Carlow shake off Murphy absence with thrilling 11-point win over 14-man Louth

Turlough O’Brien’s side will take on Kildare in the last eight of the Leinster SFC.

Carlow 2-17

Louth 0-12

Kevin O’Brien reports from O’Moore Park, Portlaoise

CARLOW ARE STILL rising, it seems.

After their epic journey through the qualifiers last summer, Turlough O’Brien’s side shook off the absence of the US-bound Brendan Murphy to pick up a huge 11-point Leinster SFC round 1 victory over Louth.

Carlow will take on Kildare in the provincial quarter-final, after slowly strangling the life out of the Wee County in Portlaoise.

Sean Murphy tackled by Andy McDonnell Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Paul Broderick will take most of the headlines with his 1-8, but this was the complete team performance from Carlow.

Louth lost Derek Maguire to a black-card early on and Ryan Burns to a red after an off-the-ball strike on a Carlow defender in the dying minutes. Pete McGrath’s side were unable to deal with the defensive structure in front of them and he was tactically outmanoeuvred by his opposite number.

Carlow found themselves trailing by 0-9 to 0-7 after 28 minutes, before hitting seven of the next eight scores to move 0-14 to 0-10 clear after 53 minutes. Then the goals arrived in the space of three minutes – through Broderick and Diarmuid Walshe – to put the game beyond doubt.

Carlow came with the same sort of shape as last summer, typically leaving just Paul Broderick up front when they defended. Their work-rate is often over-looked when Turlough O’Brien’s system is assessed, but they were ferocious in the tackle and died on every ball.

Their effective running game drew frees through Sean Murphy and Darragh Foley, which Broderick was happy to convert.

Darragh Foley tackled by Hugh Osborne Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

On this form, they’ll give Cian O’Neill’s Lilywhites plenty of headaches in the last eight.

Louth’s attack, which sparkled at stages in the first-half, looked completely void of ideas in the second period. They scored just three points in the final 42 minutes of the game and looked every bit the team who lost all seven of their games in Division 2 earlier this year.

Broderick lit up the opening half with his delightful long-range shooting clipping over five points, including three from play and one off his weaker right.

Shooting outside the defensive shell designed by Stephen Poacher was always going to be Louth’s path to victory and they started brightly.

Sean Gannon and Anthony Williams Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

William Woods and Gerard McSorley were accurate in front of the posts for Louth, clipping over five between them. But Carlow went in at half-time 0-10 to 0-9 in front after late a string of scores from Diarmuid Walshe, Broderick and Eoghan Ruth.

Carlow’s running game drew frees for the next five scores – four from Broderick and one belter from centre-back Daniel St Ledger on the left sideline.

Then the goals arrived through the excellent pair Walshe and Broderick, to put Carlow out of sight. Carlow roll on.

Scorers for Carlow: Paul Broderick 1-8 (0-5f), Diarmuid Walshe 1-2, Sean Murphy, Daniel St Ledger (0-1f), Darragh Foley, Eoghan Ruth, Lee Walker (0-1f) and Sean Gannon 0-1 each.

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Scorers for Louth: Gerard McSorley 0-3, William Woods and Tommy Durnin 0-2 each Declan Byrne, Hugh Osborne, James Craven and  Ryan Burns 0-1 each.


1. Robbie Molloy (Rathvilly)

7. Danny Moran (Tinryland)
3. Shane Redmond (Tinryland)
4. Conor Lawlor (Palatine)

5. Jordan Morrissey (Eire Og)
6. Daniel St Ledger (Kildavin/Clonegal)
9. Ciaran Moran (Paltine)

8. Sean Murphy (Fenagh)
12. Eoghan Ruth (Eire Og)

15. John Murphy (Grange)

10. Sean Gannon (Eire Og)
11. Darragh Foley (Kilbride)
21. Diarmuid Walshe (Tinryland)

14. Darragh O’Brien (Eire Og)
13. Paul Broderick (Tinryland)


2. Chris Crowley (Palatine) for Moran (31)
23. Lee Walker (O’Hanrahan’s) for Walshe (62)
25. Mark Rennick (Palatine) for Morrissey (62)
22. Kieran Nolan (Fighting Cocks) for Lawlor (67)
18. Brendan Kavanagh (Eire Og) for Moran (67)


1. Craig Lynch (Naomh Maritin)

3. Emmet Carolan (Newtown Blues)
2. Darren Marks (Ciceim Cuailgne)
4. James Craven (Na Gearltaigh)

5. Derek Maguire (Eire Og Dundealgan)
6. Bevan Duffy (Naomh Feichin)
7. Anthony Williams (Dreadnots Ceann Clochair)

8. Andy McDonnell (Newtown Blues)
9. Tommy Durnin (Na Hiartharaigh)

14. Conor Grimes (Emmiti An Ghleanna)

10. Ciaran Downey (Newtown Blues)
12. Gerard McSorley (Na Gaeil Dun Dealgan)
11. Declan Byrne (Naomh Mochta)

13. William Woods (St Finbarr’s)
15. Ryan Burns (Rugaire Baile Fiach)


18. Hugh Osborne (St Finbarr’s) for Maguire (black-card, 21)
22. Ronan Holcroft (Naomh Feichin) for Byrne (59)
23. Ross Nally (Newtown Blues) for Woods (61)

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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