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Kavanagh Keeps His Cool

May 11th, 2024

Carlow 1-20 Kilkenny 1-20

By Kieran Murphy at Netwatch Cullen Park

Carlow held Kilkenny to a draw in an entertaining encounter on Saturday.

The pre-match favourites got off to a great start when Martin Keoghan opened the scoring with a point and Owen Wall followed up with a goal. The goal originated when Carlow lost the ball at midfield and Kilkenny swept forward with intent. It was a lesson learned and one rarely repeated for the remainder of the contest.

Chris Nolan’s seventh minute point for the home side got them off the mark and while they trailed by six points approaching half-time, they were still causing problems for Kilkenny, who had Killian Doyle sent off.

Shortly before that, Billy Ryan, had a goal-chance, but the Carlow defence crowded out the ball carrier and the opportunity was lost. Cian Kenny compensated for the Cats with two points from play.

Three points each from Chris Nolan and Marty Kavanagh kept Carlow in touch and at the interval Kilkenny led 1-11 to 0-9. With the wind in the second half in their backs, Kilkenny’s reduced numbers were still odds on favourites to win.

On the resumption, a Fiachra Fitzpatrick 36thminute point lifted Carlow players and followers alike. While the home team they struggled at times with Kilkenny’s short-passing and possession game, they were standing back.

Brian Tracey, the Carlow keeper, made a great save to deny Tom Phelan with 17 minutes remaining.

Carlow themselves almost had a three-pointer, but Kavanagh was crowded out by an alert defence. The leading Carlow scorer had a hand in his side’s goal but when his shot was blocked, Conor Kehoe, was on hand to force the sliotar over the line. The crowd were sensing history now and got behind the home players

From there, the home side battled with real determination. Previous Carlow teams would have been happy to have settled for an honourable defeat, but there is a different attitude with this group. In the final minute of normal time, Donagh Murphy levelled for Carlow.

TJ Reid scored the final two points for Kilkenny to put them two clear. The home side refused to contemplate defeat. James Doyle was on hand to make it a one-point game for Carlow and on 75 minutes Marty Kavanagh earned Carlow an historic draw with his free just curling inside the right hand upright.

Scorers for Carlow: Marty Kavanagh 0-9 (8fs, 65), Chris Nolan 0-4, Conor Kehoe 1-0, Fiachra Fitzpatrick 0-2, Kevin McDonald (f), John Michael Nolan, James Doyle, Paddy Boland, Donagh Murphy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-6 (4fs), Owen Wall 1-3, Martin Keoghan, Cian Kenny 0-3 each, Tom Phelan 0-2, Huw Lawlor, Billy Ryan, Shane Murphy 0-1 each.

Carlow: Brian Tracey; Paul Doyle, Dion Wall, Niall Bolger; Tony Lawlor, Kevin McDonald, Fiachra Fitzpatrick; Sean Joyce, Richard Coady, Jon Nolan, Chris Nolan, Marty Kavanagh, Jack McCullagh, John Michael Nolan, Scott Treacy.

Subs: Conor Kehoe for Treacy (HT), Paddy Boland for J.M. Nolan (HT), Ciaran Whelan for Joyce (HT), James Doyle for Coady (50), Donagh Murphy for J Nolan (62).

Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy; Mikey Butler, Huw Lawlor, Killian Doyle; David Blanchfield, Darragh Corcoran, Shane Murphy; Cian Kenny, Jordan Molloy; Martin Keoghan, John Donnelly, Tom Phelan; Billy Ryan, TJ Reid, Owen Wall.

Subs: Tommy Walsh for Ryan (HT), Conor Fogarty for Molloy (42), Billy Drennan for Wall (58).

Referee: Chris Mooney (Dublin)

Carlow GAA
Dublin GAA
Kildare GAA
Kilkenny GAA
Laois GAA
Longford GAA
Louth GAA
Meath GAA
Offaly GAA
Westmeath GAA
Wexford GAA
Wicklow GAA