By Mark Jones
Carlow 2-10, Wicklow 0-8
It would be easy to play down any success in football’s O’Byrne Cup. Leinster championship it isn’t; All-Ireland it most definitely isn’t. But without a senior title since 1994, Carlow were entitled to celebrate last Sunday’s victory as if the stakes had been much higher.
“In the cold light of day, this is insignificant to others,” said Carlow manager’s, Pat Roe, “but not for us, because it’s so important to win something and for the players to learn what that feels like.”
However, for a while at Dr. Cullen Park, it seemed as if there would be no winners. An opening half so bereft of decent football left the 4,000 spectators in a stupor, yet there was some redemption after the interval at which stage Carlow were ahead by 1-3 to 0-2 with Brian Carberry converting a 28th-minute penalty.
Finally, the game kicked into life as Willie Quinlan and Johnny Nevin took center stage and over the closing 15 minutes, Wicklow were outscored by 1-6 to 0-1. Nevin struck for his side’s second goal, and on the back of Quinlan’s promptings, substitute Brian Kelly added three points.
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In the early stages, Wicklow had dominated possession but failed to help their cause with a total of 11 wides during the first half alone.
Sligo 2-14, Roscommon 1-9
Sligo qualified for the final of the Connacht football league for the first time following a convincing 2-14 to 1-9 victory over Roscommon at Coola last Sunday. Kieran Quinn and John McPartland scored the winners’ goals, while corner forward Mark Breheny weighed in with 6 points.
Clare and Waterford will meet in the final of football’s McGrath Cup after last weekend’s semifinals. David Russell and Paul Hehir each scored 4 points as Clare defeated Limerick by 0-14 to 0-10 at Miltown Malbay, and goals from Ger Power Frannie Halpin gave Waterford a 2-9 to 0-9 success against Tipperary at Dungarvan.