Carlow hold on in London as Brendan Murphy sees red again
Turlough O’Brien questions refereeing after his team scrape win from trip to Ruislip
Carlow celebrate after the game in Ruislip. Photograph: Inpho
London 0-12 Carlow 0-13
Carlow escaped from their trip to Ruislip in the All-Ireland football qualifiers on Sunday with a one-point victory over London.
Midfielder and talisman Brendan Murphy was sent off for the second successive game as the visitors secured their second win of the championship campaign, by the narrowest of margins.
Murphy picked up two bookings in the space of one minute on the hour mark, the second for grabbing former Tyrone attacker Owen Mulligan around the neck.
London also had wing-back Jarlath Branagan dismissed, with Carlow’s Eoghan Ruth receiving a black card on the stroke of half-time.
Twelve cards in total were brandished by referee Niall Cullen, in a game in which 37 frees were awarded. No love lost then.
After the game, Carlow manager Turlough O’Brien called on the GAA to provide some clarity on the tackle laws;
“I don’t know what to say about cards - we just have to look at that situation,” said O’Brien.
“I didn’t see Brendan’s one. It wasn’t a dirty game at all, it was played in a very sporting manner as I’d expect of the two teams. I just think the rules need to be tweaked because it is very difficult for referees and linesmen to make a call on these decisions and the difficult ones they have to make.”
O’Brien admitted his side “were too cautious” as they avenged their loss to London during this year’s National League.
Carlow were ultra-defensive for large spells - even when playing with a strong breeze on their backs during the first half.
In such a stop-start affair the game was always going to be decided by the free-takers and Carlow’s duo of Paul Broderick and Darragh Foley were the difference, the former slotting six points.
Carlow led 0-7 to 0-5 at the end of a forgettable first half thanks to three late points. They had extended their lead to three points by the 46th minute, with London goalkeeper Gavin McEvoy then keeping his side in the contest with a fantastic point-blank save to deny Danny Moran.
Murphy’s dismissal gave London hope however, and Mulligan teed up London-born skipper Liam Gavaghan to make it a one-point game with five minutes remaining.
Broderick responded to give Carlow some breathing room with his sixth point and they played possession football in the closing stages to secure their second win of the summer.
Carlow: R Molloy, C Crowley, S Redmond, C Lawlor; D Moran, D St Ledger, G Kelly; B Murphy (0-01), S Murphy (0-01) , E Ruth, D Foley (c) (0-03, (0-2f), A Kelly; P Broderick (0-06, 0-6f), S Gannon, J Murphy (0-01)
Subs: C Moran for E Ruth (36 mins black card), D O’Brien (0-01) for A Kelly (52 mins), K Nolan for G Kelly (68 mins),
London: G McEvoy, P Butler, Colm Dunne , C O’Neill, J Branagan (0-01), R Jones, Colin Dunne, M Carroll, C Og Greene, E Murray (0-02), L Gavaghan (0-04, 0-01f) M Gottsche, R Mason (0-04, 0-4 frees), O Mulligan, K Butler
Subs: M McGirr for C Dunne (68 mins), A Moyles (0-01 for E Murray (68 mins), C Doran for C O’Neill (68 mins), D Moore for O Mulligan (72 mins)
Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh).