Finnegan’s finish sees Carlow fall to Louth
Louth survived a late scare to edge home with a 1-13 to 1-11 win in their Leinster SFC clash with Carlow.
Carlow substitute Simon Rea hit a goal in the closing stages, but the Wee County held on for a quarter-final clash with Laois.
Raymond Finnegan grabbed a 17th minute goal to give a dominant Louth side a platform and they led by 1-5 to 0-5 at the interval.
Despite the dismissal of Derek Hayden, Carlow battled their way back into contention, but their goal came too late.
Louth failed to impress, but they did hit some excellent scores through Darren Clarke, Colm Judge and Shane Lennon.
One man who didn’t feature in the Parnell Park clash was former Carlow midfielder Thomas Walsh, who has opted to remain with Wicklow for a third season.
Carlow chairman Pat Deering says the anger over Walsh's decision to stay the Garden county has not abated.
After transferring to Wicklow in 2007, speculation was rife that Walsh would return to the Carlow colours this year, but having spent the winter playing rugby with Tullow, he returned to Mick O'Dwyer's Wicklow squad last month.
“We went above and beyond the call of duty to get Thomas back. We did all we could and we’re very disappointed,” said Deering.
“We were very close to seeing him in a Carlow shirt again. For a long time, that seemed likely. Then at the last minute, it didn't happen.
“It was a huge blow to us. Players like Thomas Walsh don't grow on trees. They're scarce all over the country. With his talent, he would have been a huge boost to the team, but I wouldn't listen to anyone who claimed we didn't do all we could to get him back. We did — and more.”