Carlow and Kerry played out a wild 0-21 draw in round two of the Joe McDonagh Cup in Austin Stack Park yesterday
Having made two changes before throw in, Carlow was pretty much unchanged from the team that destroyed Kildare the previous week as they made the journey to Tralee to take on the Kingdom. The Barrowsiders narrowly lost out to the home side in the Allianz League but many felt it was a game Carlow could have won.
Carlow started the game well and by the break, they enjoyed a four-point lead 0-11 to 0-7 and things continued to look good ten minutes into the second half when the visitors held a five-point lead. Kerry hit a purple patch and by the 55th minute was on level terms with Carlow. The visitors were coming down the home stretch in good sted and looked like they could make it back-to-back victories and probably would have been the case but for some outstanding goal-keeping from John B O’Halloran and some last-ditch defending from the Kerry defenders. Kerry made the most of a quick lineout in injury time when Michael Lehane slotted over the equalizer and the final whistle blew.
Speaking after the game manager Tom Mullally was disappointed his side didn’t get the win:-
“We’d be disappointed, I think the performance was we played well enough over the course of the seventy minutes, there were errors, and there were mistakes that cost us the win but I don’t think we looked like losing the game which is a credit to the players and a credit to their attitude over the course of the game”.
“I thought we defended well enough for most of the game there were obviously periods where they got scores that we’d rather we had defended better, but that’s the nature of today, it was a game where it toed and fried to a degree and we both came away with a share of the spoils which is a credit to both teams”
Laois will be the next team up for Carlow next weekend, it’s a home game for Mullally and his charges:
“It’s a huge challenge for us and today was likewise, we know that Kerry brings a very organized, hard aggressive challenge, and our lads will be sore over the next couple of days as I’m sure Laois will be the same but it’s the same for us all, that’s the challenge we have but we’ll embrace it and take it on”.
“I thought the players showed a lot of character, you can see that they’re pretty despondent at the minute which is good in terms of the expectation level. I think we responded pretty well when Kerry came back and leveled or got within a point and we added a couple of points to stretch it out again, it was closing out of the game in terms of winning it but we did well enough to get the draw out of the game”.
Carlow is sitting in second place behind Offaly on the table who had a big win over Kildare at the weekend also.