Palatine see off neighbours Tinryland to secure Carlow crown

Half-time lead clawed back but Palatine manage to hold off late surge


Palatine survived a late Tinryland surge to claim their first Carlow SFC since 2016 – not to mention ownership of the local bragging rights over their neighbours.

This decider was for large parts as one-sided as the Manchester Derby, though Manchester City scored more in the first half at the Etihad than Tinryland managed at Netwatch Cullen Park as Palatine went in with a 2-4 to 0-3 interval advantage.

But pride tends to run deep in these local derbies and Tinryland pillaged two fortuitous second half goals – the first of which spun straight in from an underhit 45 and the second in injury-time when Shane Redmond got his fist on a dropping ball to leave just one point between the sides, 2-7 to 2-6.


Palatine were reduced to 14 men in the 48th minute when David Reid was sent off following a scuffle with John Murphy, who fell to the ground as if he had been fatally banjaxed only for the sight of his executioner getting a red card to prompt an instant, Lazarus-like recovery.

And when they reduced the deficit to the minimum in injury-time, having trailed by nine points midway through the second half, it appeared Tinryland were poised for a resurrection of their own.

In the fourth minute of added time they were awarded a free from a difficult angle out wide on the right between the 13 and 20-metre lines. Paul Broderick, who was hugely influential in the second half, stood over the free but pulled his effort to level matters just wide of the near post.

In an off-the-ball melee moments later, Tinryland were then reduced to 14 men after Cian Lawlor was picked out for doing his best Eric Donovan impression. Only five minutes of injury-time had been announced but the game rumbled onwards until Conor Crowley’s 69th minute free sucked the air out of Tinryland’s comeback.

“They are only over the road for us, I think going home on the bus we actually drive by their clubhouse,” said Pado Flynn, the Palatine manager.

“So it’s that close of a relationship between the two clubs. They were always going to get a period of dominance and when they were on top, we knew that. When you are down to 14 men you have to look inside your soul, and the one thing about that red and green jersey, it never lets anybody down, they go to the bitter end for each other.”

It is Palatine’s sixth Carlow senior football championship success. Tinryland were chasing a first county triumph since 1981, but apart from those closing chaotic moments in added time it never really looked on.

They set up very defensively and at times their build-up play was laborious – though they did hit the first score of the game after a patient move in which their goalkeeper Cathal Gaffney had more touches than any other player. Gaffney was more Rory Beggan than Rory Beggan in this game, constantly out the field offering himself as an unmarked outlet to his colleagues.

However, Palatine were ready for the Tinryland game plan and once they turned over an attack they immediately launched quick fast ball down the other end of the field, not allowing their neighbours to set up defensively.

Jamie Kenny’s fourth minute goal was crucial in settling Palatine, while Joshua Egan’s runs from deep were causing Tinryland all sorts of problems – he was able to slice through unchallenged to point in the 24th minute.

Palatine’s second goal came from a penalty just before half-time, which was won by Egan. Thomas Sheehan slotted it home to send his side in with a 2-4 to 0-3 advantage at the turnaround.

Tinryland went from the 16th to the 45th minute without scoring, but when it did finally arrive that score was a goal straight from Diarmaid Walshe’s 45, 2-6 to 1-3. It was the lifeline they needed and when the sending off followed soon after suddenly it was game on again. However, they could only close the gap to one as Palatine held out.

Flynn is from Muckalee in Kilkenny and previously managed the Carlow Under-20 hurlers. When the approach came to manage the Palatine footballers he initially thought it was a prank.

“I got a call one of the days between St Stephen’s Day and the 31st of December, I actually told him to get off the phone because I thought it was lads in the pub winding me up.”

But it was no caper, and as a result Palatine have wound up as county champions.

PALATINE: C Kearney; J Brennan, S Reilly, G Healy; D Reid, C Lawlor, C Moran (0-1); J Kane, F Kavanagh; T Sheehan (1-0, penalty), S O’Neill (0-3, one free), B McMahon; J Kenny (1-0), J Egan (0-1), C Crowley (0-3, one free).

Subs: T Kenny for Sheehan (50 mins), C O’Doherty for Brennan (50 mins), C Duff for McMahon (58 mins), A Kehoe for Kenny (58 mins), C O’Neill for Egan (64 mins).

TINRYLAND: C Gaffney; D Moran, J Dunne, C Ryan; C McGrath, S Redmond (1-0), N Lowry; B Power, C Walshe; M O’Toole, D Walshe (1-4, one goal from a 45, one point from a free), C O’Toole; C Brennan, P Regan, M Lawler (0-1).

Subs: C Lawlor for Power (h-t), J Murphy for Ryan (h-t), P Broderick for Lawler (33 mins), C O’Brien (0-1) for Brennan (40 mins), M Mullen for M O’Toole (56 mins).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (St Mullins)

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times