Leinster U17 B Hurling Championship
Carlow 1-13 – 1-14 Antrim
Antrim edged out Carlow by a single point in the Leinster U-17 B Championship clash at Abbotstown Centre of excellence on Wednesday evening.
The visitors began on the front foot with Glenariffe froward Niall McGarel pointing twice within the first eight minutes – the first from a free and the second a well taken point from play.
In-between Kyle Nolan had responded with a free for Carlow who took the lead after nine minutes when Shane Kelly powered an effort past Cristai McAuley in the Antrim goal.
Points were traded in the aftermath between Odhran Gillen and Conail Fitzpatrick before three scores in succession saw Antrim regain the lead.
Full-forward Ronan McCollum chipped in with his first of the evening and Niall McGarel took his tally to 0-03 to level proceedings, before Daire McMullan converted a free from range to make it 0-06-1-02 at the water-break.
Carlow quickly regrouped at the small interval and barged back into the driving seat with five scores in a row.
Midfielder Donagh Murphy swung over the leveller and points followed from Kevin Kavanagh and Shane Kelly.
Murphy conjured up his second from a side-line cut and added another to put his side firmly in control with a 1-07-0-06 advantage before the break.
Antrim were set-back further with a red-card to one of their forward players- though a converted free from McGarel ensured they trailed by Shane Kelly’s goal at the break.
Despite being reduced to 14-men the pendulum swung back in the visitors favour after a dream beginning to the second half.
Niall McGarel topped up his tally with four points on the spin, two of them converted frees to bring his tally to four for the evening and the other two were well taken scores from play.
It nudged the Saffrons ahead once again and a further point from Cormac McKeown was quickly followed by a Joe Mclaughlin goal on 42 minutes to give his side a 1-12-1-07 lead.
Carlow slashed the deficit to three as they hit a purple patch in the aftermath, Donagh Murphy converted a free, landed a 65’ and then swung over another from play to leave the game on a knife-edge going into the last ten minutes.
McGarel split the posts for his nineth score of the evening which temporarily gave Antrim a bit more breathing space. But back-to-back points from Shane Kelly and Luke Kavanagh left the bare minimum separating the sides.
Scores were traded between Daire McMullan and Donagh Murphy in injury-time though there wasn’t enough time for Carlow to land the equaliser and force extra-time as Antrim hung on to secure a hard-fought win at Abbotstown.