HomeFootballAntrim retain Leinster status following victory over Carlow

Antrim retain Leinster status following victory over Carlow

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The Saffrons simply had to avoid defeat and although they could only fully breathe easy in the closing minutes, they were value for the win overall.

Carlow enjoyed the better of it early but the Antrim goal threat was apparent and Cunning was played in to bury after eight minutes to tie it up.

Carlow responded with one of their own as the pace of Chris Nolan saw him get clear and finish from an angle.

Nolan, Kavanagh, James Doyle and Conor Kehoe were all finding their range as they made the most of the wind advantage.

Antrim would respond well with James McNaughton thumping home after 20 minutes and four later, Cunning buried a penalty that also led to a black card for Paul Doyle for what was deemed a goalscoring opportunity.

Carlow again replied with three of the next four points as all six starting forwards had now registered, but Antrim finished the half well with Keelan Molloy clipping them into a 3-9 to 1-14 lead at the half.

A coming together just at the short whistle would ultimately lead to a red card for Chris Nolan at the start of the second half as Carlow’s task got tougher.

Antrim began to take charge again with long-range scores, but Carlow grabbed a lifeline on 55 minutes as Martin Kavanagh squeezed a shot over the line to level again.

Antrim hit back through Conor Boyd and then a goal of their own as two minutes later, Seaan Elliott teed up McNaughton to crack home.

Carlow kept in touch through Kavanagh, but Antrim were finding the answers as they pulled away and saw it out to retain their status.

Scorers for Antrim: C Cunning 2-7 (1-0 pen, 0-6f, 0-2 65), J McNaughton 2-3, K Molloy 0-3, N O’Connor 0-2, G Walsh 0-2 (2f), S Elliott 0-1, P Burke 0-1, N Elliott 0-1, C McCann 0-1, C Boyd 0-1

Scorers for Carlow: M Kavanagh 1-11 (8f, 2 65s), C Nolan 1-1, J Doyle 0-3, C Kehoe 0-3, JM Nolan 0-1, C Whelan 0-1, J Kavanagh 0-1, K McDonald 0-1

ANTRIM: R Elliott 7; C Boyd 8, R McCloskey 7, P Burke 8; G Walsh 7, N O’Connor 8, E Campbell 7; M Bradley 7, K Molloy 8; N Elliott 7, J McNaughton 8, N McKenna 7; C Cunning 7, C McCann 7, S Elliott 7.

Subs: P Boyle 7 for M Bradley (62), J McLaughlin 7 for C McCann (64), C McGarry 7 for S Elliott (70+2), R McMullan 7 for N Elliott (70+3), F McCurry 7 for J McNaughton (70+4)

CARLOW: B Tracey 7; P Doyle 7, D Wall 7, N Boland 7; J Kavanagh 7, K McDonald 8, T Lawlor 7; J McCullagh 7, P Boland 7; C Nolan 6, C Whelan 7, M Kavanagh 8; C Kehoe 8, JM Nolan 7, James Doyle 8.

Subs: F Fitzpatrick 7 for J Kavanagh (47), D Murphy 7 for JM Nolan (65), R Coady 7 for C Whelan (70+1)

REFEREE: J Owens (Wexford)

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