Dublin: 17°C Tuesday 21 September 2021

Moran the hero as Cuala retain Dublin SHC in Parnell Park thriller

Cuala defeat Ballyboden St Enda’s to claim their fifth title in six years while Turloughmore reach their first Galway decider in 30 years.

Diarmuid O'Flynn (l) and Simon Lambert (r) contest the dropping ball.
Diarmuid O'Flynn (l) and Simon Lambert (r) contest the dropping ball.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

THEY LEFT IT late. Then again, Cuala often do. In the end, they had five points to spare – beating rivals Ballyboden St Enda’s 2-20 to 1-18 to retain their title and claim the Dublin SHC for an eighth time.

Yet that is only half the story. For so much of this encounter, Ballyboden looked like reclaiming the championship they last won in 2018, building up a six-point lead in the first half which was reduced to four points by half-time. But the game turned in the 53rd minute when Sean Stack, the referee, awarded a penalty for a foul on Con O’Callaghan. Up stepped Sean Moran, who held his nerve to score the game’s crucial goal, moving Cuala into a two-point lead.

And they never looked back, outscoring Ballyboden by three points in the closing stages, despite the inconvenience of playing the final six minutes with just 14 players after Colum Sheanon was sent off.

For Ballyboden, there will be regrets. Conal Keaney scored 1-1 – his goal putting his side six points up. But they never got away from Cuala – who reduced the gap to four by half time thanks to points from Con O’Callaghan and Mark Schutte.

Add in Moran’s contribution of 2-3 – 1-2 from play – not to mention the deadly accuracy of David Treacy’s free-taking – he ended the game with 11 points, and you can see how Cuala prevailed. For their part, Ballyboden had sizeable contributions from Niall Ryan – four points from play, Keaney as well as Paul Ryan, who scored eight points, four from play. Aidan Mellett and Conor Dooley also scored two apiece from play.

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sean-moran-celebrates-at-the-final-whistle Sean Moran celebrates at the final whistle. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Elsewhere, Turloughmore reached their first Galway SHC final in 30 years when they defeated Louhgrea in an enthralling semi-final at Pearse Stadium, Barry Callanan and Gary Burke getting their goals en route to a 2-17 to 1-17 victory.

They could even put up with the inconvenience of a penalty miss – knowing they had a wealth of scorers at their disposal, Conor Walsh scoring eight points, Callanan getting 1-3, Gary Burke getting his goal, with contributions also coming from Jamie Holland 0-2, Daniel Loftus, Daithi Burke, Sean Linnane and Matthew Keating.

Neil Keary scored seven frees in his tally of 0-8 for Loughrea, while Jamie Ryan 0-4, Joseph Mooney 1-2, Emmet Mahoney 0-2 and Paul Hoban 0-1 also had fine games.

In other news, John Meyler, the former Cork and Wexford manager, helped Kilmoyley win their sixth Kerry SHC, when they defeated Causeway by one point in Tralee. Maurice O’Connor scored two goals – Daniel Collins also excelled – en route to the club’s 25th Kerry title.

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