David Treacy scored seven points for Cuala who overwhelmed Liam Mellows and advanced to another All-Ireland final at Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day, writes.
The reigning champions will meet Na Piarsaigh in the decider, and they looked awesome at times in Semple Stadium, with Con O’Callaghan to the fore once again.
Cuala held a narrow 0-8 to 0-6 lead at half-time and they took control in the second-half with Brian Fitzgerald scoring a late goal to seal it.
The dangerous Cuala forward had massive freedom in the first-half even though David Collins dropped deep to try and plug the gaps. The holders were in front after three minute 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 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 Collumn 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 David Treacy put the result beyond doubt.
Mellows came in search of a consolation at the end but Cuala caught them on the counter-attack and Fitzgerald blasted a finishing goal in the fifth minute of added time.
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.
Liam Mellows: Adrian Morrissey 0-7 (0-7f), Aonghus Callanan 0-2, Tadhg Haran 0-1 (0-1f), Conor Kavanagh 0-1.
Cuala: S Brennan; O Gough, Cian O’Callaghan (R Tierney 65), S Timlin (D O’Flynn 44); J Sheanon, S Moran, M Schutte (B Fitzgerald 57); J Malone, D O’Connell; S Treacy, C Cronin, D Treacy; C Sheanon (C Waldron 44), Con O’Callaghan, N Kenny (N Carty 52).
Liam Mellows: K Walsh; C Reilly, M Conneely (B Leen 61), S Morrissey; M Hughes, D Collins (jc), S Barrett; J Hastings, K Lee; C Hynes (J Forde 41), T Haran (C Elwood 63), R Elwood (D Fahy 44); A Morrissey, A Callanan (jc), C Kavanagh (S Killeen 58).
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow).