Thirteen man Carlow hung on for a draw in a rip roaring National League encounter with Antrim at Newatch Cullen Park yesterday.
It was a game in which the sides seemed inseparable from the offset although Carlow will look back on this game with an element of regret after conceding two very soft goals – one coming in either half.
There was some real quality in this game and Diarmuid Byrne, Seamus Murphy and Eddie Byrne knocked over the pick of Carlow’s scores in the opening half, but Niall McKenna flagged two fine scores of his own from under the stand.
Antrim’s goal came after a series of errors by Carlow and Neal McAuley capitalised by dispossessing Brian Treacy and knocking the ball in and over the line.
Paul Coady was in great form for Carlow on placed balls and his accuracy kept Carlow’s noses in front at half time as they led by 0-13 to 1-7.
In fact Carlow just about held the lead narrowly for the lions share of the game but they were pegged back in the last quarter when Ciaran Clarke caught the home defence napping on the goal line and he fired a Paul Flynn like shot to the net to swing the momentum their way.
Carlow lost Richard Coady to a straight red card with five minutes of normal time left for an off the ball incident with Eoghan Campbell.
And when Dion Wall followed on a second yellow card moments later you kind of felt that Antrim might nick this.
But Carlow held out and scores from Chris Nolan and Paul Coady earned the home side a draw.
Carlow: Brian Treacy; Dion Wall, Paul Doyle, Gary Bennett; Diarmuid Byrne (0-2), David English, Richard Coady; Kevin McDonald, Jack Kavanagh (0-2); John Michael Nolan, Paul Coady (0-9, 7f, 1 ’65’), Eddie Byrne (0-3); Denis Murphy (0-1), Seamus Murphy (0-2), Craig Wall.
Subs: Marty Kavanagh (0-1), Chris Nolan (0-1); James Doyle, Sean Whelan