Carlow’s Allianz Hurling league opener against Kildare at the weekend has been summed up by KCLR analyst Terence Kelly as “a difficult day” for the county.
Speaking on Monday evening’s edition of Full Time, Kelly outlined that the absences in the Carlow senior hurling team, even at this stage of the season, are hard to fill.
“From that Carlow team that went up to Tullamore and gave Offaly a five-point beating”, in reference to Carlow’s Joe McDonagh victory over the midlands side last year, “went up to Antrim and came away with a one-point defeat, they were missing nine players”, Kelly told Martin Quilty on St. Brigid’s Day.
“Michael Doyle (corner back), Diarmuid Byrne (centre back), Jack Kavanagh, Marty Kavanagh, Chris Nolan, Conor Kehoe, James Doyle – and two have retired – Eddie Byrne and David English and another player, Sean Whelan, has emigrated.”
“It was difficult to fill up all those spaces. The young lads tried their utmost. Kildare were coming back from winning ten games on the trot before last Saturday and their tails are up. They’re going really, really well and David Herity has them flying. You have to be disappointed in a way but when you look at the things that went wrong, you have to understand that it was a difficult day for Carlow hurling.”
Kildare had gone into the break 0-10 to 0-6 up but would pull away in the second half, outscoring Carlow 0-15 to 0-5 to run out 0-25 to 0-11 winners at Netwatch Cullen Park.
Something of a bogey team in recent years, Carlow’s senior hurlers face a trip to Tralee this coming Sunday to take on Kerry in round two of this year’s Allianz Hurling League Division 2A.
The Kingdom put up good numbers against Derry to go top of the standings at the weekend following a 2-22 to 0-13 win on the road. In the group’s other game on Saturday, Offaly had three points to spare in a 0-21 to 0-18 defeat away to Down.