Cuala advance to second AIB All-Ireland Club Hurling Final in a row
AIB All-Ireland Club SHC semi-final
CUALA (Dublin) 1-17 LIAM MELLOWS (Galway) 0-11
By Declan Rooney in Semple Stadium
Con O’Callaghan scored four points as reigning champions Cuala advanced to the All-Ireland final at the expense of Liam Mellows at Semple Stadium in Thurles.
Mattie Kenny’s side were completely dominant and reduced their opponents to three points from play and they move on to face Na Piarsaigh on St Patrick’s Day.
Cuala only held a 0-8 to 0-6 lead at the end of the first-half but they cruised to victory after the interval and substitute Brian Fitzgerald scored a late goal.
The dangerous Cuala forwards had massive freedom in the first-half even though David Collins dropped deep to try and plug the gaps. And the holders were in front after three minutes when David Treacy opened the scoring before Mark Schutte put them two ahead.
Liam Mellows free-taker Adrian Morrissey had scored eight points in their victory over Gort in the Galway final and he notched their first point here from a free in the fifth minute.
O’Callaghan was threatening and he scored his first point when he found space off his marker Michael Conneely. But Morrissey replied with a free to leave the minimum between the sides.
It was 0-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes but O’Callaghan hit two points in a row as Cuala pushed clear. And then O’Callaghan turned provider when he made the most of an ugly ball in, before he drew the foul of Michael Conneely, which David Treacy converted.
Mellows looked in real trouble and they couldn’t score from play but Morrissey began to fire from the placed ball and he landed three more frees before half-time.
Conor Kavanagh also scored the point of the half when he picked, turned and fired a score from wide on the left.
Nicky Kenny and Collum Sheanon gave Cuala a bigger advantage before the break. But Liam Mellows were still well in the game when they only trailed by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time.
The Galway side had to make a fast start to the second-half but within ten seconds Darragh O’Connell put a goal between the sides, when he surged through from midfield, right from the throw-in.
Cuala were rampant on the resumption and points from David Treacy (three) and O’Callaghan followed before Adrian Morrissey scored his sixth free.
But Cuala were in control at that stage and they moved through the gears with Shane Treacy also on target, before Brian Fitzgerald put the result beyond doubt.
Scorers for Cuala: David Treacy 0-7 (0-4f, 0-1 65), Con O’Callaghan 0-4, Brian Fitzgerald 1-0, Mark Schutte 0-1, Colum Sheanon 0-1, Nicky Kenny 0-1, Darragh O’Connell 0-1, Sean Treacy 0-1, Diarmuid O’Flynn 0-1.
Scorers for Liam Mellows: Adrian Morrissey 0-7 (0-7f), Aonghus Callanan 0-2, Tadhg Haran 0-1 (0-1f), Conor Kavanagh 0-1.
CUALA: Sean Brennan; Oisin Gough, Cian O’Callaghan, Simon Timlin; John Sheanon, Sean Moran, Mark Schutte; Jake Malone, Darragh O’Connell; Sean Treacy, Colm Cronin, David Treacy; Colum Sheanon, Con O’Callaghan, Nicky Kenny. Subs: Cian Waldron for Colm Sheanon (44), Diarmuid O’Flynn for Simon Timlin (44), Niall Carty for Nicky Kenny (52), Brian Fitzgerald for Mark Schutte (57), Ross Tierney for Cian O’Callaghan (65).
LIAM MELLOWS: Kenneth Walsh; Cathal Reilly, Michael Conneely, Sean Morrissey; Mark Hughes, David Collins (jc), Stephen Barrett; Jack Hastings, Kevin Lee; Conor Hynes, Tadhg Haran, Ronan Elwood; Adrian Morrissey, Aonghus Callanan (jc), Conor Kavanagh. Subs: Jack Forde for Conor Hynes (41), David Fahy for Ronan Elwood (44), Stephen Killeen for Conor Kavanagh (58), Brian Leen for Michael Conneely (61), Conor Elwood for Tadhg Haran (63).
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow).