A 16th-minute goal from man-of-the match Chris Healy proved the decisive score in this low-scoring knock-out Sigerson Cup football tie at IT Carlow yesterday.
The visitors never led though they could have claimed victory at the death when, in an all-out attack, midfielder Damien Somers saw his close-range volley go the wrong side of the Carlow posts.
Carlow led 1-2 to 0-3 at half time in a free-ridden opening half, with Healy’s goal being the key moment.
Tralee landed points from full forward Conor Keane and a Paul O’Donoghue free to level after 35 minutes. But IT Carlow responded with a fine point from play from centre forward Anthony Dever.
The hosts went 1-7 to 0-6 ahead after 51 minutes, their fifth point from centre-back Carolan Wood from Donegal being an inspirational score.
With Vincent Horan, Damien Somers, Paul O’Donoghue and Conor Keane prominent, Tralee staged a late rally but were unable to claw back the deficit.
Thomas O’Connell, Caolan Ward and Niall Kane defended valiantly for the winners for whom midfielder Tipperary’s Mark Russell was black-carded on 40 minutes. His replacement, Ray Cahill, kicked two vital pointed frees.
C Healy 1-1, 0-1 free, R Cahill (both frees), K Ryan 0-2 each, E Buggy, C Ward, A Dever 0-1 each.
Keane, P O’Donoghue (all frees) 0-3 each, S Cournane 0-2, 0-1 free, V Horan 0-1.
R Samson (Louth); J Mitchell (Leitrim), T O’Connell (Kildare), J Casey (Roscommon); E Buggie (Laois), C Ward (Donegal), N Kane (Meath); S Maughan (Kildare), M Russell (Tipperary); R Ryan (Meath), A Dever (Mayo), W Young (Laois); K Ryan (Meath), L Flynn (Kildare), C Healy (Kildare).
R Cahill (Kildare) for Russell (black card) (40); D O’Sullivan (Kildare) for Young (46); J Logue (Donegal) for Maughan (56); C O’Toole (Carlow) for Dever (61).
B Galvin (Kerry); D Kennedy (Limerick), G Crowley (Kerry), C Cromwell (Monaghan); V Horan (Kerry), D McElligott (Kerry), S Guthrie (Kerry); D Somers (Kerry), L Kearney (Kerry); C O’Driscoll (Cork), P O’Shea (Kerry), P O’Donoghue (Kerry); D O’Keeffe (Cork), C Keane (Kerry), S Cournane (Kerry).
P Quille (Kerry) for O’Shea (28); C Lowney (Cork) for O’Driscoll (h/t); S Flynn (Cork) for Kennedy (42); O Roche (Limerick) for O’Keeffe (44).
B Cawley (Kildare).