After last years defeat opening round defeat to London hurting Carlow’s promotion hopes from the off, Niall Carew’s men were keen to get the victory in McGovern Park, Ruislip.
London took an early advantage with Aidan McLoughlin securing the first point of the game for the UK-based team. London doubled their lead, however, needed to wait 10 minutes before they doubled their tally, as Carlow struggled to get going. It would take 13 minutes for Carlow to get their first score on the board, as London seemed quite content to keep men behind the ball. Darragh Foley stood on a free right in front of the post, with the captain getting his county off the mark.
Niall Carew’s men got the next two scores to put them in the lead after 21 minutes before either side traded scores to leave the game four points a piece. London’s fourth point would be their last though as The Barrowsiders grew into the game approaching the whistle. Colm Hulton and Darragh Foley put three over to bring Carlow into the dressing room three points ahead at 0-07 0-04.
After half-time, Carlow continued their ascension, scoring another two in the opening minutes of the second half. The struggling London side looked to be frustrated with Carlow keeping possession, the frustration compounded by the next two points going in the favour of the away side. James Gallagher broke the duct for London on 54 minutes before Carlow was once again reduced to 14 men when Shane Clarke received a black card.
The next score was vital, because of how the game changed so dramatically last year with Carlow giving up a ten-point lead when reduced to 14 men. Thankfully Darragh Foley made it double digits for his county. London was not going to give up, Noel Maher stopping a Jordon Morrissey goal-scoring opportunity before they hit a purple patch with James Gallagher adding another two to his tally, making it a one-score game.
Ross Dunphy put some breathing room between the sides adding another score, with just five minutes remaining and Shane Clarke coming back onto the pitch. Darragh Foley forced the board to read 0-12 to 0-07, with London very much needing a goal to keep any hopes alive of salvaging something from this game.
Nothing was to be salvaged though, with Carlow traveling back to the Emerald Isle with all the points after a 0-13 to 0-09 win