DCU 3-14 SETU CARLOW 1-19
CONOR Kehoe scored an injury time goal that ultimately won this Fitzgibbon Cup tie in Dublin on Wednesday evening but even though they lost this result was also good enough for SETU Carlow to progress to the knockout stages.
SETU Carlow drew with Mary I in their opening game, and the Limerick college were then beaten by DCU by three points in their second game.
That meant that the permutations for SETU Carlow were pretty straightforward going into this game, they simply needed to better a three point defeat to progress.
They were perilously close to that threshold when St Mullins man Kehoe got through to score a goal in injury time, just after SETU Carlow had gone in front for the first time, to put them two points clear. It’s the second game in a row in this competition that SETU Carlow have gone a point ahead in injury time only to concede a goal and that is something that management will surely be focussing on heading into the knockout games.
That SETU Carlow were able to progress owed much to the brilliance of Kilkenny’s Eoin Cody, who finished the game with a magnificent 1-12, and his goal in the 45th minute was a particularly important score for SETU Carlow at a time when they badly needed it.
DCU had a strong wind at their backs in the first half but the free taking of Cody, and some skilful scores from Thomas Keyes kept Carlow in touch.
DCU hit some tremendous scores themselves, especially through wing forwards Eoin Daly and Martin O’Connell, and goalkeeper Eddie Gibbons even got in on the act with a magnificent effort from a free back on his own 45.
That was until Ross Banville broke through their defence to clinically find the net in the 25th minute.
That helped DCU into a five point half time lead, 1-10 to 0-8, and they went seven ahead early in the second half following a controversial goal. There was nothing for Carlow to complain about in the Conor Hennessy’s skill to brilliantly lob the ball over the advancing James Lawlor but they did feel that corner back Adam Daly got back to catch the ball before it crossed the line. The umpires were right on hand though, and quickly made the call that the ball had crossed the line.
Rather than crumble after that setback, Carlow set about eating into that lead and the crucial moment came when Cody hit the net from a 45th minute 20 metre free after James O’Connell had been fouled.
Carlow were level twice in the closing stages, and then again in the 58th minute when Chris Nolan somehow wriggled away from the home defence and fired over from the right.
They only went ahead for the first time when Cody scored a free in the first minute of injury time but then had some nervous moments when Kehoe, who had been introduced at half time and was joined on the pitch later in the half by county team-mate Fiachra Fitzpatrick, got in for a goal a minute later.
Gibbons had the chance to put DCU three points ahead from a long range free but when that went wide it was left to Cody to secure their passage through to the knockout stages despite the defeat.
SCORERS – DCU: R Banville 1-4 (4fs), C Hennessy 1-1, C Kehoe 1-0, E Gibbons 0-2fs, M O’Connell 0-2, D Power 0-1, E Daly 0-1, R Lawlor 0-1, C Murphy 0-1, N Murphy 0-1.
SETU CARLOW – E Cody 1-12 (1-10fs, 0-2 ‘65s), T Keyes 0-4, Chris Nolan 0-1, M Troy 0-1, Conor Nolan 0-1
DCU: Eddie Gibbons (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin); Simon Leacy (Naas, Kildare), Niall Murphy (Ferns St Aidans, Wexford), Harry Walsh (Dunnamaggin, Kilkenny); Eoin Forbes (Craobh Chiarain, Dublin), Conor Murphy (Bennettsbridge, Kilkenny), Andrew Dunphy (St Brigids, Dublin); Darragh Power (Fingallians, Dublin), Rian Boran (Naas, Kildare); Eoin Daly (Lough Lene Gaels), Ross Banville (Shelmaliers, Wexford), Martin O’Connell (Clara, Kilkenny); Richie Lawlor (Faythe Harriers), Conor Hennessy Rosbercon, Kilkenny), Jim Ryan (Rower Inistioge, Kilkenny). Subs: Conor Kehoe (St Mullins, Carlow) for Lawlor, h/t; Joe Barrett (St Martins, Wexford) for Forbes, h/t; Fiachra Fitzpatrick (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow) for Daly, 48; Conal Clancy (Faythe Harriers, Wexford) for O’Connell, 48.
SETU CARLOW: James Lawlor (Ferns St Aidans, Wexford), Paudie Casey (Olyegate Glenbrien, Wexford), Podge Delaney (The Harps, Laois), Adam Daly (Midleton, Cork); Ciaran Burke (Ballinamere, Offaly), David Blanchfield (Bennetsbridge, Kilkenny), Gearoid Lynch (Ballinakill, Laois); James O’Connell (St Brigids, Dublin), Conor Nolan (St Judes, Dublin); Thomas Keyes (Camross, Laois), Cian Kenny (James Stephens, Kilkenny), Eoin Cody (Ballyhale, Kilkenny); Jack Morrissey (St Patrick’s Ballyragget, Kilkenny), Chris Nolan (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow), Mark Troy (Durrow, Offaly). Subs: Tom Doyle (The Rower Inistioge, Kilkenny) for Conor Nolan, 43; Richard Foley (Graigenamanagh, Kilkenny) for Lynch, 52; Brandon McGinley (Rathdowney Erill, Laois) for Keyes, 55; Keyes for O’Connell, 57.
REFEREE: Kevin Brady (Louth).