Tuesday 23 May 2017

Cuala end Slaughtneil's double dream

Cuala 3-21 Slaughtneil 2-11

Cuala's Con O'Callaghan in action against Paul McNeill of Slaughtneil. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Cuala's Con O'Callaghan in action against Paul McNeill of Slaughtneil. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Conor McKeon

Conor McKeon

Slaughtneil's attempt to become the first club to win both All-Ireland club titles fell victim to a cold-blooded performance from Cuala in Armagh yesterday.

This All-Ireland Club SHC semi-final win, ruthless in its construction, meant the Dalkey team became the first Dublin club to qualify for St Patrick's Day, where they'll play Clare champions Ballyea.

Slaughtneil's Brian Cassidy in action against Darragh Connell, left, and Simon Timlin, right, of Cuala. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Slaughtneil's Brian Cassidy in action against Darragh Connell, left, and Simon Timlin, right, of Cuala. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Yesterday, they scored early and often, killed Slaughtneil's spirit and suffered no further injury woes. Three months of competitive inactivity had no effect on Cuala's hurling and a first-half barrage ended the game long before its official conclusion.

Chrissy McKaigue, who performed such a dominant marking job on Diarmuid Connolly in the football semi-final, started the scoring and injected a pulse of excitement to the travelling Derry crowd, but that was as optimistic as they were allowed to get.

Con O'Callaghan, who scored six goals in Cuala's Leinster campaign, rifled another one after just 11 minutes, at which stage Mattie Kenny's team had already begun to take control. David Treacy's ball use was calm and imaginative and his free-taking flawless, and with Colm Cronin and Mark Schutte on song, the Derry champions were 1-13 to 0-5 down at half-time.

Sloppy goals conceded to Sé McGuigan and Gerald Bradley made the second half a little more uncomfortable than it needed to be for Cuala. However, Niall Carty's late, batted goal killed it completely.

Scorers - Cuala: D Treacy 0-8 (7f), C O'Callaghan 1-3, S Treacy 1-1, N Carty 1-0, C Cronin 0-3, N Kenny, C Sheanon, S Moran (f), D O'Connell, M Schutte, N Waldron (f) 0-1 each. Slaughtneil: C O'Doherty 0-5 (2f, 1 '65), G Bradley 1-2, S McGuigan 1-0, B Rodgers, C McKaigue 0-2 each.

Cuala: S Brennan; O Gough, Cian O'Callaghan, S Timlin; J Malone, S Moran, J Sheanon; D O'Connell, C Cronin; S Treacy, C Sheanon, D Treacy; C Waldron, Con O'Callaghan, M Schutte. Subs: N Kenny for C Waldron (45), N Carty for C Sheanon (53), N Waldron for D Treacy (58), R Tierney for J Sheanon (59), S Stapleton for S Treacy (59).

Slaughtneil: O O'Doherty; C McAllister, Shane McGuigan, P McNeill; S Cassidy, Karl McKaigue, M McGrath; E Cassidy, G Bradley; C McKaigue, M McGuigan, M McKenna; Sé McGuigan, B Rodgers, C O'Doherty. Subs: B Cassidy for M McGuigan (h-t), R McCartney for Cassidy (43).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).

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