Mattie Kenny may have thought he was onto a winner when he enjoyed a hole-in-one in Portumna Golf Club on Saturday. “The hole in one was a fluke – today was more crafted,” smiled the Cuala manager.
Scoring goals, he revealed, was part of the plan. They could have had four inside the first 20 minutes but ended up with two.
“We went after goals. We missed two goals in the first half, which really would have given us a cushion. We went in at half-time five up. I thought we deserved to be a couple more points ahead, open up a bit more of a gap.
“We knew in the second half O’Loughlins were going to come hard at us. Even though we attacked well in the second half, kept the scoreboard ticking over, they stayed in touch. Ten or 12 minutes to go, only three points in it.”
O’Loughlin Gaels manager Aidan Fogarty admitted they didn’t threaten Cuala’s goal enough before Danny Loughnane’s late effort. “We never looked like scoring a goal prior to that and we gave away two goals early on.
“We tried to come back at them but we couldn’t open them up. We’re disappointed it wasn’t our best performance but you could put that down to Cuala playing very well as well.
“I know we brought it back to three points but we never pushed on and they scored a point or two after that. They just kept coming back every time we threatened and that wasn’t often enough, I’m afraid.”
Kenny knows he has something special in Con O’Callaghan but spread the praise around his attack. “We’ve good forwards. They all need attention. You can’t really double-mark any of them. If you do, then you’d be hoping one of the others would do a lot of damage. That was the case. Colm Cronin, Mark Schutte, David Treacy across the half-forward line, they were all playing really, really well.”
O’Callaghan said the determination to make amends for last year’s Leinster final defeat to Oulart-the-Ballagh was obvious from late last year. “We actually played the (county) league final in December on a horrible day. We made a pact to each other that we weren’t playing there for nothing. We wanted to get back to the final. It’s amazing to be back.”
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