Louth 2-24 Carlow 3-11
By Cian O’Connell at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise
Late goals from Ryan Burns and Anthony Williams decorated a satisfying Leinster Senior Football Championship First Round victory for Louth over Carlow.
A youthful Louth outfit finished with a flourish shrugging off Carlow’s challenge to set up a June 12 provincial quarter-final meeting with Meath.
Louth were more clinical during a lively first half with Colin Kelly’s team going in 0-11 to 0-6 in front at the break.
Carlow’s shot selection was poor converting only six from 16 attempts, Louth were that bit slicker at the opposite end registering 11 out of 18.
Centre forward Jim McEneaney was influential contributing three fine points for Louth, who dictated vast chunks of the first half.
Though Sean Gannon nailed a point early on for Carlow, Louth responded impressively reeling off five scores without reply.
Midfielder James Califf, Ryan Burns, Declan Byrne, Derek Maguire, and McEneaney all found the range for Louth, who were motoring smoothly.
Four of the next six points were kicked by Carlow with Brendan Murphy prominent, but Louth stitched a decent sequence together.
Efforts from Burns, McEneaney (2), and Califf ensured the Allianz Football League Division Four winners eventually led by five at the interval.
After the restart Darragh Foley trimmed the deficit with a point and then Chris Blake palmed a 39th minute goal for Carlow.
Louth recovered as Califf and Burns were accurate from frees steering Kelly’s side 0-16 to 1-8 clear before Carlow pounced for another goal.
Darragh O’Brien’s splendid solo run was followed by a crisp shot which rattled the Louth net and suddenly Carlow were back in contention.
Louth, though, refused to be perturbed, and with Burns sharp inside they were ahead by five in the closing stages.
Burns smashed a glorious goal and that was quickly followed by a second major from Anthony Williams for Louth.
Paul Broderick pinched a consolation goal converting a penalty, but Louth left Portlaoise encouraged by a convincing win.
Scorers for Louth: R Burns 1-7 (1-0 pen, 5fs), J Califf 0-5 (3fs), J McEneaney 0-3, A Williams 1-0, D Byrne 0-2, D Maguire 0-2, C Grimes 0-2, J Stewart 0-1, G McSorley 0-1, R Holdcroft 0-1.
Scorers for Carlow: D Foley 0-5 (5fs), P Broderick 1-1 (1-0 pen, 1f) C Blake 1-0, D O’Brien 1-0, Brendan Murphy 0-2, B Kavanagh 0-1, J Murphy 0-1, S Gannon 0-1.
Louth: C Lynch; K Toner, P Reilly, P Rath; D Maguire, D McMahon, A Williams; J Stewart, J Califf; D Byrne, J McEneaney, C McKeever; B Duffy, C Grimes, R Burns.
Subs: R Moore for Duffy (45 mins), G McSorley for McKeever (64 mins), R Holdcroft for McEneaney (70 mins).
Carlow: R Molloy; B Kavanagh, D St Ledger, K Nolan; H Gahan, J Murphy, G Kelly; Brendan Murphy, S Gannon; D Lunney, D O’Brien, A Kelly; P Broderick, D Foley, C Blake.
Subs: Brian Murphy for Lunney (48 mins), G Power for Murphy (59 mins), D Smithers for Blake (70 mins), E Finnegan for Kelly (70 mins).
Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).