Éire Óg 1-16 Palatine 0-05

Éire Óg made it three-in-a-row Carlow senior football titles when they swept aside the challenge of Palatine in a one-sided contest in Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday.

The reigning champions ran all over their opponents in the opening quarter but had little to show for it on the scoreboard. Chris Blake picked off a free and a point from play but an Andrew Kehoe free for Palatine suggested this was going to be an open and close game.

On nine minutes,  a long ball into the big square wasn't dealt with by the Palatine defence. When Jordan Morrissey was fouled from the penalty award Derek Hayden  pulled his shot wide of the left-hand upright.

The challengers needed to draw inspiration from their let-off. Éire Óg didn’t let that happen and continued to pile on the pressure. Cormac Mullins should have found the net from inside the small square but he contrived to have a fresh air in a sea of legs.

The goal arrived on 28 minutes when Recce Denieffe’s swirling shot dipped under the surprised Craig Kearney and just before the interval Mullin’s point nudged Éire Óg into a 1-07 to 0-03 lead. David Reid and Jack Brennan pointed for Palatine.

Early in the second half the  holders rattled off five points on the trot to confirm their superiority. It could have been worse for Palatine but defender, Darragh Fitzpatrick, made a superb goal-line clearance to stop a certain goal.

It was only a matter of going through the motions at the end as the beleaguered challengers wilted under pressure which few sides would have been able to stand within the county.

Éire Óg: Rickie Keating (0-01 free); Richie Mahon, Mark Fitzgerald, Benny Kavanagh; Jordan Lowry, Mark Furey, Paul McElligott; Jordan Morrissey (0-02), Eoghan Ruth; Recce Denieffe (1-01),   Darragh O’Brien, Sean Gannnon; Chris Blake (0-06, 0-04 frees), Derek Hayden, Cormac Mullins (0-02).

Subs: Ross Dunphy for Hayden (28 mins), Niall Quinlan (0-04 0-03 frees) for Mullins (48 mins), Colm Hulton for Denieffe (45 mins), Evan Kelly for Mahon (47 mins), Adam Murphy for O’Brien (53 mins), Diarmuid Ruth for Blake (53 mins).

Palatine: Craig Kearney; Darragh Fitzpatrick, Conor Lawlor, Conor O’Doherty; Stephen Reilly, Aidan Murphy, David Reid (0-01); Jack Brennan (0-01), Jason Kane; Tomás Kenny, Shane O’Neill, Jamie Kenny; Andrew Kehoe (0-02, 0-01 frees), Niall Reid, Conor Crowley (0-01).

Subs: Gavin Healy for D. Reid (44 mins), Conor Reynolds for O’Neill (39 mins), Cathal O’Neill for J. Kenny (39 mins),

Referee: Patrick Murphy (Ballinkillen).