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Con and Treacy point the way for Cuala as win over Mellows puts them back in All-Ireland decider

Na Piarsaigh are up next on 17 March.

Cuala ran out nine-point victors in Thurles.
Cuala ran out nine-point victors in Thurles.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Cuala (Dublin) 1-17
Liam Mellows (Galway) 0-11

Declan Rooney reports from Semple Stadium

CUALA’S BID TO claim back-to-back All-Ireland senior club hurling titles remains on course as Con O’Callaghan and David Treacy combined to fire them into the St Patrick’s Day decider against Na Piarsaigh.

The free-taking of Adrian Morrissey kept the Galway champions in touch until half time, when they only trailed by two points, but Cuala hit the first five points after the restart to assume total control.

O’Callaghan was brilliant in the first half and finished with four points, while Treacy added to Cuala lead after the break and substitute Brian Fitzgerald hit the goal in the last minute.

Lining up with two in their full-forward line, Cuala managed to create great space for O’Callaghan and Nicky Kenny to work with, and even with spare man David Collins sweeping in front of his full-back, the Leinster champions still frequently put the ball in O’Callaghan’s hand.

Captain for the day David Treacy – Paul Schutte was replaced by bother Mark before the game – opened the scoring after three minutes from the left, while Mark Schutte doubled that lead from the same side a minute later.

Cuala's supporters celebrate with Cian Waldron at the end of the game Cuala players celebrate their victory over Liam Mellows. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Adrian Morrissey’s eight points were key to Liam Mellows first county final win in 47 years, and he got off the mark in the fifth minute from a placed ball on the right.

O’Callaghan got up and running in the sixth minute when he snuck off his marker Michael Conneely and made a yard to score, but a Morrissey free from halfway made it 0-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes.

It was at that point that Cuala’s game went up a level and they began to make the most of O’Callaghan’s pace and power. 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.

And moments later O’Callaghan made the most of an ugly ball in, which he won above Conneely, drew the foul, and David Treacy converted it.

It was hard to see Mellows recovering at that point as they failed to gain a foothold around the middle, but with Morrissey in superb free-taking form from distance, they bypassed much of that mass of bodies. 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 – as the three-in-a-row Dublin winners led 0-8 to 0-6 at the interval.

Michael Conneely and Sean Treacy Liam Mellows Michael Conneely and Cuala's Sean Treay in action. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Straight from the throw in Cuala could have taken a massive step towards victory when Darragh O’Connell gathered the break at midfield and took off towards goal. A goal looked a certainty, but his batted effort off the stick lobbed over Kenneth Walsh’s crossbar.

Nevertheless, the All-Ireland champions soon pulled further clear. 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 placed balls meant Cuala had an easy canter to the finish line.

Cuala's Brian Fitzgerald celebrates scoring a goal Cuala's Brian Fitzgerald celebrates netting in Semple Stadium. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Scorers for Cuala: David Treacy 0-7 (0-4f, 0-1’65), Con O’Callaghan 0-4, Brian Fitzgerald 1-0, Mark Schutte, Colum Sheanon, Nicky Kenny, Darragh O’Connell, Sean Treacy, Niall Carty 0-1 each.

Scorers for Liam Mellows: Adrian Morrissey 0-7 (0-7f), Aonghus Callanan 0-2, Conor Kavanagh, Tadhg Haran (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Cuala

1. Sean Brennan

4. Oisin Gough
3. Cian O’Callaghan
2. Simon Timlin

9. Darragh O’Connell
5. John Sheanon
6. Sean Moran

13. Colum Sheanon
10. Sean Treacy

8. Jake Malone
21. Mark Schutte
12. David Treacy (captain)

11. Colm Cronin
14. Con O’Callaghan
15. Nicky Kenny

Subs

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

6. Michael Conneely
3. Sean Morrissey
2. Cathal Reilly

4. Mark Hughes
5. David Collins (joint captain)
7. Stephen Barrett

8. Jack Hastings
9. Kevin Lee

13. Conor Hynes
14. Tadhg Haran
11. Ronan Elwood

12. Adrian Morrissey
15. Aonghus Callanan (joint captain)
10. Conor Kavanagh

Subs

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)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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Declan Rooney

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