Allianz HL D2A Final: Carlow stun Westmeath
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A Final
CARLOW 2-19 WESTMEATH 2-12
By John Harrington at O'Moore Park
Carlow will hurl in Division 1B of the Allianz Hurling League next year after a highly impressive win over Westmeath in today’s Division 2A Final.
The Barrow-siders came into the match as slight underdogs, but from the very start they were the team that played with far more intent, aggression, and skill.
The sight of a Westmeath man being blocked or hooked would soon become very common, as the Lake County struggled to cope with the intensity that Carlow were generating.
James Doyle and Diarmuid Byrne gave Carlow the perfect start with two sweet points from play in the first couple of minutes, and they never let up thereafter.
Leading 0-6 to 0-3 by the 13th minute and already dominant, they then blitzed Westmeath with a salvo of 1-4 with just one point in reply.
The goal came from wing-forward James Doyle, and it was a beauty.
He showed great determination to put his head down and sprint straight for the posts before going past Westmeath full-back Tommy Doyle on the outside and firing a low rasper to the far corner of the net.
A shell-shocked Westmeath team looked they were finally coming to their senses when Darragh Clinton struck for a nice goal of his own on the 30-minute mark.
But Carlow simply put their foot on the gas again to score the last three points of the half, two of them frees from the impressively accurate Martin Kavanagh, to lead 1-14 to 1-6 at the break.
A Westmeath second-half comeback was never really on the cards.
Carlow scored the first two points of the half through sharp-shooter Kavanagh, who then finished the game as a contest when he buried a 50th minute penalty.
It was won by Chris Nolan who was fouled from behind in the square, and when Kavanagh stepped up to take it he made no mistake, lashing it to the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Shortly afterwards Westmeath’s day went from bad to worse when Gary Greville was red-carded, and thereafter it was just a question of how much Carlow would win the match by.
So in the space of six days the county’s footballers have been promoted to Division 3 and the hurlers have been promoted to Division 1B.
These are certainly good times to be a Carlow GAA supporter.
*Scorers for Carlow: *Martin Kavanagh 1-9 (8f, 1 pen), James Doyle 1-1, Edward Byrne 0-3, Chris Nolan 0-2, Diarmuid Byrne 0-2, David English 0-2 (2f).
Scorers for Westmeath: Allan Devine 0-6 (6f), Darragh Clinton 1-0, Derek McNicholas 1-0 (pen), Aaron Craig 0-3, Robbie Greville 0-1, Ciaran Doyle 0-1, Killian Doyle 0-1 (f).
CARLOW: Brian Tracey; Alan Corcoran, Paul Doyle, Michael Doyle; Eoin Nolan, David English, Richard Coady; Jack Kavanagh, Diarmuid Byrne; Seamus Murphy, Paul Coady, James Doyle; Martin Kavanagh, Edward Byrne, Chris Nolan. *Subs: *Jack Murphy for Jack Kavanagh (60), Conor Foley for Paul Coady (61), Kevin McDonald for Chris Nolan (64), Denis Murphy for Seamus Murphy (69), Dion Wall for Eoin Nolan (71)
WESTMEATH: Paddy Carroll; Shane Power, Tommy Doyle, Gary Greville; Aaron Craig, Paul Greville, Derek McNicholas; Eoin Price, Cormac Boyle; John Gilligan, Robbie Greville, Allan Devine; Niall O’Brien, Niall Mitchell, Darragh Clinton.* Subs:* Liam Varley for Aaron Craig (23), Killian Doyle for John Gilligan (33), Shane Clavin for Cormac Boyle (44), Ciaran Doyle for Niall O’Brien (56), Alan Cox for Allan Devine (67). Red card: Gary Greville.
Ref: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)