Carlow put up a great fight against Galway at sunny Salthill before falling to a six-point defeat, 1-24 to 1-18.
Five times in the second half the underdogs battled back to within three, but the defending provincial champions kept their noses in front to claim a narrow if far from earth-shattering victory in their round-robin opener.
Colm Bonnar’s side emerge from this contest with great credit. They posted the first points through Seamus Murphy and top scorer Marty Kavanagh (free) but two Niall Burke frees and a Davy Glennon strike set the winners on their way, although the opening ten scores of the match were shared to leave it 0-5 apiece after 15 minutes.
Galway landed the next five scores via Conor Whelan, Conor Cooney, Jack Grealish and Niall Burke (two frees) and took a 0-14 to 0-8 lead into the break.
Cooney netted just seconds after the restart but, typically, the Barrowsiders replied with a Chris Nolan goal. Kavanagh finished the day with 0-11, his final point closing the gap to three on the hour, but the quality of Cathal Mannion, Whelan, Burke and Jason Flynn got Galway over the line.
Galway - C Callanan; J Grealish (0-1), R Burke, A Harte; P Mannion (0-1), G McInerney, K Hussey; C Mannion (0-3), David Burke (0-1); N Burke (0-6f), J Flynn (0-3), B Concannon (0-1); C Whelan (0-4), C Cooney (1-3), D Glennon (0-1). Subs: J Coen for D Glennon, P Killeen for R Burke, J Hanbury for K Hussey, S Loftus for J Grealish.
Carlow - B Tracey; K McDonald, P Doyle, M Doyle; E Nolan, D English, R Coady; J Kavanagh (0-1), S Whelan; J M Nolan (0-1), J Doyle (0-1), E Byrne; M Kavanagh (0-11, 6f), S Murphy (0-2), C Nolan (1-2). Subs: D Byrne for S Whelan, T Joyce for J M Nolan, R Smithers for J Kavanagh, J Nolan for E Byrne.
Referee - C Lyons.Tweet