Carlow lose out to Leitrim on a scoreline of 2-14 to 1-10 after a spirited performance from the Barrowsiders.
Carlow came into this game looking to restore a bit of pride in the jersey after what has been a disappointing League campaign to date.
Leitrim on the other hand had it all to play for and came to Carlow, chasing their 3rd win on the trot which would put them in a favorable position for promotion.
Colm Hultin of Carlow got the scoring underway at Netwatch Dr. Cullen Park, popping over a point from corner forward after 2 minutes.
Discipline has been an issue for Carlow in both codes throughout their prospective League campaigns and it would be crucial today that the footballers kept all 15 men on the pitch.
Despite this intent, Carlow still found themselves on the receiving end of a couple of yellow cards but managed to avoid seeing red.
After 7 minutes, the sides were level with 2 points apiece.
Keith Beirne of Leitrim hit the net after 9 minutes, putting Carlow on the backfoot.
However, it wasn’t long before a Carlow reply. Jamie Clarke was fouled inside the parallelogram and converted his penalty opportunity.
The 2 goals early on energized the crowd and made for a thrilling contest.
With 23 minutes on the clock, both teams had only registered one wide apiece which will have been pleasing for Carlow boss, Niall Carew.
Carlow’s defending was another very impressive aspect of their play in the first half, with the Barrowsiders hunting in pacts at all times.
Carlow led by one at halftime on a scoreline of 1-6 to 2-5.
Carlow maintained their pace and energy in the second half but struggled with getting points on the board.
Conor Reynolds hit the net 6 minutes after the resumption of play but Leitrim fans were gutted when the umpire signaled for a square ball.
Keith Berirne then leveled up proceedings with a point after 7 minutes.
This was then followed by Clarke winning Carlow another free to bring it back to level scoring.
Keith Beirne wasn’t long before putting his side ahead again and showing his prowess at center-forward.
Ross Dunphy wasn’t 5 minutes on the field when he gathered possession and charged through the defense with a goal on his mind but was denied by the keeper.
Center back for Leitrim, David Bruen was given a black card 15 minutes into the second half.
However, Carlow failed to make hay with the numerical advantage.
Carlow fans were relieved to see Darragh Foley register their 1st score of the 2nd half after 21 minutes.
Carlow continued to grind it out but didn’t reap the same rewards as they had in the 1st half.
Conversely, Carlow had 10 wides after 28 minutes in the 2nd half compared to their 1 wide in the opening half.
With 2 minutes of normal time left and trailing by 4 points, Carlow needed scores quickly.
They knew that they needed goals to seal it but 2 great opportunities were denied by Leitrim goalie, Darren Maxwell.
It was a case of too little, too late for Carlow who were outworked and outscored by their Connacht opponents.
Keith Beirne was the difference in the end, putting in a performance that would stand out in any division 1 encounter. His own personal tally amounted to 1-9 at the final whistle.
The final score in this round 5 Division 4 clash was Leitrim 2-14, Carlow 1-10