After losing two players from the panel for disciplinary reasons, Donegal failed to sparkle despite overcoming Carlow in the first round of the Qualifiers.
Against a mediocre Leinster side who only managed one point from play, there was nothing but misery for the home side in the first-half as they struggled to come to terms with the conditions and the fussy refereeing of Michael Duffy, who pulled them up four times for illegal handpassing.
The frustration led to a yellow card for teenager Michael Murphy, who kicked the ball back after a quick free was denied and his effort struck the official.
The frustration was compounded when Carlow's two best players Daniel St Ledger and JJ Smith combined for the latter to find the Donegal net on ten minutes.
By half-time the home side were back in contention on level terms, 1-3 to 0-6, but there was little to entertain the poor 1,800 crowd.
When Rory Kavanagh hit Donegal’s first goal within a minute of the re-start the gamed turned in favour of the home side.
As the Carlow heads went down, Donegal had it easy to the finish with Conall Dunne flicking home a second goal and Michael Murphy converting four more frees.
Carlow's misery was compounded when they had to play the final 14 minutes without half-forward Marc Carpenter, who picked up a second yellow card.
Donegal: P Durcan; F McGlynn, N McGee, K Lacey; B Dunnion, E McGee, M Maguire; C Toye (0-1), K Cassidy; R Kavanagh (1-0), L McLoone (0-1), D Walsh; C Dunne (1-1), M Murphy (0-8,7f), S Griffin (0-1). Subs., B Monaghan for Maguire 14; B Roper for Walsh ht; M Doherty for Dunne 58; M Hegarty for Griffin 66; D Gallagher (0-1) for Murphy 67.
Carlow: J Clarke; K Nolan, J Hayden, S Redmond; S Gannon, B English, S Hunter; J Murphy, W Minchin; D Molloy, J J Smith (1-2,2f), M Carpenter; E McCormack (0-1,f) D St Ledger (0-1), S Rea (0-2,f,45). Subs., B Murphy for Molloy ht; D Phelan for Minchin; V Kavanagh for Hunter, both 44; J Kavanagh for McCormack 49; A Curran for English 66.
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).