A hat-trick from Paddy Boland and two goals from Conor Kehoe were the standout moments as Carlow ruthlessly disposed of Kildare in the opening round of the Joe McDonagh Cup at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday afternoon.
It’s the perfect start for Tom Mullally’s side and marks a remarkable turnaround in fortunes given they suffered a 14-point defeat to the same opponents two months ago in the league.
They put down a marker from the off when Boland grabbed his first goal with less than a minute on the clock and some supporters still taking their seats.
Points from Marty Kavanagh, Fiachra Fitzpatrick, James Doyle and Chris Nolan further cemented the Barrowsiders’ lead before a rasping finish from Boland made it 2-04 to 0-01 after ten minutes.
Kavanagh’s incredible shooting (0-12 in total) continued and when Boland completed his hat-trick, the game was all but over as the hosts moved into an astonishing 3-12 to 0-03 lead.
Points from Nolan, Doyle and Kehoe extended their advantage before a goal on the stroke of half-time from Kehoe left the scoreboard reading 4-13 to 0-05 at the interval.
Their excellent performance continued after the break as Kavanagh seamlessly notched over three frees and Kehoe hit the back of the net again as David Herity’s Lilywhites were left stunned by their severe drop off in form.
Kehoe, Kavanagh, Nolan and Doyle all pointed once more as the game entered a natural lull period before it came to an end to a rousing cheer by the delighted home crowd.
Next up for Carlow is a trip to Kerry, while Kildare must pick themselves up for their clash with Offaly in a repeat of this month’s league decider.