The home side were never headed after they took a seventh- minute lead with a point from play by Kilkenny’s Joe Brennan. They led 0-5 to 0-1 entering the second quarter before points for Pat’s from a Niall Price penalty, two Jack McGrath frees and one from Enda Morrissey levelled matters.
IT Carlow led 0-7 to 0-6 at half-time and although McGrath levelled from a 34th-minute free, Ian Byrne’s long-range point put the home side back in front — this time to stay.
When Kevin Kelly set up Maher for the game’s only goal it provided IT with the biggest lead of the game which they held until the end.
IT CARLOW: C Clancy (Offaly); J Carroll (Tipperary), E Malone (Kilkenny), P McEvoy (Laois); C Tobin (Kilkenny), R Doyle (Kilkenny), S Gardiner (Offaly); O Walsh (Kilkenny),T Carroll (Offaly); S Maher (Laois) (1-4, 0-2 frees), I Byrne (Wexford) (0-4, 0-2 frees), K Kelly (Kilkenny) (0-1); J Brennan (Kilkenny) (0-2), C Kenny (Tipperary) (0-2), D Dowling (Kilkenny) (0-1).
Subs: B Harding (Offaly) for Walsh (inj) (40); M Sexton (Cork) for Dowling (48); P Rigney (Offaly) for McEvoy (48).
ST PATRICK’S: L White (Wexford); R O’Hanrahan (Kilkenndy), J Kelly (Meath), C Fennessy (Clare); N Maguire (Dublin), P Bulter (Kilkenny), C Wafer (Kilkenny); E Morrissey (Kilkenny) (0-2, 0-1 free), E O’Neill (Dublin); E Price (Westmeath) (0-2, 0-1 pen.), D Brosnan (Cork), J McGrath (Kilkenny) (0-8, 0-6 frees, 0-2 65s); E McIntyre (Tipperary), C Joyce (Kilkenny), P Walshe (Kilkenny) (0-1).
Sub: K Ryan (Wexford) for Price (inj) (42).
Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow).