CUALA 2-19 BALLYEA (Clare) 1-10
Cuala made history when being crowned Dublin’s first All-Ireland club senior hurling champions, in front of an attendance of 30,930, when defeating Munster champions Ballyea with 12 points to spare at Croke Park on Friday.
The Dalkey side were the better throughout but had to show great mettle in the final quarter.
Mattie Kenny’s men 1-7 to 0-4 at the break, the goal coming from Colm Cronin, but a Niall Deasy goal saw the Clare men reduce the gap to four points heading down the final stretch.
However, Cuala responded immediately to quell any rising Ballyea hopes witha superb Darragh O’Connell score and when Jake Malone fired to the net in the 53rd minute following great work by Con O’Callaghan they were not going to be stopped.
It was a terrific panel effort by Cuala and their work-rate from the first whistle was immense never allowing their opponents time in possession.
Ballyea’s star man Tony Kelly was well contained with the likes of John Sheanon, Jake Malone and Darragh O’Connell doing tireless work in the middle sector.
Cronin’s first half goal settled the Dalkey outfit after both sides had exhibited nerves on the biggest day of their club careers.
A long delivery from John Sheanon was touched on by Con O’Callaghan and Cronin held his nerve to finish clinically.
By the break the freetaking of David Treacy had opened up a six-point margin for the Dublin champions and they would have entered the dressingroom knowing they were on target to capture the Tommy Moore Cup.
Early into the second half Ballyea were denied a goal when Cuala keeper Seán Brennan did brilliantly to stop Pearse Lillis’ close range effort.
Deasy’s goal with nine minutes left raised Ballyea voices but Cuala replied in the style of champions to reel off an unanswered 1-5 with Malone's goal superbly taken following Con O'Callaghan's toil while sub Colum Sheanon made an immediate impact with two points from play.
SCORERS – Cuala: D Treacy 0-9 (0-8f), C Cronin 1-1, D O’Connell 0-3, J Malone 1-0, Con O’Callaghan, C Sheanon 0-2 each, J Sheanon, M Schutte 0-1 each. Ballyea: N Deasy 1-6 (0-6f), P Lillis 0-2, J Murphy, G Brennan 0-1 each.
CUALA: S Brennan; P Schutte, Cian O'Callaghan, S Timlin; O Gough; S Moran, J Malone; J Sheanon; D O'Connell; D Treacy, C Cronin, S Treacy, C Waldron, Con O'Callaghan, M Schutte. Subs: Colum Sheanon for Waldron (47), R Tierney for Timlin (61), N Kenny for Cronin (63).
BALLYEA: K Sheehan; B Carrig, J Browne, J Neylon; P Flanagan, G O'Connell, J Murphy; T Kelly, S Lineen; N Deasy, P Connolly, C Doohan; P Lillis, G Brennan, D Burke. Subs: M O'Leary for Connolly (37), D Egan for Burke (39), B Murphy for Neylon (55), M Coughlan for Lineen (57).
REF: F Horgan (Tipperary).