CUALA 1-23 KILCORMAC/KILLOUGHEY (Offaly) 1-9
Cuala are back-to-back Leinster Club senior hurling championship after overcoming Kilcormac/Killoughey with 14 points to spare in Sunday's provincial decider at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.
The Dalkey club become the first Dublin club to win the Leinster Club SHC twice, and the fact that they have achieved that in successive seasons makes it all the more special.
They now advance to an All-Ireland semi-final date with the new Galway champions, Liam Mellows.
Mattie Kenny's men were the better side throughout and they effectively sealed the deal with an impressive opening 18 minutes.
“We went after that first quarter. We wanted to set the tempo,” says winning manager Mattie Kenny.
At that stage they enjoyed a 1-8 to 0-0 advantage and despite a brief rally late in the half the Offaly champions chances were dealt a blow with the sending off on a straight red card of Conor Mahon in first half injury-time, who had begun to exert a greater influence on the game.
Mahon got his side's goal in the 26th minute, their first score from play, when a high delivery into the square broke from himself and Cian O'Callghan but the Kilmcormac man did very well to pull on the sliotar one-handed to send it to the net past Brennan.
Cuala were 1-10 to 1-2 to the good at the break and seven minutes into the second period a brilliant penalty save, dubiously awarded, by Seán Brennan to deny Ciarán Slevin was a further setback for the men from the Faithful County.
From there to the finish Cuala, primarily through the deadball accuracy of David Treacy, kept the scoreboard clicking while at the back Seán Moran, Oisin Gough and Cian O'Callaghan kept their opponents at bay in the danger zone.
in the opening half Cuala settled quickly with a David Treacy '65' and Colum Sheanon had followed up with two points for play before Con O'Callaghan struck with a trademark goal when ghosting past two defenders before firing to the net.
A David Treacy free and two excellent Colm Cronin points from the standside were quickly followed by two from Con from play and suddenly Kenny's men were 1-8 to 0-0 clear and they were never going to be reeled in.
“Galway always bring a huge challenge. They’ve won this competition as much if not more than any other county. Any team out of Galway, especially with the way hurling in Galway is at such a high level at the moment ... that’s going to be a huge challenge. But that’s for another day,” adds Mattie.
SCORERS - Cuala: D Treacy 0-10 (0-9f, 0-1 '65'), Con O'Callaghan 1-2, C Cronin, C Sheanon 0-3 each, D O'Connell 0-2 (0-1f), C Waldron, J Malone, B Fitzgerald 0-1 each. Kilcormac/Killoughey: Ciarán Slevin 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 '65'), Conor Mahon 1-0, P Geraghty 0-2, T Geraghty, D Currams 0-1 each.
CUALA: S Brennan; O Gough, Cian O'Callaghan, S Timlin; P Schutte, S Moran, J Sheanon; D O'Connell, S Treacy; C Sheanon, D Treacy, J Malone; C Cronin, Con O'Callaghan, N Kenny. Subs: C Waldron for Schutte (inj 22), B Fitzgerald for Kenny (44), N Carty for D Treacy (56), R Tierney for O'Connell (59), S Stapleton for Con O'Callaghan (59).
KILCORMAC/KILLOUGHEY:Conor Slevin; K Leonard, G Healion, E Grogan; K Grogan, D Kilmartin, J Quinn; T Geraghty, Ciaran Slevin; J Gorman, C Mahon, P Geraghty; S Leonard, P Healion, D Currams. Subs: A McConville for P Healion (46), J Geraghty for Gorman (53), C Quinn for Leonard (57), B Leonard for G Healion (59), Cathal Mahon for J Quinn (60).
REF: S Cleere (Kilkenny).
LEINSTER CLUB SHC: Roll of Honour
Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny (8) 1978, 1980, 1983, 1989, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014
Birr, Offaly (7) 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007
Rathnure, Wexford (6) 1971, 1973, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1998
St Rynagh's, Offaly (4) 1970, 1972, 1982, 1993
James Stephens, Kilkenny (4) 1975, 1981, 2004, 2005
Buffer's Alley, Wexford (3) 1985, 1988, 1992
CUALA, DUBLIN (2) 2016, 2017
Glenmore, Kilkenny (2) 1990, 1995
Camross, Laois (2) 1976, 1996
O'Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny (2) 2003, 2010
Fenians, Kilkenny (1) 1974
CRUMLIN, DUBLIN (1) 1979
St Martin's, Kilkenny (1) 1984
Graigue-Ballycallan, Kilkenny (1) 2000
Coolderry, Offaly (1) 2011
Kilcormac/Killoughey, Offaly (1) 2012
Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow (1) 2013
Oulart-The Ballagh, Wexford (1) 2015