Carlow champions knock Cuala out of Leinster championship
Con O’Callaghan was brought into the game late on but couldn’t rescue the Dublin club
St Mullin’s Phillip Connors celebrates at the final whistle after the Carlow champions defeated Cuala. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
St Mullins 2-13 Cuala 0-18
St Mullins caused a major shock when they bundled former All-Ireland club champions Cuala out of the Leinster senior hurling championship at Cullen Park on Sunday.
This was no fluke result. James Doyle opened the scoring on six minutes with a point from play. Sean Moran and Diarmaid O Floinn replied to put the favourites in front. Seamus Murphy equalised for St Mullins. The Dubliners had chances of points but tried to walk the ball around a St Mullins defence who were having none of it.
Four times in the first quarter the sides were level and three times in the second quarter Cuala led by two points. St Mullins refused to let the Dublin side get away from them. Kavanagh landed a superb point from inside his own half and could very well have had another but the woodwork denied him. Just before the break Treacy converted a free to give Cuala a narrow 0-9 to 0-8 lead.
St Mullins enjoyed a moment of good fortune on 36 minutes when Jack Kavanagh’s long delivery somehow found a way past Sean Brennan in the Cuala goal to put the outsiders two clear.
A Brian Fitzgerald point narrowed the gap back to one but Marty Kavanagh converted yet another St Mullins free. A Kavanagh free pushed St Mullins three clear with 15 minutes to go. Treacy reduced the gap once more and by that stage Con O’Callaghan had been brought into the game. He made little impact.
With time drifting by Treacy converted two frees to put Cuala one clear. St Mullins refused to accept a moral victory and went for glory. This time Jack Kavanagh unloaded to his brother, Marty, who in turn spotted James Doyle free in front of goal. His pass was perfect. The Carlow intercounty star pounced - he made room for himself and the net rattled at the scoreboard end of the ground.
When Kavanagh converted another free St Mullins were a goal clear with the game going into an allotted three minutes of injury time. Treacy landed a free and with the injury time elapsed he brought the margin down to one. But St Mullins dug deep to win the puck-out to ensure they advanced to the semi-final
St Mullins: K Kehoe; C Kavanagh, P Doyle, G Bennett; J Doran, M Walsh, PWalsh; J Doyle (1-1), O Boland; P Boland, S Murphy (0-1), M Kavanagh (0-10, 0-9 frees); J O’Neill, J Kavanagh (1-1), P Connors. Subs: P Kehoe for O’Neill (37 mins), O Ryan for P Walsh (50 mins), J Murphy for Boland (58 mins), Boland for Ryan (61 mins).
Cuala: S Brennan; D O Floinn (0-2), C O’Callaghan, S Timlin; S Moran (0-2), P Schutte, J Sheanon; S Treacy, N Kenny; J Malone (0-1), M Schutte, D O’Connell (0-1); C Sheanon (0-1), N Waldron, D Treacy (0-10, 0-8 frees). Subs: Con O’Callaghan for Kenny (43), B Fitzgerald (0-1) for Waldron (h-t), C Waldron for C Sheanon (62 mins).
Referee: M. Murtagh (Westmeath).