Carlow full-forward Paddy Boland scored four goals from open play as Tom Mullally’s men recorded their first NHL Division 2A while consigning northern visitors Down to their third straight league defeat, before a meagre attendance at Netwatch Cullen Park.
t was an occasion in which Marty Kavanagh became Carlow hurlers all-time top scorer as he needed only three of the 13 points he recorded to surpass the record held by his St Mullins clubmate, Pat Coady.
Paul Sheehan pointed a 2nd minute Down free but it was the only time the Mourne County led as Carlow hit the front on four minutes when Boland struck for his first goal, after Down ‘keeper had made a superb save to deny him a certain goal seconds earlier.
Carlow took control of the game with the accuracy of Kavanagh from frees, another Boland goal and four great points out of play from right half forward giving the home county a handsome half-time lead of 2-12 to 0-8.
The scores continued to flow in the second half as Mullally’s side built an unassailable lead, with Boland finding the Down net in the 56th and 58th minutes, putting the Barrowsiders in completely in control.
Paul Sheehan, the Ballycran clubman and his side’s best player, was accurate from placed balls, ending up with 0-8 while second half substitute Stuart Martin provided a late scoring cameo of 1-1 which put more respectability on the scoreboard. But overall Ronan Sheehan’s side was outclassed.
Carlow midfielder James Doyle stormed into the game late on, recording a total of 1-2 from play overall.
Scorers – Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-13, 0-12f, P Boland 4-0, J Doyle 1-2, J Nolan 0-5, J Treacy, C Kehoe, F Fitzpatrick, J Doyle 0-1 each. Down: P Sheehan 0-10, 0-9f, S Martin 1-1, P McCrickard 0-3, C Egan, M Fisher, R McCusker, C Taggart, D Jordan 0-1 each.
Carlow: B Treacy 6; P Doyle 6, C Lawlor 5, J McCullagh 7; P O’Shea 6, D Byrne 6, T Lawlor 6; F Fitzpatrick 8, J Doyle 8; J Nolan 9, M Kavanagh 9, F O’Toole 5; J Tracey 5, P Boland 9, C Kehoe 5. Subs: Jake Doyle for J Tracey (61); R Coady for Nolan (65); J Kavanagh for P Doyle (65); S Tracey for Kehoe (69); John Doyle for Nolan (69).
Down: S Keith 6; J Doran 6, B Trainor 6, T Murray 5; C Taggart 6, T Prenter 7, N McFarland 5; M Conlon 6, J McManus 6; L Savage 5, P Sheehan 8, P Óg McCrickard 7; M Fisher 6, C Egan 6, M McCusker 5. Subs: R McCrickard 6 for Doran (h/t); S Martin for Fisher (h/t); F Turpin 5 for McCusker (h/t); D Mallon 6 for Murray (h/t); T McGrattan for Mallon (55).
Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).