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Dublin: 4°C Monday 19 April 2021

'We’re known by pundits who’ve never coached teams as a 'defensive team'. That's some sickener for them'

Carlow coach Steven Poacher has rubbished the idea of a second-tier championship after their huge victory on Sunday.

Carlow defeated Louth on the way to Sunday's victory, their first over Kildare since 1963.
Carlow defeated Louth on the way to Sunday's victory, their first over Kildare since 1963.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

CARLOW’S FOOTBALLERS WON five championship games from 2005 to 2016; they’ve now won five in 12 months.

Turlough O’Brien’s side are through to a Leinster semi-final after an almost flawless performance ensured they had seven points to spare against Kildare, proving that even the smallest counties can mix it up with some of the best.

Among all the calls for an introduction of a second-tier championship, the county with a population of just 57,000 and considerably less resources than some of the bigger counties, have been a breath of fresh air in a summer that is only beginning to gather pace.

One of the catalysts for Carlow’s success has been the work of coach Steven Poacher. The Down man has been part of the setup for a number of seasons and after Sunday’s game, he rubbished thoughts of a second-tier championship, a move that could see a county like Carlow taken out of the battle for Sam.

“We’re talking now behind the scenes of a ‘B’ championship and the boys who are peddling out this ‘B’ championship nonsense, like what in the name of god?! Are Kildare going to go into a ‘C’ championship after that today?” he told The42.

Carlow produced a clinical display that saw them register 16 scores from as many attempts on goal; they didn’t register a single wide throughout the game. Their high-octane game sees them get numbers back before breaking with pace and directness.

Carlow's Paul Broderick scores a free Forward Paul Broderick 11 points including nine frees in a near flawless performance. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

A late goal rounded off their first victory over Kildare in 65 years and Poacher quickly praised his team and described their approach to football.

“I’ll tell you what, that’s fantastic. There’s 2-14 and we’re known by pundits who’ve never coached teams in their lives as a ‘defensive team’. That is some sickener for them.

“We’re going to enjoy this. We’re going to the semi-final now against Laois. They’ll be massive favourites. We’re going to go and enjoy it. All the pressure is on them.

“You analyse their strengths, you analyse their weaknesses; but we don’t look at the opposition, we look at our own game,” he stressed.

For now, the people of Carlow will celebrate and look ahead to a semi-final against Laois in Croke Park on 10 June. Poacher suggested that the team will celebrate the success.

“That’s special there today. For the people of Carlow, that means an awful lot. I’m delighted, this will go on for hours and we’ll party tonight.”

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