Tommy Dickson/INPHO Carlow's John Murphy celebrates with Uncle Arthur and Mark Rennick after defeating Wexford in last year's Leinster championship.
History makers

Carlow footballers make history by clinching promotion for the first time in over 30 years

Carlow will be playing in Division 3 next year.

CARLOW FOOTBALLERS HAVE made history this weekend, by securing promotion for the first time in 33 years following a victory over Antrim.

Turlough O’Brien’s charges have won all six of their Division 4 ties in this campaign, and today’s 1-12 0-12 result puts them five points clear of the Ulster side with a place in Division 3 secured for next year.

A second half goal from Darragh Foley proved to be the decisive score in the end, with his effort edging Carlow into a four-point lead just before the hour mark.

They later stretched their advantage to six points before Antrim clawed their way back to make for a tense final few minutes.

But the visitors managed to hold on for the victory and can look forward to Division 3 football in 2019.

Carlow last achieved this feat in 1985, when their promotion status was affected by the league format being restructured.

Division 4 was removed for the 1985/86 season, with a Division 3 North and Division 3 South coming in to replace it.

Laois are not in action this weekend but they are currently just two points adrift of Carlow and are in a strong position to snatch the other promotion spot.

Prior to today’s fixture, they were on the same number of points as Carlow at the summit of the table and the two sides are due to meet in the next round of the league.

Carlow are an emerging side and enjoyed a progressive championship season last year after they stunned Wexford in their first win in the Leinster SFC since 2011.

That victory put them in a quarter-final against Dublin where they impressed against Jim Gavin’s side before losing out 0-19 0-7 in O’Moore Park.

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