Treacy and Cronin inspire Cuala to end 21-year wait for silverware
Dublin SHC final Cuala 3-14 St Jude's 0-13
Cuala claimed their first county title in 21 years as they proved too strong for St Jude's at Parnell Park.
The Dalkey club were full value for the win given they played the more compelling hurling throughout and their ability to score goals at the most opportune times - with Sean Treacy getting two - was pivotal.
Both sides struggled for their best form in a cagey opening period in which Wayne Hutchinson opened the scoring for St Jude's through a fourth-minute free.
Sean Treacy and David Treacy replied for Cuala and Colm Cronin gained a tangible reward for his early industry to inch his side a point clear by the 11th minute.
St Jude's were largely reliant on the dead-ball prowess of Fionn Ó Riain Broin but after surviving a couple of scares in defence, they were finally breached in the 19th minute as Sean Treacy poked home from close range after fine work by Mark Schutte.
Two scores by David Treacy increased Cuala's advantage to five points but with Eoin McLoughlin and Robert Hardy driving their team forward, St Jude's finished the half in a positive manner with points from Joseph McManus and Ronan Joyce reducing their arrears to 1-7 to 0-7 by the break.
That momentum was maintained upon the resumption thanks to points by Danny Sutcliffe and Jesse Kennedy but Cuala's greater goal threat was evident once again in the 34th minute as Schutte raced clear down the left before leaving Cronin with a relatively straightforward finish past Martin Hartnett.
A wonderful block by Ger McManus a minute later denied Schutte a certain goal and St Jude's kept their hopes alive with points from Hardy and Tom Devlin.
These positive incidents proved far too rare, however, as the goal they required to ignite their challenge failed to materialise, with Cian O'Callaghan an assured presence at full-back for Cuala.
Cuala's victory was effectively confirmed in the 48th minute when Cronin took advantage of some defensive hesitation to supply Sean Treacy for his second goal, with the dismissal of Joseph McManus a minute later compounding St Jude's misery.
Sutcliffe added two late points for St Jude's but the final word fell to Darragh O'Connell, with the Kerry native confirming a ten-point win for Cuala.
SCORERS - Cuala: S Treacy 2-1, D Treacy 0-7 (5fs, 1 '65', 1 s-l), C Cronin 1-2, D O'Connell 0-3, M Schutte 0-1. St Jude's: F Ó Riain Broin (3fs), D Sutcliffe 0-3 each, W Hutchinson (f), R Hardy, P Maguire, J Kennedy, R Joyce, J McManus, T Devlin 0-1 each.
CUALA - S Brennan; R Tierney, C O'Callaghan, S Timlin; S Stapleton, O Gough, S Moran; J Malone, D O'Connell; C Waldron, C Cronin, N Kenny; D Treacy, M Schutte, S Treacy. Subs: C Sheanon for Kenny (44), B Connolly for Waldron (53), B Browne for Timlin (60).
ST JUDE'S - M Hartnett; E McLoughlin, G McManus, C Mangan; C Ó Riain Broin, W Hutchinson, R Hardy; N Mangan, P Maguire; R Joyce, D Sutcliffe, J Kennedy; J McManus, T Devlin, F Ó Riain Broin. Subs: A O'Beirne for C Ó Riain Broin (36), J Ryan for N Mangan (43), S Larkin for Devlin (47), A McGovern for F Ó Riain Broin (57).
Ref - A Keating (Setanta)