Incredible finish in Carlow as Antrim somehow score late, great leveller 11 months ago

Incredible finish in Carlow as Antrim somehow score late, great leveller

Seven goals, 41 points, nothing between them...the Joe McDonagh Cup is where its at.

Carlow and Antrim played out a thrilling 5-16 (31) to 2-25 (31) draw in the second round of the Joe McDonagh Cup on Saturday evening, in a game that outshone some of the big provincial clashes taking place elsewhere.

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Netwatch Cullen Park it turned out, was the place to be on this Championship Saturday, with these two on the fringe counties slugging it out blow for blow, point for point in an exhilarating encounter.

Carlow, playing in their first game of this competition and their first game back down at this grade, hit the ground running as they raced into an early lead but Antrim look a revived force.

On the back of their comprehensive trouncing of Westmeath last weekend, their wispy forward line kept the fire burning here with James McNaughton, Keelan Molloy and the excellent Ciaran Clarke hitting some brilliant scores which helped them into a one point half-time lead.

Marty Kavanagh did what Marty Kavanagh does for Carlow though, as the sharpshooting St Mullin's forward landed some tremendous scores to give the momentum back to the home side. They led by four with ten to play but a McNaughton goal whittled it down and despite Carlow tacking on some fine scores to stretch clear once more, Antrim just wouldn't give up.

And so with time up, and against 15 Carlow defenders, Antrim somehow conjured a goal with the last puck to leave Carlow reeling and the scores tied. That was some game of hurling and there's a good chance this won't be the last meeting of these sides in this competition.

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As it turned out, a very one-sided first half only told half the story in Croke Park as a Chris Crummey and Eamonn Dillon inspired Dublin whittled a 15 point deficit down to a draw late on, only for Alan Murphy to strike the winner for Kilkenny.

Liam Cahill meanwhile, appears to be having the desired effect in Waterford as his side defeated a disappointing Cork in Semple Stadium and all told, it's great to have the Championships back.