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Carlow have a chance to secure a place in the Joe McDonagh Cup Final with a game to spare this weekend. A victory against Kerry would see them leapfrog the kingdom in the standings. The Leinster side have a game in hand against the top two teams. As a result, Kerry need a win here to keep themselves in with a chance of making the final. Currently, they are a point in arrears to Antrim who defeated them last weekend. Kerry vs Carlow takes place on Saturday afternoon.
Kerry conceded three first-half goals to the northerners which proved to be critical. In contrast, they failed to take goal chances of their own. For example, a Shane Conway penalty miss left Fintan O’Connor’s side with too much to do.
In fairness, Kerry started the second-half very well. But, a ten-point deficit at half-time was too much to overturn, especially when Antrim kept the scoreboard ticking. Fionan MacKessy was shown the line in injury time for Kerry but the game was effectively over by then.
A week previously, Carlow edged out Meath to put them in a very strong position. The 2018 winners had drawn their opener with Antrim, making it a decisive game. Likewise, Meath needed a win. The Ulster team were given a huge boost when Marty Kavanagh scored a goal from the penalty spot. By half-time, Carlow had a six-point lead.
However, they couldn’t put their opponents to bed in the second half. Luckily, Meath’s accuracy let them down in the third quarter and Antrim remained ahead. Despite an injury time scare, Carlow prevailed. Now, they come into this game refreshed after a week’s absence.
Last year, Carlow were relegated from the Senior Championship after finishing last in Leinster. Colm Bonnar will be eager to guide his team straight back to the top tier.
With this being Kerry’s last chance to earn a place in the final, the home draw will suit them. On the other hand, Carlow know that a win here doesn’t end their charge. But, Bonnar’s side would rather seal their fate as soon as possible.
Bookmakers have Carlow at slight 11/10 favourites. Kerry are priced at 11/10 and a draw is 8/1.
The draw looks a great bet at 8/1
Kerry – 1 (GK) Martin Stackpool Martin de Stacapul Leac Sna 2 John Buckley Seán Ó Buachalla Leac Sna 3 Tomás O’Connor Tomás O Conchúir Na Níallaigh Crotta 4 Eric leen Eric Ó Laighin Naomh Breandánaigh 5 Micheal Leane Micheál Ó Laighin Baile Ui Thaigh 6 Jason Diggins Iasán Ó Duigín An Tochar 7 Brendan O’Leary Breandán Ó Laoire Mainistir ó dTorna 8 Paudie O’Connor Padraig Ó Conchúir Cill Mhaoile 9 Shane Nolan Seán Ó Nuaillain Na Níallaigh Crotta 10 Brandon Barrett Brandon Baróid An Tochar 11 Daniel Collins Daniel Ó Coileán Cill Mhaoile 12 Colm Harty Colm Ó hArthaigh An Tochar 13 Shane Conway Seán Ó Conhbuí Leac Sna 14 Mikey Boyle Micheál Ó Baoil Baile Dubh 15 Pádraig Boyle Pádraig Ó Baoil Baile Dubh 16 (GK) John B O Halloran Seán Breandán Ó hAllurán Cill Mhaoile
Carlow – Brian Tracey, Micheál Doyle, Paul Doyle, Gary Bennett, Ger Coady, David English, Richard Coady, Jack Kavanagh, Aaron Amond, Diarmuid Byrne, Jon Nolan, Edward Byrne, Martin Kavanagh, Kevin McDonald, Chris Nolan
Joe McDonagh Cup Round 4: Kerry vs Carlow, Saturday, 21st November, 13:30 (Austin Stack Park).
— Carlow GAA (@Carlow_GAA) November 17, 2020