It was a promising year for the Carlow senior football side as they secured a memorable Tailteann Cup victory and put in some fine performances.
Here, we look back on a championship campaign that began in Leinster and ended in the inaugural competition.
Leinster Senior Football Championship Preliminary Round – Louth 5-10 to 0-10 Carlow (Pairc Tailteann, April 24th)
It was to be a sobering return to championship action for Niall Carew’s side as they were easily dispatched by an impressive Louth team.
Goals proved to be the winning of the game for Mickey Harte’s men as Sam Mulroy (2), Tommy Durmin, Conor Grimes and Ciaran Byrne all found the back of the net on a tough day for the Barrowsiders.
Captain Darragh Foley and Ross Dunphy were the shining lights for Carlow as they found themselves out of the provincial championship.
Their season wasn’t over however, with a new challenge lying ahead.
Tailteann Cup Round 1 – Carlow 1-12 to 1-10 Tipperary (Netwatch Cullen Park, May 29th)
Carlow’s first venture into the Tailteann Cup would bring with it Niall Carew’s best day as manager of the county.
Playing host to the 2020 Munster champions Tipperary, the hosts were not heavily fancied by many punters despite having a strong home crowd behind them.
That would prove crucial as the game wore on with an incredible atmosphere helping the players get over the line and secure a famous result.
Two points each from Ross Dunphy, Jamie Clarke, Colm Hulton and Eoghan Ruth helped them nudge ahead while a brilliantly taken goal from Niall Hickey proved to be the winning of the match as they came out on top by a single score.
Cue jubilant scenes at the final whistle as Carew claimed his first championship victory and endeared himself to any Carlow supporters who remained unsure about the manager’s credentials.
Tailteann Cup Quarter-Final – Carlow 2-13 to 1-21 Westmeath (Netwatch Cullen Park, June 5th)
Their 2022 story came to a valiant end against eventual winners Westmeath in what was yet another entertaining affair involving the Barrowsiders.
While the Lake County’s quality eventually showed, goals from Niall Hickey and Josh Moore along with five frees from Darragh Foley helped Carlow make the game highly competitive in front of another boisterous crowd in Carlow town.
John Heslin starred for their Leinster opponents as he scored 1-09 in a season where he would surpass Dessie Dolan as the county’s all-time top scorer.
Luke Loughlin (0-04) and Sam McCartan (0-03) were in fine form also as they ended Carlow’s dreams.
With a Leinster championship game with Wicklow to look forward to in 2023 and a National Football League campaign that may bring with it a promotion push, it promises to be an exciting New Year for the Carlow senior football team.