Carlow left it until the dying seconds of the game to pull a point out of the fire, but it could prove vital in the makeup of Division 2A heading towards the conclusion of the regular league fixtures on Sunday week.
A Chris Nolan sideline ball in the fifth minute of second-half injury time security a vital point for Carlow in a game they’ll feel they should have won having had a five or six-point cushion at one stage in play.
Now that everyone has points on the board in Division 2A, its outcome isn’t cut-and-dry.
What comes next?
Per this year’s structure, the top team goes straight into the league final, with second and third contesting a league semi-final.
As things stand, that would put Kerry through to the league final, with Down and Westmeath battling it out to face Kerry.
The final round of the league proper takes place on Sunday 20 March and will see first play second, Kerry play Down, to decide first and second place.
Should Carlow beat Meath and Kildare beat Westmeath, then it comes down to scoring difference between Carlow and Kildare to see who finishes in third place. Carlow’s scoring difference is eight points better off than Kildare at the moment, so if both sides claim wins next time out and Kildare don’t improve on their scoring by nine points, then Carlow are looking well to progress.
Likewise, a win for Carlow and a draw between Carlow and Westmeath would put Carlow through on a head-to-head basis having beaten Westmeath in the league already.
Of course, a win for Westmeath and it’s all moot as they’ll finish in third place.
On the other side of permutations, Carlow could be beaten by Meath, jumping the Royals to fourth, dropping Carlow to fifth.
Should Kildare overcome Westmeath then we would see Kildare progress to the semi-finals with Carlow stuck to the foot of the table on the back of a defeat to Meath, meaning straight relegation to Division 2B.
Or, Carlow beat Meath to move to five points, but Westmeath beat Kildare – no league semi-final but no relegation either. Even a drawn game against Meath is enough to stave off relegation for Carlow albeit missing out on a place in the league semi-finals.
If ever there was a time for Carlow to pick up two more points in the league, it’s Sunday week against Meath. Throw-in for that game at Pairc Tailteann, Navan, is set for 12.30pm.