The novel southside derby in today’s Dublin SHC final ended in a 2-10 to 0-9 victory for Kilmacud Crokes over Cuala at Parnell Park.
It was Crokes’ first Senior Hurling Championship success since 1985 with first half goals from Dublin senior players Barry O’Rorke and Ryan O’Dwyer teeing them up for the win.
O’Rorke tucked away Kevin O’Loughlin’s rebounded effort in the 13th minute, as the Stillorgan outfit set the early pace.
They led 2-3 to 0-4 at the break with Dwyer flicking a long free from Sean McGrath into the net, with five minutes to go in the first half.
Cuala mounted a strong response on the resumption as Cian Waldron pointed to open the scoring in the second period and their top scorer Barry Connolly strung together three points of his own - two from frees.
But McGrath took his personal tally to 0-3 as Crokes finished strongly, outscoring Cuala by 0-6 to 0-1 in the closing stages.
During that spell, McGrath (0-2) and O’Loughlin both converted placed balls and defender Jack Doughan, substitute Damien Kelly and the industrious Dillon Mulligan all pointed from play.
2010 champions Thurles Sarsfields lifted the Dan Breen Cup again this afternoon after defeating Drom & Inch by 1-21 to 2-15 in a lively final at Semple Stadium.
Thurles oozed quality in the opening half of today’s Tipperary SHC decider as they moved into a double scores lead by half-time - 1-11 to 0-7.
Aidan McCormack finished off their only goal approaching the interval, however David Butler raised a green flag for a resurgent Drom & Inch after the break.
The defending champions added a second in the 47th minute as Tipperary senior star Seamus Callanan rippled the net, putting the match right back in the melting pot.
But Sarsfields produced a telling finish at the end of this absorbing clash to secure the title for the 32nd time in the club’s history.
Tipp Under-21 starlet McCormack, who scored 1-6 from play, was a deserving winner of the man-of-the-match accolade.
Newly-crowned Wexford champions Oulart-the Ballagh will meet Kilmacud in a tasty Leinster Championship opener on Sunday, November 4.
Oulart proved too strong for Faythe Harriers in the decider at Wexford Park this afternoon, claiming a four in-a-row of county titles on a 2-12 to 0-13 scoreline.
Lynchpin defender Keith Rossiter was in man-of-the-match form as he thwarted a number of Faythe attackers, while Oulart’s two goals came from the sticks of Rory Jacob and Nicky Kirwan.
Meanwhile, despite a 12-point haul from Hurler of the Year nominee Joe Canning, Portumna crashed out of the Galway Championship at the quarter-final stage today - going down 0-17 to 0-15 to Turloughmore.
Dungarvan were unable to topple De La Salle in the Waterford SHC final as Derek McGrath’s side earned a 1-21 to 0-11 triumph at Fraher Field.
It is De La Salle’s third county title in five years and it looked ominous for Dungarvan when Jake Dillon rattled home a goal after only three minutes.
Free-taker Cormac Curran got Dungarvan back in touch but the 2008 and 2010 Waterford champions, with John Mullane a lively figure up front, were still 1-11 to 0-7 to the good at half-time.
De La Salle tightened their grip on proceedings in the third quarter, which was kickstarted by the first of Brian Phelan’s two points.
Top scorer Curran (0-9) and Shane Kearney continued to threaten for Dungarvan, however they were unable to force home a much-needed goal.
It was left to De La Salle to coast home courtesy of late points from John Keane, Shane McNulty and Paidi Nevin. They will take on the winners of the Clare Championship in a Munster semi-final next month.
The Laois SHC final will be replayed at O’Moore Park next Saturday (throw-in 3.45pm) after Clough Ballacolla and Rathdowney Errill played out a 2-8 to 1-11 draw.
It was a dramatic finish at the midlands venue this afternoon as Rathdowney equalised with a last-gasp point. This was in response to a run of 1-3 without reply from Clough Ballacolla.
Brian Connaughton and Mark Egan swapped first half goals in today’s Westmeath SHC final, but the latter’s Clonkill side finished up as 2-16 to 2-11 winners as they retained the county trophy.
Meanwhile, reigning All-Ireland champions Loughgiel Shamrocks qualified for the Ulster final with a 1-25 to 0-12 win over Armagh challengers Middletown.
Eddie McCloskey struck 1-6 for the Antrim kingpins and Liam Watson accumulated eight points in what turned out to be a facile victory.
They were 0-12 to 0-5 ahead by the break and McCloskey’s kicked goal, two minutes into the second half, effectively put an end to Middletown’s hopes.
The first Ulster semi-final played at Casement Park today was also a one-sided affair as Down champions Portaferry cruised past Swatragh of Derry on a 0-23 to 1-6 scoreline.
Paul Braniff was Portaferry’s scoring star with 0-11. Derry forward Ruairi Convery netted for Swatragh before receiving a red card for an off-the-ball clash in the 43rd minute.
It was Swatragh’s first ever outing in the Ulster Championship and they had been overwhelmed in the opening quarter as Ports landed eight unanswered points.
Thurles Sarsfields 1-21 Drom & Inch 2-15, Thurles
Oulart-the Ballagh 2-12 Faythe Harriers 0-13, Wexford Park
Dungarvan 0-11 De La Salle 1-21, Fraher Field
Cuala 0-9 Kilmacud Crokes 2-10, Parnell Park
Clough Ballacolla 2-8 Rathdowney Errill 1-11, O’Moore Park
Portaferry (Down) 0-23 Swatragh (Derry) 1-6, Casement Park
Loughgiel (Antrim) 1-25 Middletown (Armagh) 0-12, Casement Park
Calry St. Joseph’s 2-16 Coolera Strandhill 1-11, Markievicz Park
Clonkill 2-16 Raharney 2-11, Mullingar