By John Fogarty
CUALA (Dublin) 3-19
O’LOUGHLIN GAELS (Kilkenny) 1-16
Cuala became the first team from the capital to win the Leinster club SHC title in 37 years as they led from start to finish in O’Moore Park.
Mattie Kenny’s men emulated Crumlin’s 1979 feat largely thanks to the influences of Sean Moran in defence and David Treacy and Con O’Callaghan in attack, the forward pair contributing 1-15 of their team’s total.
Treacy’s free-taking in the second half along with O’Callaghan’s wizardry in the full-forward line helped Cuala stay the course. A late Danny Loughnane goal threatened an O’Loughlin Gaels’ rally but another Treacy free settled Cuala before Mark Schutte provided the coup de grace.
Oulart-the-Ballagh were sharpest in the early exchanges against O’Loughlin Gaels in the semi-final but they couldn’t sustain it. Cuala, however, were so dominant and were seven points up albeit briefly when O’Callaghan finished to the net in the 22nd minute after the Treacys and Mark Schutte had combined to put him in.
Cuala had bagged their first goal in the seventh minute when Colm Cronin took his cue after an O’Callaghan run. The Dublin champions were making hay in their attack where they were able to warp O’Loughlin Gaels’ shape.
They should have had two goals between the ones they scores in the 11th and 14th minutes. On each occasion, they converted points at least but Sean Treacy’s attempt in the first instance was poor and then David Treacy and Cronin had their attempts thwarted by man and post respectively.
O’Loughlin Gaels went 10 minutes without a score and struck seven first-half wides but responded well to the goals and went in at the break only 2-8 to 0-9 behind. Martin Comerford was making himself a nuisance and some poor discipline cost Cuala in the form of Mark Bergin’s frees.
Scorers for Cuala: D. Treacy (0-11, 9 frees, 1 sideline); C. O’Callaghan (1-4); M. Schutte (1-1): C. Cronin (1-0); D. O’Connell (0-2, 1 free); C. Waldron (0-1).
Scorers for O’Loughlin Gaels: M. Bergin (0-11, 10 frees); D. Loughnane (1-0); M. Comerford (0-2); A. Geoghegan, S. Murphy (free), M. Kelly (0-1 each).
CUALA: S. Brennan; O. Gough (c), C. O’Callaghan, S. Timlin; S. Moran, P. Schutte, J. Sheanan; J. Malone, D. O’Connell; S. Treacy, C. Cronin, C. Waldron; M. Schutte, C. O’Callaghan, D. Treacy.
Sub for Cuala: C. Sheanon for C. Waldron (53).
O’LOUGHLIN GAELS: S. Murphy; A. Forristal, A. Kearns, E. Kearns; A. O’Brien, B. Hogan (c), H. Lawlor; P. Butler, P. Deegan; A. Geoghegan, M. Kelly, D. Loughnane; S. Johnston, M. Bergin, M. Comerford.
Subs for O’Loughlin Gaels: S. Mahony for A. Kearns (27); P. Cantwell for P. Butler (h-t); S. Bolger for S. Johnston (41).
Referee: M. Murtagh (Westmeath).