A last-minute penalty from talisman Marty Kavanagh secured a crucial point for Carlow in an intense and nail-biting Joe McDonagh Cup Round 3 clash against Laois on Saturday afternoon.
The result sees Carlow move onto four points from their opening three games and remain in a healthy position as they pursue a spot in the top-two.
Following an opening round dismantling of Kildare and a draw away to Kerry last weekend, an extension of their unbeaten record would see the home team stay ahead of their opponents in a tightly bunched table.
Both sides started fast with elder statesman Jack Kavanagh opening the scoring for Carlow with a brilliant long-distance point, but Laois were able to respond through Tomás Keyes.
Willie Maher’s side took control midway through the second half as the impressive Stephen Maher was clinical when free-taking opportunities came his way while Ross King was ruthless whenever he got space as he helped Laois take a deserved 0-06 to 0-12 lead.
Needing a reply, Carlow called on their all-time top scorer Marty Kavanagh to dispose of frees varying in range while fine scores from the St Mullins man and Chris Nolan cut into the considerable deficit.
Kavanagh maintained his high standards from dead ball situations as the half reached its conclusion but one final point from play from Paddy Purcell helped the visitors take a two-point advantage into half-time.
The turning point came at the start of the second half as Stephen Maher added a goal to some fine points from Martin Phelan and goalkeeper Enda Rowland to move his team into a 0-14 to 1-18 lead.
A key swing in momentum came when Fiachra Fennell was sent off for a high tackle that was deemed to be a serious enough offence for the corner back to receive his marching orders.
To their credit, Carlow used the extra man to their benefit and scores from Jack and Marty Kavanagh saw the Barrowsiders get back into the game as the margin became a single point with a close encounter entering its final quarter.
Yet another Kavanagh free drew the sides level and a stop-start affair that was filled with scores concluded in similar fashion, just without the same number of scores as both teams became tentative with so much on the line.
It was the visitors who finished stronger, and it looked as though they had sealed a memorable victory when Maher (2) and Rowland pointed three frees between them but Kavanagh made no mistake with a penalty at the death to snatch a second consecutive draw for the hosts and to keep them above their neighbours in the table.