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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 21 June, 2018
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Good afternoon and welcome to our live minute-by-minute coverage of this afternoon’s second All-Ireland club hurling semi-final.

Just a few minutes ago, Na Piarsaigh clinched their place in the decider as they ran out seven-point winner against Slaughtneil in Parnell Park.

Now it’s the turn of the reigning All-Ireland champions Cuala as they continue their challenge for back-to-back titles against Liam Mellows of Galway.

Throw-in at Semple Stadium is at 4pm.

TEAM NEWS: Here’s how the holders line out. One late change — captain Paul Schutte is OUT; Mark Schutte is in.

Cuala

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

TEAM NEWS: Liam Mellows line out as expected; no changes to the match programme.

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 (c)

Amhrán na bhFiann rings around Semple Stadium – we’re just about ready for throw in.

2 mins – First clear chance falls to Mark Schutte after some good work from Darragh O’Connell in midfield. He snatches at it though.

3 mins — Cuala 0-1 Liam Mellows 0-0: John Sheanon gets out in front of his marker and flicks the ball to David Treacy who points the game’s opening score.

4 mins — Cuala 0-2 Liam Mellows 0-0: Nice acceleration from Mark Schutte who rounds Mark Hughes on the outside and takes his score.

5 mins — Cuala 0-2 Liam Mellows 0-1: Adrian Morrissey gets the Galway men on the board with a free.

6 mins — Cuala 0-3 Liam Mellows 0-1: Here’s Con! He gets out in front of Michael Conneely, takes a step to buy himself a few inches of space, and points. He makes it look so easy sometimes.

8 mins – Tadhg Haran tries to slice a sideline cut over the bar for Liam Mellows but it misses the target.

9 mins — Cuala 0-3 Liam Mellows 0-2: David Treacy is a little bit over-exuberant in the tackle, and barrels through the back of Conor Hynes. Morrissey makes no mistake with the free.

10 mins — Cuala 0-4 Liam Mellows 0-2: That’s a real statement of intent from Cuala! David Collins tried to carry the ball out through the half-back line from Liam Mellows but twice, he was stopped by determined blocks from the men in red.

Cuala eventually force the turnover, Sean Treacy angles a ball towards O’Callaghan in the corner, and he points.

15 mins – Colm Cronin looks to engineer a goal chance for Cuala but he takes too much out of the ball and is blown for overcarrying.

16 mins – Wasteful from Darragh O’Connell who sends a sideline harmlessly wide when it would have been better to pick out a man.

17 mins — Cuala 0-5 Liam Mellows 0-2: O’Callaghan nudges Cuala further in front.

18 mins — Cuala 0-6 Liam Mellows 0-2: Michael Conneely has had quite enough of Con O’Callaghan for now, thank you. He tries to quieten the youngster by lining him up for a thunderous hit, but doesn’t quite catch him shoulder to shoulder in the referee’s eyes, and concedes the free.

O’Callaghan bounces back to his feet and waves the sliotar in the defender’s face. David Treacy knocks the free over the bar.

lm3 Source: TG4

22 mins: Cuala 0-6 Liam Mellows 0-3: Ronan Elwood needs some attention. When he gets back to his feet, Morrissey points the free to bring Liam Mellows back to within three. They haven’t managed too many clear-cut chances from open play.

23 mins — Cuala 0-6 Liam Mellows 0-4: And just as I say that… Conor Kavanagh arrives on the scene at a tangle of bodies, pounces on a loose ball, and drives it over from out near the sideline. Great score.

24 mins — Cuala 0-6 Liam Mellows 0-5: MONSTER free from Adrian Morrissey, well inside his own half… and it had the legs to go a bit further as well. Brilliant few minutes for Liam Mellows.

25 mins — Cuala 0-7 Liam Mellows 0-5: Cuala have dominated possession, but they’ve also racked up more wides, and that’s allowed Liam Mellows to drag themselves back into a great position. The Dubs stem the tide for now, Nicky Kenny with the point.

