It’s been an amazing Championship for Carlow Senior Footballers.
Who would have thought that Turlough O’Briens men would still be playing Championship Football on July 15th.
Winning three Championship games is a splendid achievement and this sets Carlow up for a right good crack at Monaghan on Saturday at Netwatch Cullen Park at 7pm.
Monaghan have been one of the best sides in the country over the past few seasons and won the Ulster Championship as recently as 2015 so this really is a tough task, there’s no question about that.
In Conor McManus the Farney men have one of the top three forwards in the country and Jack McCarron has been a revelation since his return from a bad knee injury last season.
Add in Kieran & Darren Hughes, Dessie Mone, Vinny Corey, Colin Walshe and the Wylie brothers and you can see how big an ask this is.
Having said all that, Down found a way past Monaghan and last year Longford beat them as well so they are by no means unbeatable.
What Carlow have in their favour is momentum, belief, and the underdog tag which gives them the freedom to give this one a right good rattle, and who knows what might happen after that.
Carlow have only conceded two goals in four games so far and those two were in the first game so it’s evident that they have learned from this and I think they have to stay stern in defence this time out as well and not concede any goals.
I think Carlow have the potential to create those goal scoring chances as we have seen this year and they really need to be taking those chances in order to win this game.
The return of Brendan Murphy is obviously crucial but at the time of writing its unclear if Chris Crowley will be available to play following his red card against Leitrim.
The fact that the game is on Live Television again gives the platform for the likes of Sean Murphy and Paul Broderick to showcase their skills and if they play well they could get nominated for an All Star because of that added exposure.
I think this is a game where Carlow have a big chance and who knows, maybe an upset could be on the cards with a bit of luck.
We have Full Live Commentary of the game on air and online from 7pm on Saturday thanks to Flynn’s Carlow Nissan.