Allianz NHL Round 2
Carlow Senior Hurlers made it two wins from two after a workmanlike performance saw off a spirited Meath outfit at Netwatch Cullen Park.
The home side were fancied to win comfortably and although the scoreline may suggest this, at times it was far from that as Meath got stuck in.
Carlow’s first foray's on goal yielded points from Chris Nolan and Conor Kehoe in as many minutes and by the 10 minute mark it was 5-1 as Mouse Kavanagh, Kehoe and John Michael Nolan got in on the act.
Meath were hassling and harrying well early on and indeed for the most part throughout, and their perseverance was rewarded as firstly Seanie Martin pointed and then they were level at 1-2 to 0-5 as Nicky Potterton neatly finished past the advancing Brian Tracey.
Their joy was short lived however as a minute later it was the turn of John Michael Nolan to find the net. Mouse Kavanagh was involved in it and was the supplier of two more points along with a James Doyle effort and 20 minutes in it was Carlow who led 1-8 to 1-3.
Chris Nolan is looking razor sharp at the minute and he was to hit 4 points from play between this juncture and half time - the burst of pace out of the blocks a noticeable advancement in Chris’s already magnificent skills locker.
At half time Carlow led 2-14 to 1-7. The second goal coming after Meath’s keeper Charlie Ennis fumbled a dropping ball, ‘Mouse’ on hand to tap home.
After half time was arguably Meath’s best spell. Chris Nolan opened the scoring but the Royal’s hit 5 in a row via Martin, Potter, James Toher and a brace from the impressive Padraig O’Hanrahan.
We were now at 2-15 to 1-12, Meath just 6 down and Carlow needed to shake themselves. They knew it too in fairness and when they did they found scores from James Doyle, Mouse and JMN.
The ever improving Conor Kehoe then busted out the Royal flush with Carlow’s third goal and they were pretty much home and hosed at 3-18 to 1-13 on 59 minutes.
They were dealt a slight setback when ‘Mouse’ was dismissed on a second yellow card, but substitute Jon Nolan assumed leadership on the scoreboard with a brace in the last 10 minutes, with brother Chris and Scott Treacy finishing Carlow's tally.
From Meath’s perspective it was fitting perhaps that O’Hanrahan got their last three scores as he was lively throughout along with Potterton.
Carlow now face Laois in O’Moore Park on Saturday 24th of February with both sides approaching it unbeaten.
A tasty start and an even tastier clash to come!
Carlow: Marty ‘Mouse’ Kavanagh (1-6, 0-4f, 0-2 ‘65), Chris Nolan (0-6) John Michael Nolan 1-2, Conor Kehoe 1-2, Jon Nolan 0-2, James Doyle 0-2, Scot Treacy 0-1, Jake Doyle 0-1
Meath: Padraig O’Hanrahan (0-10, 0-7f), Nicky Potterton 1-1, Seanie Martin 0-3, James Toher 0-2.
Carlow: Brian Tracey; Sean Joyce, Dion Wall, Niall Bolger; Paul Doyle, Kevin McDonald, Tony Lawlor; Fiachra Fitzpatrick, James Doyle; John ML Nolan, Conor Kehoe, Marty Kavanagh; Jake Doyle, Chris Nolan, Richie Coady.
Subs: Jon Nolan, Jack McCullagh, Scott Treacy, Conor Lawlor, Paidi O’Se