27 mins — Cuala 0-7 Liam Mellows 0-6: Nicky Kenny picks up a pretty soft yellow card for dragging his man back by the arm. It means another chance for Adrian Morrissey with a dead ball — and this man is launching bombs at the moment. No mistake, and it’s a one-point game again.

28 mins — Cuala 0-8 Liam Mellows 0-6: Good composure from John Sheanon who didn’t quite have the shooting angle. He turns back, finds brother Colum on his shoulder, and he pops over his first point of the day.

30+1 mins – Yellow for Con O’Callaghan who pulled with a bit too much venom when challenging for possession in a crowd of bodies there.

Here are some of those first-half highlights:

SECOND HALF — Cuala 0-9 Liam Mellows 0-6: What a start! Darragh O’Connell runs right through the heart of the Liam Mellows defence as if they’re not there. He should score a three-pointer but bats it over for a point. Ten seconds on the clock.

33 mins — Cuala 0-11 Liam Mellows 0-6: Quick double for Cuala; David Treacy points a free and the Dubs immediately win possession from the puckout and Con O’Callaghan scores his fourth of the day.

35 mins — Cuala 0-12 Liam Mellows 0-6: Whatever Mattie Kenny said at the break, it worked, because Cuala have bolted out of the dressing room and they’re leaving Liam Mellows with a mountain to climb.

O’Callaghan wins clean ball, passes to Mark Schutte, and he’s dragged back by Mark Hughes. Yellow card and a free, and David Treacy makes no mistake.

37 mins — Cuala 0-13 Liam Mellows 0-6: Liam Mellows concede another simple free, and David Treacy will knock them over all day. Five points now without reply to start the second half.

38 mins — Cuala 0-13 Liam Mellows 0-7: Adrian Morrissey points a free, his side’s first score of the second half.

43 mins — Cuala 0-14 Liam Mellows 0-7: Very unselfish from Darragh O’Connell who does well in midfield to secure possession, turns, and finds Sean Treacy who has the time and space to send over a long-range point.

47 mins — Cuala 0-14 Liam Mellows 0-8: Liam Mellows need some sort of a spark here. Jack Hastings is clipped by Sean Moran, and Adrian Morrissey scores the free.

48 mins — Cuala 0-15 Liam Mellows 0-8: Super stop by Kenneth Walsh to deny Cuala a goal, but David Treacy points the 65.

50 mins — Cuala 0-15 Liam Mellows 0-9: Aonghus Callanan keeps Liam Mellows in the hunt as we enter the last 10 minutes.

55 mins — Cuala 0-16 Liam Mellows 0-10: David Treacy pushes Cuala further in front, but Liam Mellows respond. It won’t be enough though — it’s goals they need now.

58 mins – Hawk-Eye is called into action for the first time this afternoon – and it rules that latest Liam Mellows effort wide. Six points in it with two minutes to play. Are Cuala on their way back to another St Patrick’s Day decider?

Con O’Callaghan is named man of the match as the clock ticks into the red.

Four additional minutes to be played.

60+2 mins — Cuala 0-17 Liam Mellows 0-10: O’Flynn bounces off the tackle of Stephen Barrett and rifles over another Cuala point. They’re cruising now.

60+4 mins — GOAL! Cuala 1-17 Liam Mellows 0-11: It’s all over! Brian Fitzgerald blasts to the net and the All-Ireland champions are making a statement now.

It wasn’t always perfect from Cuala but the men from Dalkey are heading back to another All-Ireland final, and the chance to become the first club since Portumna in 2008/2009 to retain their crown.

It’s a nine-point win when all’s said and done.

It’ll be Na Piarsaigh v Cuala on St Patrick’s Day — the 2016 champions meet the 2017 champions for the 2018 title.

That’ll be worth a look.

That’s all from us for now. Thanks very much for reading.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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