It was a performance worthy of an All Ireland winning side as Cuala yesterday retained their Leinster title with the skill and prowess we’ve become accustomed to.
By the beginning of the second quarter in O’Moore Park yesterday afternoon, Cuala had left a mountain for Kilcormac Killoughey to climb, trailing 1-08 to 0-00.
Con O’Callaghan proved once more how dangerous he is with the small ball, rounding his marker and forcing Kilcormac Keeper Conor Slevin to deflect his shot into the net.
And Cuala boss Mattie Kenny yesterday admitted that the gameplay was to attack the first 15 minutes with everything they had to make it difficult for their opponents to get into the game.
“We wanted to set the tempo. Got the few early scores. Missed a few as well.” he told the Mirror.
“We went after that first quarter.”
It took the Offaly Champions almost an entire half of hurling to score, when Ciaran Slevin converted a free on 25 minutes to get them up and running. And amazingly a minute later they were 1-01 as Conor Mahon slotted a loose ball past Sean Brennan into the net.
“We worked very hard in that first 15 or 20 minutes but then our tempo dropped. That allowed Kilcormac to come back into it.”
“When they got the goal and a point, it took away a lot of our good work, brought the lead back to six or seven points and that’s nothing in hurling.”
Luckily it was enough yesterday as Kilcormac never got closer than 0-07 to the Leinster Champions as Mattie Kenny now prepares to face fellow county men Liam Mellows in the All Ireland Semi Finals in February.
“Any team out of Galway in club hurling, especially with the way hurling in Galway is at such a high level at the moment, that’s going to be a huge challenge for us but that’s for another day.”
“Galway always bring a huge challenge. They’ve won this competition as much if not more than any other county.”