GAA

'In The Second Half, The 14 Who Took To The Field Are Legends, Heroes In Everyone's Eyes'

'In The Second Half, The 14 Who Took To The Field Are Legends, Heroes In Everyone's Eyes'

Carlow retained their Division 1 hurling league status in dramatic circumstances on Sunday afternoon.

Playing with 14 men for 60 minutes following the sending off of Eddie Byrne, they came from 11 points down at the break against Offaly to win the relegation playoff.

Just a week previous, they had suffered a heavy defeat to the same opposition.

"Things are probably a bit better than they were last Monday morning," Carlow's Jack Kavanagh told Darren Frehill on RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland.

"We were devastated last week that we couldn't get over the line and be in a league quarter-final against Limerick. We had to turn things around in a week, we knew we weren't that bad - a lot of mistakes cost us.

"We got back to training and Tuesday night and we had it out, we spoke and we knew that we had one massive performance in us to stay in this division. "

Kavanagh said that despite being so far behind, there was a calm in the Carlow dressing room during the break.

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The players knew there was a massive second half to come. There was a gale force win there in the first half. Going down to 14 wasn't ideal but knew that we could peg it back.

The talk was what we learned from the week before: don't go forcing goals, keep the scoreboard ticking over, the goal chances will come and we might take them.

A few lads stood up. Eoin Nolan, Colm spoke really well, another man involved with us, Timmy Hammersley spoke really well. It was calm. We were more angry that we weren't showing what we can do than anything else.

In the second half, the 14 who took to the field are legends, heroes in everyone's eyes. It was just unbelievable to turn that around and win the second half 2-11 to five points was something else.

Carlow's focus now turns to the Leinster Championship to which they were promoted last year.

"We're really looking forward to it, having Kilkenny coming to Carlow and going to Salthill. It makes the hair stand on the back of your neck, you just can't wait to get going."

Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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