The Joe McDonagh Cup returned to Netwatch Cullen Park this weekend with David Herity leading his Kildare charges down Barrowside to take on Tom Mullally’s Carlow men.
The two met in the league at the start of February with Kildare posting a 25-point to 11 victory, adding to an impressive unbeaten streak that spanned to 15 games, winning 14 and drawing one. That came to an abrupt halt when Offaly managed to pip them to promotion in the league final by three points, so it was very much an instance of a wounded animal coming into cut-throat competition.
See also: Five-star Carlow blow Kildare out of the water to get off to perfect start in the Joe McDonagh Cup
Kildare, of course, were coming into the competition after capturing the Christy Ring last year, while Carlow are well accustomed to the competition at this stage, winning the inaugural final in 2018. That experience proved to be hugely beneficial with Carlow starting strong and never letting up ultimately winning the game 5-23 to 19 points.
Speaking after the game Kildare manager David Herity heaped praised on Tom Mullallys Barrowsiders;
“It puts you under pressure, everyone wants to get off to a winning start. The Joe McDonagh is essentially like the Munster Championship except it has relegation. Any team can beat any team on any given day. Offaly probably surprising Laois, Kerry going up to Down, which is never an easy thing, pulling off a win.”
“Carlow were outstanding, you can’t take anything away from that. They absolutely crucified us in the first half with goals. A lot of that came from our own mistakes, and on top of that they capitalized on the mistakes, they were absolutely ruthless.”
See also: Carlow’s top scorer Marty Kavanagh reflects on Kildare victory
“They had only five wides overall. They have top-quality forwards, six of them that started the game were absolutely outstanding.”
Listen back to the full interview on Scoreline Extra below: