CROKE Park was the venue for another historic day for Carlow GAA on Sunday when the county’s senior hurlers beat Westmeath by 2-26 to 1-24 in the inaugural Joe McDonagh Cup final.
Joint captains Richard Coady and Diarmuid Byrne climbed the steps of the Hogan Stand to accept the silverware and looking on was another proud Carlow man, Tom Ryan, who has recently taken over as director general of the GAA.
By winning the new tier two competition, Carlow will now compete in the top grade next year, taking on Galway, Kilkenny, Wexford and Dublin in the Leinster SHC. Before then, they have another massive challenge on their hands when they take on Limerick in the All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday (7pm).
“It is the end of two years of hard work,” said manager Colm Bonnar, “but, having said that, it is the start of a new horizon. We are delighted. You can’t beat winning!”