Ryan Burns hits 1-7 as Louth see off Carlow challenge
Leinster championship 2016 gets underway at Portlaoise, with Meath awaiting the victors
Louth left their best ‘till late again on Saturday in Portlaoise to see off Carlow. Photograph: Inpho
An intriguing battle Royal with Meath awaits for Louth who finished strongly for the second game running to claim a slightly flattering 10-point Leinster Championship first-round victory over Carlow in Portlaoise.
Ryan Burns’ 1-7 tally was decisive and his 70th minute goal begun a flurry of late scores that left the Wee County 13 clear at one stage deep into injury-time.
Paul Broderick converted a penalty for Carlow with the last kick of the game to put some gloss on the scoreline and, in truth, the Barrowsiders deserved to come much closer.
There was just two points between the sides with 62 minutes on the clock in front of around 3,000 at O’Moore Park.
But just like their Allianz league Division Four final win over Antrim, Colin Kelly’s Louth saved their best until late on and will head into the quarter-finals with momentum on their side.
They will face old rivals Meath on June 12th in what will be a repeat of the infamous 2010 provincial final between Louth and the Royal County, won by Meath with an illegal injury-time goal.
Louth led Carlow from the eighth minute when Burns’ converted his first free and they were 0-11 to 0-6 up at half-time but were never quite out of the woods either.
Jim McEneaney and James Califf continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over for Louth in the second-half but timely Carlow goals in the 41st and 55th minutes, from Chris Blake and Darragh O’Brien, meant it was always a contest.
Louth led by 0-17 to 2-9 with 62 minutes on the clock but tagged on an impressive 2-7 from there to win with plenty to spare.
Louth: C Lynch; K Toner, P Reilly, P Rath; D Maguire (0-2), D McMahon, A Williams (1-0); J Stewart (0-1), J Califf (0-5, 3f); D Byrne (0-2), J McEneaney (0-3), C McKeever; B Duffy, R Burns (1-7, 5f), C Grimes (0-2).
Subs: R Moore for Duffy (45), G McSorley (0-1) for McKeever (65), R Holcroft (0-1) for McEneaney (72), J Bingham for McMahon (75 BC).
Carlow: R Molloy; B Kavanagh (0-1), D St Ledger, K Nolan; H Gahan, J Murphy (0-1), G Kelly; B Murphy (0-2), S Gannon (0-1); D Lunney, D O’Brien (1-0), A Kelly; P Broderick (1-1, 1-0 pen, 0-1f), D Foley (0-5, 5f), C Blake (1-0).
Subs: Brian Murphy for Lunney (49), G Power for J Murphy (59), D Smithers for Blake (70), E Finnegan for Kelly (70).
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan).