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The rising continues! Carlow through to Joe McDonagh Cup final while Meath suffer relegation

Carlow will take on Westmeath in the Joe McDonagh Cup final at Croke Park.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

CARLOW HAVE BOOKED their place in the Joe McDonagh Cup final, following a win over Westmeath, who they will face again in the Croke Park decider.

Kerry edged out their clash with Antrim to leave them finishing in third place on the table and narrowly missing out on a place in the final.

Meanwhile, Meath have suffered relegation to the Christy Ring Cup following a heavy defeat to Laois.

That result, combined with Antrim’s loss to Kerry, means that Laois have avoided both relegation and a relegation play-off, while Antrim must face the Christy Ring Cup winners.

Carlow 3-21 Westmeath 1-21 

Carlow put three goals past Westmeath on the way to securing a spot in the Joe McDonagh Cup final, with James Doyle hitting a hat-trick for his side.

He scored his first goal inside the opening 15 minutes to push Carlow into a three-point lead and they were just two points in front at half-time.

Doyle’s second goal arrived on the hour-mark after Carlow were awarded a penalty for a foul on Diarmuid Byrnes, and he completed his hat-trick with four minutes of normal time remaining.

The sides will renew their rivalry in the final, which will take place in Croke Park on 1 July.

Antrim 1-20 Kerry 2-19

Kerry rallied from 10 points down to score a narrow victory win over Antrim, who must now face off against the winners of the Christy Ring Cup in a relegation play-off.

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Antrim looked to be cruising inside the opening 20 minutes, but Kerry responded to outscore their Ulster opponents for the remainder of the half and cut the lead to just one at the break.

Shane Conway hit the equaliser shortly after the restart and it continued to be a tight affair until the closing 20 minutes when Kerry edged into a lead which they did not relinquish.

Meath 0-14 Laois 3-23

Goals from Ben Conroy, Charles Dwyer and Patrick Purcell propelled Laois to a comfortable win over Meath to secure their Joe McDonagh Cup status for 2019.

A defeat would have seen Eamonn Kelly’s side drop to the Christy Ring Cup, but the victory sees them claim fourth place on the table, while Meath go down.

Dwyer was the first to find the back of the net for the Royals on the half-hour mark to put them seven clear shortly before the break.

Laois added further goals after the restart to put the contest beyond doubt, with Purcell netting in the final five minutes of normal time before an injury-time goal from Conroy.

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