Carlow overcame Michael Ryan’s Westmeath outfit to advance to the final of the Joe McDonagh Cup, with the Barrowsiders due to face the Lake County in the decider on the 1st of July.

Westmeath forward Joey Boyle opened the scoring with a point after 15 seconds, before Castletown-Geoghegan’s Niall O’Brien doubled his sides advantage shortly after.

Carlow would go on to score the next three points to claim the lead, before another free from O’Brien levelled procedures.

Carlow then got the game’s opening goal, when an excellent pass from Jack Kavanagh found James Doyle who buried the ball to the back of the net, after getting past Shane Power, to give his side a three point advantage.

Westmeath responded with four points in a row to reclaim the lead and it was very close right up to the break, with Colm Bonnar’s side holding a 1-10 to 0-11 lead at the interval.

Carlow and Westmeath meet again in the Joe McDonagh Cup final while Meath are relegated

Paul Coady opened the second half scoring with an excellent effort, with Denis Murphy following up with another score moments later.

Westmeath came back again though with four more scores, with a marvellous effort from Aonghus Clarke levelling the scores at 1-12 to 0-15 with 47 played.

Westmeath super sub Niall Mitchell then got his sides opening goal, with a great finish to the back of the net, with the Clonkill native only on the pitch for a couple of seconds, before raising a green flag.

Carlow were awarded a penalty in the 60th minute, after Diarmuid Byrne was fouled and James Doyle made no mistake with the finish, as Carlow took the lead.

James Doyle completed his hat trick after 66 minutes, to give his side a five point lead much to the delight of the home contingent.

A monster free from Carlow net-minder Brian Tracey was the icing on the cake, with Aonghus Clarke’s late point no more than consolation, as the hosts held out for a priceless six points victory.

Carlow: Brian Tracey (0-1, 0-1f); Alan Corcoran, Paul Doyle, Michael Doyle; Diarmuid Byrne, Richard Coady, Richard Kelly; Jack Kavanagh (0-2), Kevin McDonald; John Michael Nolan (0-1), Paul Coady (0-2), Edward Byrne (0-1); James Doyle (3-1, 1-00 pen), Denis Murphy (0-10, 0-5f, 0-1 "65"), Chris Nolan (0-3).

Subs: Seamus Murphy for John Michael Nolan (43), Dion Wall for Doyle (50), Ross Smithers for Paul Coady (57), Conor Foley for Chris Nolan (74).

Westmeath: Shane McGovern; Shane Power, Tommy Doyle (captain), Liam Varley; Aaron Craig, Paul Greville (0-1), Derek McNicholas; Eoin Price (0-2), Aonghus Clarke (0-4); John Gilligan (0-1), Shane Clavin (0-3), Robbie Greville; Niall O'Brien (0-6, 0-4f), Joey Boyle (0-2), Darragh Clinton (0-2).

Subs: Brendan Doyle for Power (29), Niall Mitchell (1-0) for Robbie Greville (47), Ciaran Doyle for McNicholas (58), Jack Galvin for Price (62), Alan Cox for Gilligan (69).

Referee: Colum Cunning (Antrim).