Cuala lose their crown as Crokes advance

All-Ireland champions dethroned in Dublin semi-finals as Ballyboden also won

 Kilmacud Crokes’ Bill O’Carroll and Cian MacGabhann with Mark Schutte of Cuala. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Kilmacud Crokes’ Bill O’Carroll and Cian MacGabhann with Mark Schutte of Cuala. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

 

Kilmacud Crokes will face Ballyboden St Enda’s in the Dublin senior hurling championship decider, after they spectacularly dethroned All-Ireland champions Cuala at Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Dalkey men were seeking a fourth consecutive county title to go alongside their back-to-back national crowns, but they struggled to contain Anthony Daly’s superbly-drilled Crokes side.

Courtesy of well-worked goals by Oisin O’Rorke and Ronan Hayes, the Stillorgan men opened up a 2-8 to 0-7 interval cushion.

Dublin footballer Con O’Callaghan mustered Cuala’s sole score from play in the opening period and their woes were compounded by Damien Kelly’s superb goal for Crokes straight from the restart.

However, a Sean Moran penalty sparked Cuala back into the life and deflected points by David Treacy and O’Callaghan (who finished with a combined tally of 0-15) kept the dream alive for Mattie Kenny’s charges during a frantic finale.

Crokes were not to be denied, though, as they deservedly advanced on a scoreline of 3-13 to 1-17.

Goals in each half from Paul Doherty and Aidan Mellett ensured Ballyboden came through the day’s curtain-raiser against St Vincent’s with four points to spare (2-16 to 0-18).

Following his cameo appearance for the senior footballers on the previous weekend, Diarmuid Connolly was an unused substitute for Vins. His brother Thomas kick-started a bright opening for the Marino men, before Doherty’s scrambled finish on 14 minutes created some daylight for a fancied ‘Boden.

A John Hetherton-inspired Vincent’s fought back to lead 0-12 to 1-8 at the break, but with Dublin star Paul Ryan in fine scoring form, ‘Boden regained control on the resumption.

Hetherton’s 11th point of the day left Vins a single point in arrears late on, only for Mellett to place the outcome beyond doubt with a thunderous stoppage-time strike.

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