Sunday saw a first league defeat for Carlow as rivals Laois took home the spoils with a six-point win in Division 4 of the Allianz Football League.
Carlow suffered their first defeat in this year’s Allianz Football league when visitors Laois came to Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday afternoon last. The O’Moore men left with a six-point victory in what was a tumultuous affair at times, not helped by some “fussy” refereeing. Laois would finish with 13 men thanks to straight reds for Brian Byrne and Evan O’Caroll while Carlow would finish with 14 with Shane Buggy sent off for his role in an altercation with Byrne.
“I know people are saying it’s our discipline in terms of giving away frees, it’s probably more down to the referee being a little bit finicky”, manager Niall Carew told KCLR on Sunday.
“I felt that there were a couple of times that the same tackles were going in from the Laois defenders and the referee let it go and there was at least four in a row from us and we got no free.”
“The lads were so disappointed. Three of them were certainly great tackles. The referee keeps making this sign of lads shoving – I don’t know where that sign is coming from (but) it’s certainly disappointing to give away scores like that. The referee certainly didn’t miss the chances that we created and it’s our job to set up the team to create enough chances to win the game and we did that”, Carew told Brendan Hennessy after the game.
Stone wall penalty
While Laois were able to capitalise on the free-scoring chances won, a particular talking point in the second half was a “stone wall penalty” for Carlow, waved away from a perceived foot-block by the Laois goalkeeper.
“Niall Hickey – which I thought was a stone wall penalty – gathered the ball and the keeper comes out with a two-foot challenge in the air, hitting off the keeper, not alone was it a high challenge but we didn’t even get a forty-five and from that resulting kick out Laois went up and got a point so instead of been a penalty for us, which would have put us up by seven, they went straight up and brought it back to three.”
The team did give away some foolish free to allow Laois to score, Carew, thinks that can be worked on in training.
“Those things that are in our control. We will certainly look back on the video and make sure we can correct that for the next day. Our lads are very young, some lads are only playing their second year of inter-county football, maybe four of our six defenders. They’re all so disappointed and we feel like we’ve left an opportunity behind us.”
Listen back to the full interview on Scoreline Extra