Cuala get the better of Crokes once more

Defending champions stay cool under pressure to retain title

 Cuala celebrate with the trophy at Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Cuala celebrate with the trophy at Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

 

Cuala 1-13 Kilmacud Crokes 0-13

Cuala claimed their third successive Dublin senior hurling championship title and sixth in total when beating local rivals Kilmacud Crokes by 1-13 to 0-13 at Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon.

The All-Ireland champions rode their luck to a certain degree, failing to match the heights of previous deciders but two late scores from David Treacy ensured a hard-fought success against a Crokes side that will rue a number of costly wides in the final quarter.

Kilmacud played with the benefit of a strong breeze in the first half and opened up brightly through scores from Lorcan McMullan and Oisin O’Rorke before Cuala opened their account through a Treacy free in the ninth minute.

Further scores from Fergal Whitely and Sean McGrath in quick succession extended Kilmacud’s lead by the 11th minute but with Cuala’s half-back line beginning to dominate matters, a Darragh O’Connell goal in the 18th minute proved a telling moment as he gathered a crossfield ball from Colm Cronin before firing past Eoin Dalton.

Treacy and Con O’Callaghan added points soon after with late scores from O’Rorke and Whitely trimming Crokes’ deficit to 1-5 to 0-6 at the break.

A brace of O’Rorke frees levelled matters by the 36th minute and Crokes were further buoyed as Eoin Dalton repelled a 38th minute penalty from Treacy after Mark Schutte was fouled close to goal.

The holders struggled to make use of the elements but managed to edge three points clear by the 50th minute following scores from Treacy, Colum Sheanon and Con O’Callaghan.

Sean Moran, Cian O’Callaghan and Oisin Gough excelled throughout in the Cuala defence, although they were placed under pressure thanks to points from Whitely, O’ Rorke and Ross O’Carroll.

However, Cuala managed to dig deep in the final straight as Treacy fired over a free deep into injury time and added an insurance point from play to complete a second straight final win over Kilmacud.

Cuala: S Brennan; O Gough, Cian O’Callaghan, S Timlin; J Sheanon, S Moran, P Schutte; J Malone, D O’Connell (1-0); S Treacy, C Sheanon (0-1), D Treacy (0-6, 4f, one ‘65’); C Cronin (0-2), Con O’Callaghan (0-3), M Schutte (0-1). Subs: S Stapleton for M Schutte (41), C Waldron for D Treacy (59), N Kenny for C Sheanon (65), D Treacy for Cronin (66).

Kilmacud Crokes: E Dalton; N Corcoran, B O’Carroll, R O’Loughlin; R Murphy, C Mac Gabhann, D Kelly; L McMullan (0-1), R O’Carroll (0-1); C Conway, F Whitely (0-3), N Ó Riordáin; O O’Rorke (0-7, 5f), S McGrath (0-1), B O’Rorke. Subs: R Hayes for Ó Riordáin (38), D Mulligan for B O’Rorke (44), S O’Dwyer for McGrath (52), J Gibbons for O’Loughlin (59).

Referee: F Gaffney (Na Fianna)

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