By Tony Ryan
WITH 59 minutes played in this fifth round Division 4 game at Fraher Field, Dungarvan on Sunday, Carlow look destined to win their second brace of points when sub Daniel St Ledger fisted the ball into the Waterford net to extend the visitors’ advantage to six points: 2-14 to 1-11.
Turlough O’ Brien’s charges had this game in their grasp, much as they did in previous league games against Limerick and Antrim.
However, once again they could not close out the victory with the hosts coming back to secure a share of the points.
Their cause was not helped by a 62nd-minute black card to goal scorer John Murphy and at the death the Carlow men were fortunate to escape with a draw.
Benji Whelan’s Waterford team kept Carlow scoreless for a full 17 minutes after St Ledger’s goal and but for time running out, a second Deise win of the league looked a possibility.
In front of a sparse announced attendance of 192 patrons, Waterford won the toss and elected to play into the strong wind. It looked like a wise decision for most of the half with the teams level come the 33rd minute: Waterford 1-5 Carlow 0-8. Then a late Carlow flurry of scores gave the Barrowsiders a substantial 1-10 to 1-5 advantage at the short whistle.
The visitors were first to work the scoreboard when their top scorer Paul Broderick dissected the posts after just 54 seconds of play before Donie Fitzgerald opened Waterford’s account.
Throughout the first quarter, Carlow’s forwards were first to the ball and Broderick regained their lead in the ninth minute. Though the hosts were enjoying their fair share of possession, Carlow took a firm grip of proceedings on the scoreboard and a brace of Paul Broderick frees and contributions from Sean Gannon from a mark and Darragh Foley from play had Turlough O’Brien’s charges in front by 0-6 to 0-2 after 18 minutes.
Waterford responded well and when Darragh Corcoran was fouled in the 20th minute, Jason Curry kicked over the first of his seven frees.
Jason Curry (free) and Paul Broderick (45) traded points before the latter was off target for the first time from a placed ball having previously accounted for all but two of the visitors’ seven scores.
Waterford received a timely boost in the 29th minute when wing back Dermot Ryan finished the ball to the net. Conor Murray gave the Deise a 30th-minute lead after a fine team move to make it 1-5 to 0-7.
Curry’s score was to be Waterford’s last of the half while Carlow finished off with 1-3 without reply.
Darragh Foley regained Carlow’s advantage with a brace of frees before a short kick-out put the Waterford defence under pressure and John Murphy finished the ball to the net. Firstly it looked as if the referee had indicated a penalty with Murphy being hauled down by Waterford goalie Paudie Hunt, but he subsequently let the goal stand: 1-9 to 1-5.
Three minutes of added time were played at the end of which Paul Broderick brought his first-half tally to six points to make it 1-10 to 1-5 at the interval.
The home side didn’t have any first-half wide while Carlow, on the other hand, had noticeably sent six attempts astray.
Brian Looby was introduced for the second half by Waterford and early on Carlow increased their lead with a further free from Paul Broderick. The hosts required a score and Donie Fitzgerald obliged in the 37th minute. Playing with the wind, Benji Whelan’s men needed to make use of it to get back into the match and a brace of frees by Jason Curry, after Sean Gannon and Shane Redmond had picked up yellow cards, left three points between them on 42 minutes.
Eoghan Ruth restored a four-point advantage shortly afterwards and the following five minutes of play seemed to indicate the visitors could cope with Waterford’s second-half rally.
Darragh Foley could have kicked a second Carlow goal in the 45th minute but when Paul Broderick contributed his eighth score three minutes later, the Barrowsiders maintained control at 1-13 to 1-8.
Captain Conor Murray led for the Déise throughout and his brace of excellent scores from play in the 49th and 51st minutes and a fifth free by Jason Curry made it 1-13 to 1-11.
However Waterford would have to dig even deeper to get back on terms as Carlow again stretched their lead with a Broderick free in the 58th minute. Then what looked like the game’s defining score came when sub Daniel St Ledger fisted home a goal after a defence-splitting run by Éire Óg’s Sean Gannon.
Ahead by 2-14 to 1-11, Carlow seemed to have finally finished off any hopes of a Déise wind-assisted rally but instead of dropping their heads, Waterford drove on.
Darragh Corcoran was dragged down on route to goal in the 62nd minute for which John Murphy received a black card. Jason Curry pointed the resultant free and then in the 66th minute a sweeping move saw Sean O’Donovan finish to the Carlow net.
Carlow’s lead was now reduced to two points before full-back Darragh O Cathasaigh ventured up to the other end to contribute a fine score from a difficult angle in the fourth and final minute of the announced added time.
Two more minutes were played by referee Brendan Griffin and Jason Curry showed his mettle under pressure with an equalising score from a free from distance.
Carlow were well served by Paul Broderick at the Dungarvan venue with Shane Redmond, Ray Walker, Sean Gannon, John Murphy and Darragh Foley also catching the eye.
Waterford: Paudie Hunt; Aaron Jones, Darach O Cathasaigh (0-1), Michael Kiely; Robbie Flynn, Seanie O’Donovan (1-0), Dermot Ryan (1-0); Donie Fitzgerald (0-2); Jason Curry (0-7, frees); Dylan Guiry, Conor Murray (0-3), Jason Gleeson; Brian Lynch (0-1), Darragh Corcoran, Stephen Curry. Subs: Brian Looby for J Gleeson (h/t), James Beresford for S Curry (64 mins).
Carlow: Robbie Molloy; Liam Roberts, Shane Redmond, Josh Moore; Conor Doyle, Ray Walker, Ross Dunphy; Sean Murphy, Eoghan Ruth (0-1); John Murphy (1-0), Darragh O’Brien, Sean Gannon (0-1), Lee Walker, Paul Broderick (0-9, 0-5 frees, 0-1 45), Darragh Foley (0-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: Mikey Bambrick for R Dunphy (47 mins), Colm Hulton for Lee Walker (50 mins), Daniel St Ledger (1-0) for D Foley(55 mins), Jordan Morrissey for S Murphy (57 mins), Diarmuid Walsh for J Moore (67 mins)
Referee: Brendan Griffin (Kerry)