Carlow go goal crazy at Wexford Park

Carlow 4-09 Wicklow 0-12

Carlow 4-09 Wicklow 0-12

Carlow bagged four goals as a poor display from Wicklow saw them dumped out of the Leinster championship at the first hurdle.

Wicklow keeper Raymond Daniels had a championship debut to forget as he conceded goals from Thomas Walsh, Alan Kelly, Simon Rea and Bryan Carbery.

Liam Hayes’ Carlow side managed the win despite having defenders John Hayden (51 minutes) and Mark Brennan (58) sent off in the second half. Brennan walked for an off-the-ball tussle with Wicklow full-forward Wayne O’Gorman, who was also red carded by referee Michael Collins.

The prize for Hayes’ charges is a June 4 quarter-final with Laois.

This afternoon the neighbouring sides hit 10 wides apiece but that was where the parity ended as Carlow, with the Walsh brothers, Thomas and Patrick, dominating centre-field, deservedly won through.

Walsh's 27th-minute goal was a majestic one as he ended a superb 50-metre run with a low rasping shot beyond Daniels' grasp. Points from Carbery, captain for the day Mark Carpenter and Rea had pushed Carlow into a 0-03 to no score lead by the fourth-minute.

Tommy Gill set O'Gorman up for Wicklow's opener, but the Garden county could not settle and only added a point from captain Leighton Glynn for the remainder of the half.

Carlow, who were territorially on top too, were 1-06 to 0-02 in front at the break - Patrick Hickey's late white flag pushed them seven points clear.

Crucially, Carlow notched their second goal just three minutes into the second half. Former eircom League footballer Alan Kelly rose highest to punch a '45 delivery from Rea to the Wicklow net.

Gill, Paul Cronin and Jonathan Daniels replied for Hugh Kenny's side but even though Carlow lost wing back Hayden to a second bookable offence at the end of the third quarter, they never looked in trouble.

Losing Brennan had Carlow down to 13 men but they still ended the game on a high with goals from Rea and Carbery, who scored 2-03 between them.

Thomas Walsh cut through the Wicklow defence, playing a one-two with Carbery before setting Rea up for his strike. Moments later, a searching ball from ball played Carbery in for Carlow's fourth.

Shellshocked Wicklow regrouped to hit five points in a row from James Stafford, Gill (0-02), Ciaran Foley and Cronin, but Carlow still had the final say with a closing point in injury-time from Patrick Walsh.

CARLOW: J Brennan; T Smith, M Brennan, J Ryan; J Hayden, J Byrne, B English; P Walsh (0-01), T Walsh (1-00); B Carbery (1-01), S Rea (1-02, 1 sl), P Hickey (0-03 (2f)); A Kelly (1-00), M Carpenter (capt) (0-02), C Pender

Subs used: B Hannon for English (55 mins), P Fitzgerald for Pender (57)

ICKLOW: R Daniels; C Hyland, D Power, B Daly; K Manning, W Callaghan, T Burke; J Stafford (0-01), K Kelly; P Cronin (0-02), L Glynn (capt) (0-01), P Dalton; T Gill (0-03 (2f)), W O'Gorman (0-01), J Daniels (0-03 (3f))

ubs used: P Earls for Dalton (30 mins), C Foley (0-01) for Manning (43), G Duffy for Kelly (48), G Doyle for Callaghan (58)

Referee: Michael Collins (Cork).

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