Sunday, May 14, 2023



CARLOW took full advantage of the decision by Offaly manager Johnny Kelly to make wholesale changes to his team as they comprehensively crushed the Faithful County to book a place in the McDonagh Cup final in Croke Park against the same opposition on Saturday 26 May.

Offaly’s place in the final was already assured ahead of this game so Kelly took the option to rest a number of his star players after a hectic schedule but that shouldn’t take anything away from Carlow’s achievement as they were only in the place to take advantage of such a stroke of fortune thanks to some superb displays earlier in the competition.

Marty Kavanagh continued his brilliant season with 17 points and he was heavily involved as Carlow led by 0-16 to 0-6 at the half time break.

Marty Kavanagh was in inspired form for Carlow during their win over Offaly
Photo: Pat Ahern

The second half was hardly any more competitive and in the end, a Conor Kehoe goal capped off  a comfortable afternoon’s work for Tom Mullally and rarely can a place in a Croke Park decider have been clinched with such ease.

However, Carlow know that it will be a very different awaiting them when they run to face Offaly at GAA HQ in little under two weeks.

The result always ensures that Carlow will compete in the Liam McCarthy Cup as both Joe McDonagh Cup enter that competition at the preliminary quarter-final stage.

See Tuesday’s edition of The Nationalist for full coverage and analysis of this game.

Carlow: Brian Tracey; Paul Doyle, Conor Lawler, Jack McCullagh; Fiachra Fitzpatrick (0-1), Diarmuid Byrne, Jack Kavanagh; Kevin McDonald (0-1), James Doyle (0-3); Jon Nolan (0-1), Marty Kavanagh (0-14. 7fs, 1’65), Conor Kehoe (1-1); John Michael Nolan (0-1), Paddy Boland (0-2), Chris Nolan (0-5,1 sl).

Subs: Fiach O’Toole for Kehoe (60), Niall Bolger for P Doyle (62), Richard Coady for J. M. Nolan (65), Jack Treacy for C Nolan (67), Paudie O’Shea for M Kavanagh (69).

Offaly: Eamonn Cleary; Conor Hardiman, Ben Conneely, James Nally (0-1); Dara Maher (0-2), Killian Sampson, Eoghan Parlon; Paddy Delaney (0-1), Jack Screeney; Liam Langton (0-1), Joey Keenaghan, Conor Langton; Cathal O’Meara, Shane Dooley (0-7, 4fs), John Murphy (0-1).

Subs: David King for Keenaghan (36 blood), Paddy Clancy for Sampson (h/t), Eimhin Kelly (0-1) for O’Meara (h/t), King for Langton (52), Jack Clancy for Screeney (64),

Referee: Chris Mooney (Dublin)

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