Classy Cuala win AIB Leinster SHC Final
AIB Leinster SHC Final
* Cuala (Dublin) 3-19 O'Loughlin Gaels (Kilkenny) 1-16*
By Paul Keane at O'Moore Park
Con O'Callaghan produced another brilliant display as Cuala surged to an exciting success in Portlaoise.
The Dublin senior football panel member reeled off 1-4 on a famous day for the Dalkey outfit who claimed their first ever title, making up for last year's final loss to Oulart-The Ballagh.
It brings the 20-year-old's takings to 6-10 in just three provincial games though county hurling fans will be dismayed to hear that he plans to stick with football again at county level in 2017.
Dublin forward David Treacy overcame a slow start to the game to finish with 11 points while Colm Cronin and Mark Schutte struck the other goals on a brilliant day for Mattie Kenny's men.
They will take on Ulster champions Slaughtneil in the All-Ireland semi-finals in February.
Cuala led from the fifth minute of the game as they moved into an early lead that they would hold onto despite a brief revival from Aidan Fogarty's O'Loughlins after the break.
The Dubliners soared 2-8 to 0-9 clear by half-time and such was their dominance that the advantage should have been even greater.
O'Callagan was at his best in the first-half, nailing 1-2 in that period and laying on the final ball for Cronin's seventh minute goal as well as winning two frees that were converted.
Schutte was dominant in the air too and did well to play in O'Callaghan for his 22nd minute goal which the 20-year-old finished from close range.
O'Loughlin Gaels were completely outgunned but five Mark Bergin points and two from 38-year-old Martin Comerford meant they still weren't out of it at the break, trailing 2-8 to 0-9.
Bergin continued to pick off the frees in the third quarter of the game as the Kilkenny city side reduced their arrears to just three points on three occasions.
But they struggled for penetration up front and the goal they required didn't come until Danny Loughnane fired in a snap shot two minutes from time.
By that stage Cuala had reestablished their authority with bursts of three and two points without reply. O'Callaghan hit two second-half points and Schutte's goal came in the 64th minute when he followed up on a parried free from Treacy to hammer to the top corner of the net.
Scorers for Cuala: D Treacy 0-11 (9fs, 1 s/l), Con O'Callaghan 1-4, M Schutte 1-1, C Cronin 1-0, D O'Connell 0-2, C Waldron 0-1.
Scorers for O'Loughlin Gaels: M Bergin 0-11 (10fs), D Loughnane 1-0, M Comerford 0-2, A Geoghegan 0-1, S Murphy 0-1 (f), M Kelly 0-1.
Cuala: S Brennan; O Gough, Cian O'Callaghan, S Timlin; S Moran, P Schutte, J Sheanon; J Malone, D O'Connell; S Treacy, C Cronin, C Waldron; D Treacy, Con O'Callaghan, M Schutte.
Subs: Colum Sheanon for Waldron (53).
O'Loughlin Gaels: S Murphy; A Forristal, A Kearns, E Kearns; A O'Brien, B Hogan, H Lawlor; P Butler, P Deegan; A Geoghegan, M Kelly, D Loughnane; S Johnston, M Bergin, M Comerford.
Subs: S Mahony for A Kearns (27), P Cantwell for Butler (h/t), S Bolger for Johnston (41).
Referee: M Murtagh (Westmeath).