Con O’Callaghan and David Treacy point Dalkey outfit Cuala back to Croke Park for the second consecutive year, while substitute Brian Fitzgerald fired a late goal for the Leinster champions.
Cuala David Treacy
Cuala’s David Treacy was again pivotal in their AIB Semi Final Victory

Cuala 1-17 Liam Mellows 0-11

Reigning All Ireland Champions Cuala remain on course for back to back All Ireland success as they now face Na Piarsaigh on St. Patrick’s Day.

David Treacy, captain for the day, opened the scoring after three minutes, with Mark Schutte doubling that lead a minute later. Adrian Morrissey, a key component to the Liam Mellows side got off the mark in the fifth minute from a placed ball on the right.

O’Callaghan was up and running in the sixth minute losing his marker to score, but a Morrissey free from halfway made it 0-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes.

It was here that Cuala went up a level and started to make the most of O’Callaghan’s pace. A ball into space from Jake Malone saw him score after David Collins lost possession at halfway, while Sean Treacy was afforded too much time to pick the pass into the full-forward after 17 minutes for his third.

While Mellows failed to gain a foothold around the middle of the park, they can be thankful that Morrissey was in superb free-taking form from distance, so they bypassed much of that sector. Either side of two huge frees from Morrissey, Mellows’s Conor Kavanagh struck the point of the half when he picked, turned and fired a score from wide on the left.

Kenny and Colum Sheanon added points for Cuala before the interval – all but one of their points came from open play, leading 0-8 to 0-6 at the break.

Cuala could have taken a massive step towards victory right at the beginning of the second half when Darragh O’Connell gathered the ball in midfield and shuttled towards goal. The green flag should have been raised, but his batted effort off the stick lobbed over the Mellow’s crossbar.

Nevertheless, the All-Ireland champions soon pulled away. Two frees from David Treacy sandwiched a simple O’Callaghan point, while Treacy’s third free of the half made it 0-13 to 0-6 by the 37th minute.

Another Morrissey free kept Mellows in touch, although Sean Treacy’s point from play at the other end chalked out that effort after 43 minutes.

Morrissey again found his range and Aonghus Callanan tagged on a point for Mellows, but Treacy’s accuracy from the dead ball made Cuala’s path to Croke Park that much easier.

Scorers for Cuala:
David Treacy 0-07 (4f, 1’65)
Con O’Callaghan 0-04
Brian Fitzgerald 1-00
Mark Schutte 0-01
Colum Sheanon 0-01
Nicky Kenny 0-01
Darragh O’Connell 0-01
Sean Treacy 0-01
Niall Carty 0-01

Scorers for Liam Mellows:
Adrian Morrissey 0-07 (7f)
Aonghus Callanan 0-02
Conor Kavanagh 0-01
Tadhg Haran 0-01 (1f)

1. Sean Brennan
2. Simon Timlin
3. Cian O’Callaghan
4. Oisin Gough
5. John Sheanon
6. Sean Moran
21. Mark Schutte
8. Jake Malone
9. Darragh O’Connell
10. Sean Treacy
11. Colm Cronin
12. David Treacy
13. Colum Sheanon
14. Con O’Callaghan
15. Nicky Kenny

30. Diarmuid O’Flynn for Timlin (44)
19. Cian Waldron for C Sheanon (44)
20. Niall Carty for Kenny (52)
23. Brian Fitzgerald for Schutte (57)
17. Ross Tierney for Cian O’Callaghan (65)

Liam Mellows
1. Kenneth Walsh
2. Cathal Reilly
3. Sean Morrissey
4. Mark Hughes
5. David Collins
6. Michael Conneely
7. Stephen Barrett
8. Jack Hastings
9. Kevin Lee
10. Conor Kavanagh
11. Ronan Elwood
12. Adrian Morrissey
13. Conor Hynes
14. Tadhg Haran
15. Aonghus Callanan

17. Jack Forde for Hynes (41)
20. David Fahy for Elwood (44)
22. Stephen Killeen for Kavanagh (58)
19. Brian Leen for Conneely (61)
21. Conor Elwood for Haran (63)