Carlow’s Joe McDonagh Cup campaign has ended in a disappointing manner with a 1-21 – 2-13 defeat away to Westmeath.
Carlow started the game sluggishly and quickly fell behind by three points, 0-04 – 0-01. However, Colm Bonnar’s side equalised through a John Michael Nolan goal and took the lead for the first time in the game with an Edward Byrne point from play. Carlow continued to play well until the water break and points from Chris Nolan, who was tasked with taking frees in the absence of Marty Kavanagh, left the score at 1-05 – 0-06 in favour of Carlow after the first quarter.
Westmeath began the period after the water break far stronger than their opponent’s. Points from play from midfielder Cormac Boyle, who scored three points in the first-half, and an Aonghus Clarke ’65 left the score at 1-09 – 1-07 as the referee blowed his whistle for half-time.
Despite an early Chris Nolan free, Westmeath proved far too strong for a much-changed Carlow outfit. The importance of the reliable Marty Kavanagh was glaringly obvious to all in attendance when Nolan and Kevin McDonald both missed scoreable frees early in the second-half. Carlow stayed in the game after the water break with McDonald keeping them within touching distance of the home side on a scoreline of 1-13 – 1-09.
Westmeath stretched out their lead, scoring eight of the next ten points to make it 1-21 – 1-11. Carlow responded with a point and a consolation goal from corner forward John Nolan. However, it was too little too late from a Carlow point of view as Westmeath ran out 1-21 – 2-13 victors in the final game of the Joe McDonagh Cup campaign for both of these sides.