GAA: TOWN DOWN BUT NOT OUT; O'Hanrahans 2-09; Coralstown 3-06.
The game should not have been played. Driving wind and heavy rains turned the pitch into a virtual mud bath making flowing football impossible.
For the second time in the competition the Carlow team came from behind to survive; Coralstown having led 2-6 to 1-1 at the interval.
The Blues opened with a Pa Kavanagh point but fell behind to a superb Fergal Dardis goal in the third minute.
Two minutes later the ball was in the Coralstown net when goalkeeper Kevin Leech lost possession in the mud and Seamus Farrell was on hand to scoop it to the net.
But the wind assisted visitors retaliated with six successive scores, including a fine goal by Anthony Coyne, to go seven points clear by the 22nd minute, and a Coyne free near the break left them comfortably ahead.
The Carlow champions, with Kavanagh in magnificent form, hit the Westmeath nominees with seven unanswered scores in the opening 11 minutes of the second half.
In virtually their first attack into the wind Coralstown's James McCaffrey plunged the ball into the Blues' net in the 47th minute.
But only seconds later a Kavanagh free at the other end drifted over the goalkeeper's shoulder to give O'Hanrahan's another goal.
The game produced only one further score, a point from wing-back Breffni Hannon to tie the teams.
Kavanagh floated two further frees wide and another off the woodwork, but neither would complain at the result.
Most players gave a master class in control in the dreadful conditions, few better than the home team's Niall English, Ken Walker, Alan Bowe, Pa Kavanagh and Gavin Walker while the visitors looked generally to Leech, John and Coly Coyne, John Cooney, Anthony Coyne, Eamonn Fleming.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Nov 6, 2000|
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