Carlow 2-13 Wicklow 1-13
Wicklow's hurlers finished with 14 men as Carlow, thanks largely to the point-taking prowess of Pat Coady, edged the Garden County side 2-13 to 1-13 in their Christy Ring Cup opener.
Eoin Garvey's Carlow, on the end of an 18-point beating from Offaly in the NHL Division 2 final last time out, begun the second tier competition with a dogged display at Dr Cullen Park.
It took them 15 minutes to plunder their first score however, and that was through Coady, who finished with 0-09 in all. By that time Wicklow were already 1-03 in front with TJ Byrne finding the net.
Wicklow's John Kehoe and his wing forward colleague Alan Tierney chipped in with some impressive scores for the visitors, but Mark Brennan's 31st-minute goal, crafted from a short Coady free, left Carlow only two points behind at the break, at 1-06 to 1-08.
Wicklow wing back Gerry Murray put three points between the sides immediately on the restart. Nonetheless, Carlow's greater attacking threat gradually wielded its influence.
A long ball from Liam Kenny set up Brennan, who is down to operate at corner forward for Carlow's footballers tomorrow against Wexford, for his second goal and a tied game, at 2-07 to 1-10.
With Wicklow marksman Kehoe subsequently sent off for an off-the-ball pull, Garvey's charges wrapped up the win with late points from Rory Dunbar, Des Murphy (2) and the ever-ready Coady (3).