Cuala’s Con O’Callaghan poses a massive threat in tomorrow’s Leinster Final against Kilcormac-Killoughey

Cuala v Kilcormac-Killoughey
Sunday, December 3rd. 2:00pm
O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.

Both Kilkenny Champions Dicksboro and Wexford representatives St. Martins would have fancied their chances of a scalp of the reigning provincial and All Ireland Champions Cuala in this year’s Championship, but neither were any match for the Dalkey men’s skill and determination to retain their crown.

Offaly Champions Kilcormac-Killoughey are the next side to try and break down the Cuala wall as they get their shot tomorrow afternoon in O’Moore Park for this years Leinster Senior Championship.

The bookmakers have made it a foregone conclusion and priced Cuala as 1/6 favourites to retain the provincial trophy, but defender Paul Schutte doesn’t expect it to be as cut and dry for the punters.

“They’ve only conceded four goals in ten games”, Schutte told, “so they keep it really tight in the backs.”

“I was looking at their Leinster campaign for the previous five years they’ve been in it and they beat Ballyhale in their pomp, they beat Thurles Sarsfields. They’ve got a lot of big scalps.”

The Offaly champions are certainly a very solid team in defence and hurling at this time of the year suits them because they’re a big, physical team all over the park. Plus, they’ll not make the same mistakes as Martin’s did in the Semi Final. They’ll have seen Con O’Callaghan’s recent form and will keep three in the full back line, doubling up on Con as much as possible.

Cuala are no shrinking violets themselves when it comes to the trench-warfare of winning hard ball on a heavy pitch.

They can out-hurl the best as they proved against Ballyea in last February’s All-Ireland Final, but they’re just as comfortable going toe for toe against a physical team and beating them in an arm-wrestle of a contest.

“A lot of lads would have county experience so you’re used to doing the strength and conditioning training with that.” Schutte continued. “A lot of lads would be strong and athletic which you do need.”

“You could be playing now in the depths of winter on a big muddy park so you’ll have to have that dog in you that will fight and win that hard ball.”