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'We rattled them and there wasn't the gap that was on the scoreboard in the end. It was very close'

Carlow gave Monaghan a huge fright in the qualifiers tonight.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

CARLOW’S RUN IN the qualifiers finally ran out of steam tonight as a late rally from Monaghan saw them over the line in a tense encounter at Netwatch Cullen Park.

They enjoyed wins over Wexford, London and Leitrim in the 2017 championship, but the Barrowsiders didn’t have quite enough in the tank to outlast Division 1 outfit Monaghan.

Carlow boss Turlough O’Brien felt his side’s inability to win a kick-out for a key spell in the final quarter ultimately led to their demise.

“It was a great performance but we’re gutted at the same time,” he said. “I just felt we had the winnings of the game. We got ahead in the second-half, we turned over a bit of ball on the attack and they went up the far end and scored.

“We couldn’t win a kick-out here for 10 minutes and they dominated the middle third of the pitch. They picked off their scores and that was the winning of the game. We rattled them and there wasn’t the gap that was on the scoreboard in the end. It was very close.”

In a cagey, tactical affair, Carlow defended with as many as 14 bodies behind the ball at times and frustrated Monaghan for long spells.

Carlow were ahead with 12 minutes to play before a late Fintan Kelly goal helped propel the Farney to a five-point victory.

“We had our homework done,” he added. “Any team can be beaten if you set up properly and you’re organised enough. It’s Monaghan’s day and best of luck to them.”

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