Galway 1-24 Carlow 1-18
Galway were made sweat by a determined Carlow side at Pearse Stadium on Sunday but came out on top in unconvincing fashion by 6 points, 1-24 to 1-18.
In fairness, Galway never looked like losing but the manner of the performances will not have pleased manager Micheal Donoghue. He will know better performances will be required against Dublin, Wexford, and Kilkenny in their remaining round-robin games over the next few weeks.
There was little to separate the two sides in the opening couple of minutes. Colm Bonnar’s charges showed they are capable of mixing with the big teams in Leinster taking a two-point lead courtesy of a Marty Kavanagh free and a point from play from Seamus Murphy. Galway responded though with Niall Burke knocking over two frees, followed by a nice score from corner forward Davy Glennon. The sides continued to trade scores and it was 0-05 each after 15 minutes, but Galway would go on to hit five points in the next 13 minutes to take a strong foothold in the game. John Michael Nolan would register a Carlow point to stop the Galway dominance, but Galway through points from Jason Flynn, Cathal Mannion, Brian Concannon, and Conor Cooney were in the ascendency and took a 0-14 to 0-08 lead in at the short whistle.
Galway must have got a stern dressing down from the management as they came out all guns blazing. Indeed Conor Cooney had the ball in the back of the net after just 17 seconds. However, Carlow immediately replied with a goal of their own through corner forward Chris Nolan. The sides were going toe to toe now trading points. Carlow looked to be growing in confidence. Cathal Mannion knocked over two points from midfield, but Marty Kavanagh notched three from play for the Barrowsiders overall. Carlow didn’t come any closer than three points to Galway and they badly needed another goal which wouldn’t come. Conor Whelan fired over three points, Niall Burke (free) and Jason Flynn fired over as Galway ended up six point winners.
Carlow welcome Kilkenny to Netwatch Dr Cullen Park next weekend, while Galway can sit back and watch the 4 teams go head to head as Dublin host Wexford.
Galway: C Callanan; J Grealish (0-01), R Burke, A Harte; P Mannion (0-01), G McInerney, K Hussey; C Mannion (0-03), D Burke (0-01); N Burke (0-06f), J Flynn (0-03), B Concannon (0-01); C Whelan (0-04), C Cooney (1-03), D Glennon (0-01).
Subs: J Coen for Glennon, P Killeen for R Burke, J Hanbury for Hussey, S Loftus for Grealish.
Carlow: B Tracey; K McDonald, P. Doyle, M Doyle; E Nolan, D English, R Coady; J Kavanagh (0-01), S Whelan; J M Nolan (0-01), J Doyle (0-01), E Byrne; M Kavanagh (0-11,0-06f), S Murphy (0-02), C Nolan (1-02).
Subs: D Byrne for Whelan, T Joyce for J M Nolan, R Smithers for J Kavanagh, J Nolan for E Byrne.
Referee: C Lyons (Cork)