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Carlow has risen as they are crowned Joe McDonagh Champions

A magnificent victory for Carlow.

The Joe McDonagh Cup Final

Carlow 2-26 Westmeath 1-24

Carlow continues to rise as they were crowned the inaugural winners of the Joe McDonagh Cup last Sunday afternoon in Croke Park after beating Westmeath by five points.

This means that next year, Carlow will compete in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship, taking the place of a relegated Offaly.

Barrowsiders march on

This was the fourth meeting of Carlow and Westmeath this season, so they both know each other well. It would have been a tough match to call a winner for beforehand, but Carlow simply outplayed Westmeath.

Both teams were playing neck and neck and towards the end of the first half, Carlow held the lead by a single point. James Doyle rocketed a goal into the back of the net to knock Carlow into the lead heading into the second half.

Once Carlow got going, Westmeath struggled to keep up, missing several goal chances. Chris Nolan found the back of the net again for Carlow once more and by this point, it looked as though the pendulum was swinging in the Barrowsiders direction.

Westmeath were unfortunate and poor shooting errors proved costly. A late goal was hit by Niall O’Brien for Westmeath but by this point, it was too late as it was Carlow’s day.

Carlow continues to rise

All and all, it has been a great year for Carlow so far. Their footballers were promoted to Division 3 in the League and made it the Leinster Football Semi-Final. For their hurlers, they won Division 2A of the League, and are now the first ever holders of the Joe McDonagh Cup.

All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Finals on the horizon

Next up will be Limerick, who the Barrowsiders will take on the All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Final at home on Saturday evening. It will be a tough test for them as this young Limerick team are fierce.

All is not lost for Westmeath either, as they still remain in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. They now progress to the All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Final that will be played this Saturday evening in Mullingar. Standing in their way though will be Davy Fitzgerald‘s Wexford.

An exciting weekend ahead!

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Ellen McConville

Typically found on the sidelines or in Croke Park, Ellen is the Sports Content Editor for Littlewoods Ireland and your go-to gal for all things GAA. A big lover of all things Christy Moore, fashion and some wine and cheese as well.

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