Carlow promoted after beating Westmeath
CARLOW will compete in Division 1B of the National Hurling League next year following a decisive 2-19 to 2-12 win over Westmeath in Portlaoise.
Carlow were by far the better team in the first half and a great solo goal by James Doyle in the 19th minute put them 1-8 to 0-4 ahead. Darragh Clinton’s goal in the 31st minute kept Westmeath in touch, but Colm Bonnar’s side were full value for their interval lead of 1-14 to 1-6.
The pattern was maintained in the second half during which both teams converted penalties — Martin Kavanagh for Carlow in the 50th minute and Derek McNicholas for Westmeath with normal time almost up. champions made light of the step up to Intermediate level by garnering ultimate honours once more, having beaten last year’s champions Myshall and the runners-up Eglish on the way to the decider, but they needed their skipper to be at her inspirational best to defy the odds one more time.
Johnson made three saves in the first half from Noreen Coen, one of the stunning variety and another that showcased her complete lack of fear as she launched herself in to the path of the Athenry full-forward’s hurley.
She was finally beaten by Eimear Keane early in the second half but when Athenry legend Therese Donohue (formerly Maher) bore down on goal and shot for the corner, the netminder stood firm once more.