Allianz NHL Division 2A – Round 3
By Larry Cooney at Netwatch Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow
London were just no match for Carlow after a hopelessly one-sided encounter in Netwatch Dr. Cullen Park last Sunday. As well as losing by a margin of eighteen points the Exiles also finished with thirteen players after Bill Walsh and Brian were both dismissed on straight red cards on a day to forget for London hurling.
Despite a promising opening quarter as they faced the elements the visitors trailed by just 0-6 to 0-3.
But a second quarter onslaught in which the Barrowsiders hit 2-10 to 0- 1 left the Exiles facing an embarrassing defeat. Since the winners could also afford the luxury of hitting ten wides the result was also some indication of the gulf in class between the promotion chasing pack and the two basement teams – London and Armagh. And the bad news for London is that their next opponents – Westmeath also inflicted an even heavier defeat on Armagh who London also failed to beat in their last encounter on the previous weekend.
Ten Carlow players got on the score-sheet as Colm Bonnar’s men maintained their unbeaten League run and maintain their promotion push while London half-time substitute Kevin O’Loughlin with 2-1 and Stephen Bardon with 0-5 go the bulk of the Exiles scores. The encounter was therefore over as a contest long before the final whistle with Carlow wrapping up the points by half-time when they led 2-16 to 0-4. By that stage all six starting forwards had scored along, with half-back backs David English, Seán Whelan and midfielder Jack Kavanagh.
Promising opening quarter before Carlow onslaught Facing the elements as London defended the Dublin Road end, the visitors paid a heavy price for the imprudence of taking an early lead through Stephen Bardon in the opening minute. A Paul Coady free provided the equaliser two minutes later after a foul on Jack Murphy. But when Paul Uniacke was fouled by Richard Kelly the resultant Stephen Bardon free put the visitors back into the lead a minute later.
But thereafter Carlow took a strangle hold in midfield by also playing five players across that area of the field to snuff out any sporadic London attacks.
The result was five unanswered points from the Barrowsiders from Jack Murphy, a David English free, another Paul Coady free and wing back Sean Whelan and although Stephen Bardon had a point from play for London to leave just three points between the sides the tide was dramatically about to turn in favour of the hosts.
After Seamus Murphy added another point in the 17th minute Craig Wall hit the first of his brace of firsthalf goals as the floodgates began to open with a succession of points and followed by a second Craig Wall goal. In reply Stephen Bardon hit another successful free before Wall closed the first-half scoring on a score-line of: Carlow 2- 16 London 0-4.
Shell-shocked London ring the changes As well as replacing the injured Fergal Collins with Alan Griffiths late in the first-half London manager Fergus McMahon also decided to make four halftime substitutions with Daryl Roberts, Richard Murphy, Kevin O’Loughlin and Bill Walsh to the action on what was no more than a damage limitation mission.
The shell-shocked visitors needed an early break in order have some chance of giving the scoreboard some kind of a look of respectability. But after an early point attempt came back off an upright Chris Nolan made no mistake from the rebound for a third Carlow goal. Although Stephen Bardon hit his second point from play almost immediately, further points from another Paul Cody free and John Michael Nolan pushed Carlow further ahead.
A frustrating day for the visitors got worse soon afterwards when substitute Bill Walsh was dismissed just six minutes after rejoining the action. Things were simply going from bad to worse for the visitors until substitute Kevin O’Loughlin began to make a nuisance of himself with the first of his two goals from placed balls. A foul on Richard Murphy gave O’Loughlin his chance from a penalty in the 47th minute and after Oisin Gately also hit a long range for London two minutes later another foul on Richard Murphy just outside the square gave O’Loughlin his second opportunity from a free.
The Sean Treacy’s clubman made no mistake to raise his second green flag in four minutes. But these scores were no more than consolation for the visitors who had Brian Regan dismissed in the 61st minute. The hosts finished with a flourish with scores from substitute James Doyle, a Chris Nolan free and a point from man-of-thematch Craig Wal.
SCORERS: CARLOW: Craig Wall 2-3, Paul Coady 0-6 (5fs), Chris Nolan 1-4, John Michael Nolan, Eddie Byrne 0-2 each, David English (f), Sean Whelan, Jack Kavanagh, Seamus Murphy, James Doyle 0-1 each. London: Kevin O’Loughlin 2-1 (1-0)pen, (1-0)f, (0-1)s/l), Stephen Bardon 0-5 (0-2)f, (0-1) ’65, Oisin Gately 0- 1.
CARLOW: James Carroll; Alan Corcoran, Paul Doyle, Gary Bennett; Richard Kelly; David English, Sean Whelan; Jack Kavanagh, Jack Murphy; Seamus Murphy, Paul Coady, Eddie Byrne; Chris Nolan, Craig Wall, John Michael Nolan. SUBS: Ross Smithers for Byrne 45; Eoin Redmond for Kelly 56; James Doyle for Coady 58; Sean Brennan for James Doyle (inj) 63; Adam Casey for Bennett 63.
LONDON: Eoin Kelly; Fergal Collins, Oisin Gately, Mark Conroy; Stephen Griffey, Conor Kerr, Neil Rogers; Brian Regan, Tomas Lawrence; Enda Cooney, Paul Uniacke, Stephen Bardon; Ciaran Lambert, Tadgh Healy, Adam Murphy. SUBS: Alan Griffith for Collins (inj) 30; Daryl Roberts for Rogers (h/t); Richard Murphy for Lawrence (h/t); Kevin O’Loughin for Kerr (h/t); Bill Walsh for Lambert (h/t).
REFEREE: Micky Dan Murtagh (Westmeath)