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Con O'Callaghan stars with 1-3 as Cuala make it back to 3rd successive Leinster final

St Martin’s finished with 13 men in Parnell Park.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Cuala 3-17

St Martin’s 0-15

Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park

CUALA ARE BACK in their third Leinster final in succession after an easier than expected win over a young St Martin’s outfit.

Con O’Callaghan was in electric form for the home side, scoring 1-3 and assisting further goals from Jake Malone and Colm Cronin in the routine win.

The 11-point victory was Cuala’s most convincing in recent months. They won their last four championship games by an average of 4.25 points, but they cut loose today against a St Martin’s team that struggled to contain the deadly Cuala attack.

David Treacy was reliable as every from placed ball and he finished with 0-6, while Nicky Kenny filled in well for the injured Mark Schutte and posted three points.

David Treacy with Willie Devereux Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The Wexford champions had just 13 men by the end of the game, after they lost two players in the final ten minutes. Substitute Michael Codd received a straight red for a strike on Sean Moran, while Joe O’Connor was dismissed after picking up two second yellow cards.

St Martin’s were without Patrick O’Connor and county senior Rory O’Connor – who missed with a knee injury – but his deputy Joe Coleman performed well and scored 0-11.

Cuala played with O’Callaghan isolated on the edge of the square and Nicky Kenny playing off him, while David Treacy dropped out as a third midfielder.

St Martin’s opted to send Wexford defender Willie Devereux out to follow Treacy, but they may have been better served by deploying him as a sweeper in front of O’Callaghan.

Devereux was eventually moved onto the young Dublin star after Cuala’s second goal, but his team-mates left an ocean of space in front of O’Callaghan and he fully capitalised on it.

Cuala fans celebrate a goal Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

An early flurry of Coleman frees had St Martin’s ahead by a point after the opening quarter, but then Cuala’s young star came to life.

O’Callaghan scored a goal and set-up Malone’s three-pointer minutes later, and by the end of that double-whammy Cuala found themselves 2-4 to 0-5 in fornt.

They led by five at the break but three scores from O’Callaghan in the space of 90 seconds had the Dublin kingpins 2-14 to 0-10 in front.

Not long after his third point of the afternoon, O’Callaghan somehow dispossessed Devereux and fed Cronin for an easy goal, taking out the St Martin’s keeper with his final pass.

From that point the result was merely a formality and St Martin’s lost two players in the final ten minutes to red cards to compound their misery.

Scorers for Cuala: David Treacy 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 65), Con O’Callaghan 1-3, Jake Malone 1-1, Nicky Kenny 0-3, Colum Sheanon 0-1, Colm Cronin 1-1, Brian Fitzgerald 0-1, NIall Carty 0-1.

Scorers for St Martin’s: Joe Coleman 0-11 (0-8f, 0-1 sideline), Joe O’Connor 0-1, Jack O’Connor 0-1, Darren Codd 0-1, Daithi Waters 0-1.

Cuala

1. Sean Breanan

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

5. John Sheanon
6. Sean Moran
7. Paul Schutte

9. Darragh O’Connell
10. Sean Treacy

12. David Treacy

13. Colum Sheanon
11. Colm Cronin
8. Jake Malone

14. Con O’Callaghan
21. Nicky Kenny

Subs:

20. Niall Carty for Con O’Callaghan (50)
19. Cian Waldron for Cronin (50)
17. Ross Tierney for Cian O’Callaghan (52)
18. Shane Stapleton for Sheanon (57)
23. Brian Fitzgerald for Kenny (57)

St Martin’s

1. Luke White

4. Conor Firman
7. Paidi Kelly

5. Daithi Waters
6. Joe O’Connor
3. Barry O’Connor

2. Willie Devereux (man marking David Treacy)

8. Harry O’Connor
9. Mark Maloney

10. Jake Firman
12. Jack O’Connor
11. Joe O’Connor

15. Mikey Coleman
13. Joe Coleman
17. Ciaran Lyng

Subs:

18. Darren Codd for Mikey Coleman (33)
20, Michael Codd for Firman (39)
23. Ben Maddock for Barry O’Connor (49)

Referee: David Hughes (Carlow)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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