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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 22 January, 2019

James Doyle hits four goals as Carlow claim Christy Ring honours

They beat Antrim by 11 points in Croke Park.

Carlow players celebrate after the game Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Carlow 5-23

Antrim 4-15

By Daragh Small

FOUR GOALS FROM James Doyle helped Carlow claim the Christy Ring Cup with an emphatic 11-point win over Antrim in a high-scoring final at Croke Park.

Colm Bonnar’s side will return to the Liam MacCarthy Cup after their first Christy Ring triumph since they won back-to-back titles in 2008 and ’09.

Amazingly Ciaran Clarke scored 2-9 but still ended up on the losing side, while Eoghan Campbell and Neil McManus also found the net. Campbell was then sent off late on.

Carlow held a 3-12 to 1-7 lead at half-time and Martin Kavanagh slotted another goal as they finished victors in the sunshine at headquarters.

Carlow began well and two quick scores from Denis Murphy and Paul Coady put them 0-2 to 0-0 in front by the fifth minute.

Clarke opened his and Antrim’s account in the seventh minute and when he scored his third point they led for the first time in the 14th minute.

David English Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

But the game turned when Eddie Byrne made a run through the heart of the Antrim defence, offloaded to Doyle, and he blasted to the back of the Chris O’Connell’s goal.

Doyle piled on the pressure in the closing stages of the first half and finished with 3-1 to his name — he added further strikes in the 29th and 34th minutes.

Campbell’s goal on the half-hour kept Antrim in touch but despite Clarke’s fifth free before half-time they trailed 3-12 to 1-7 at the break.

It was a rip-roaring start to the second half and after two John Michael Nolan points Antrim hit their second goal through Clarke.

He continued to tap over the frees, however Martin Kavanagh blasted to the Antrim net in the 47th minute — sensationally McManus and Clarke pulled goals back but Carlow held on. They now also advance to play Laois in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

Colm Bonnar celebrates with his players after the game Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Earlier today, Derry claimed Nicky Rackard Cup honours with a 3-23 to 2-15 win against Armagh, while Warwickshire defeated Leitrim by 0-17 to 0-11 in the final of the Lory Meagher Cup.

Scorers for Carlow: J Doyle 4-1, D Murphy 0-11 (0-11f), M Kavanagh 1-2 (0-1f), D Byrne 0-3, J M Nolan 0-3, P Coady 0-1, R Kelly 0-1, C Nolan 0-1.

Scorers for Antrim: C Clarke 2-9 (0-7f, 0-1 65), N McManus 1-2 (1-1f), E Campbell 1-0, P Shiels 0-1, P McGill 0-1, C McKinley 0-1, D McKernan 0-1.


1. James Carroll (Erins Own)

2. Alan Corcoran (Erins Own)
3. Paul Doyle (St Mullins)
4. Gary Bennett (St Mullins)

5. Richard Coady (Mount Leinster Rangers)
6. David English (Ballinkillen)
7. Richard Kelly (Mount Leinster Rangers)

8. Jack Kavanagh (St Mullins)
9. Diarmuid Byrne (Mount Leinster Rangers)

10. John Michael Nolan (Naomh Eoin)
11. Martin Kavanagh (St Mullins)
12. James Doyle (St Mullins)

13. Denis Murphy (Mount Leinster Rangers)
14. Eddie Byrne (Mount Leinster Rangers)
15. Paul Coady (Mount Leinster Rangers)


24. Kevin McDonald (Mount Leinster Rangers) for J Kavanagh (43)
17. Chris Nolan (Mount Leinster Rangers) for Coady (46)
25. Seamus Murphy (St Mullins) for D Byrne (58)
22. Jack Murphy (Mount Leinster Rangers) for D Murphy (69)
26. Sean Whelan (Ballinkillen) for Doyle (72)


1. Chris O’Connell (Loughiel Shamrocks)

2. Simon McCrory (Naomh Eoin)
3. John Dillon (Armoy Glen Rovers)
4. Stephen Rooney (St Paul’s)

5. Ciaran Johnson (Naomh Eoin)
6. Paddy Burke (Ruairi Og)
7. Aaron Graffin (Ruairi Og)

8. Conor McKinley (Cu Chullain)
9. Paul Shiels (Cu Chullain)

10. Neal McAuley (McQuillan’s)
11. Conor McCann (Kickhams Creggan)
12. Eoghan Campbell (Ruairi Og)

13. Conor Johnston (Naomh Eoin)
14. Neil McManus (Ruairi Og)
15. Ciaran Clarke (McQuillan’s)


18. Niall McKenna (Sarsfields) for McAuley (26)
21. Daniel McKernan (Sarsfields) for McCann (half-time)
17. Matthew Donnelly (McQuillan’s) for Dillon (51)
26. Conal Cunning (Cu Chullain) for Johnston (68).

Referee: Mike Murtagh (Westmeath).

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About the author:

Daragh Small

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