Donie Shine’s brother Cathal gave Athlone the perfect start when he reacted first to a breaking ball in the square. Despite IT Carlow’s and Laois’s Daithí Carroll hitting some big scores, Athlone had a chance to kill the game when Eddie Hoare was fouled in the square. But Galway’s Frankie Burke’s penalty was saved by Ricky Keating.
This bolstered Carlow and they finished the half strongly with Carroll, Ben Brosnan from Wexford and Portlaoise’s Craig Rogers piling on scores to leave it 0-11 to 1-4 at the interval.
Athlone kicked five in a row on the restart but ran out of steam. Carroll tapped home the killer goal with three minutes to go but injured his ankle in the process and may miss Laois’s game against Antrim this weekend.
IT CARLOW: R Keating (Carlow); C Byrne (Laois), J Kinahan (Kildare), D Buckley (Tipperary); G Seaver (Dublin), G Hanrahan (Laois), S George (Laois); C O’Donovan (Cork), K Meaney (Laois); D Foley (Carlow), B Brosnan (0-5, 1f, Wexford), S Gannon (Carlow); C Rogers (0-2, Laois), JJ Smith (0-2, Carlow), D Carroll (1-6, 4f, Laois). Subs: J Doyle (Laois) for Seaver (28mins, inj), F Smith (Meath) for Carroll (54mins, inj).
ATHLONE IT: G Connaughton (Westmeath); M McCallan (Westmeath), C Duignan (Roscommon), C Garvey (Roscommon); A Rohan (Longford), P Bannon (Westmeath), M Mitchell (Offaly); G Dennigan (Longford), E Hoare (Galway); N Dunne (0-3f, Offaly), B Connor (0-1, Offaly), D Egan (Offaly); D Coffey (Westmeath), C Shine (1-2, Roscommon), F Burke (0-2, Galway). Subs: J Reynolds (0-3, 1f, Offaly) for Coffey (ht), F Reilly (Westmeath) for McCallan (ht), C Burke (Galway) for Burke (53mins).