Byrne; James Doyle, Denis Murphy, Chris Nolan.
Subs: Eoin Redmond for Dion Wall (40), Conor Foley for Jack Murphy (47), Ted Joyce for Denis Murphy (52), Andrew Casey for Richard Kelly (70).
MEATH: Shane McGann; Niall Weir, Sean Geraghty, Darragh Kelly; Joe Keena, Damien Healy, Keith Keoghan; Mark O’Sullivan, Alan Douglas; Cathal McCabe, James Kelly, Patrick Conneely; Shane Brennan, Adam Gannon, Gavin McGowan.
Subs: Kevin Keena for Mark O’Sullivan (HT), Steven Morris for Niall Weir (61), Eamonn O’Donnchada for Cathal McCabe (61), Neil Hefferan for Kevin Keena (64), Jack Regan for James Kelly (68).
REFEREE: John Keane (Galway).