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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

'There's no better free-taker in Dublin than David Treacy. It was the right decision to bring him back on'

Mattie Kenny was speaking about the decision to bring Treacy back onto the field just four minutes after he was withdrawn.

CUALA BOSS MATTIE Kenny has explained the thought process that led to him bringing David Treacy back onto the field to take a critical free in stoppage-time of today’s Dublin hurling final.

David Treacy Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The defending champions were leading by a point when Colm Cronin won a 63rd minute free from a tricky angle.

Treacy had been replaced by Cian Waldron in the 59th minute, but once the free was awarded Kenny immediately made the call to bring on his talisman. It was a wise move.

The Dublin ace arrowed a pinpoint shot over the bar, and added an insurance score from play with the last puck of the game.

“I just thought David was tiring a little bit but when the free came, there’s no better free-taker in Dublin than him,” said Kenny after the game.

“It was the right decision to bring him back on again today. And his last minute point was super.”

The blustery conditions ruled out any chance of this being a game for the purists, as did Cuala’s decision to play with a sweeper.

“Finals are for winning,” stated the Galway native. “Somedays games open up and other days they don’t. Both teams were playing with a sweeper today and it was very defensive. Forwards had to work really hard for their scores.

“There was a strong swirling breeze out there and shooting wasn’t the easiest. These games come in different sorts and colours and you’ve got to win how you can.”

It was another narrow victory for Cuala, who’ve been involved in some very tight games in the 2017 championship.

They were defeated by Ballyboden St Enda’s in the group stages, before overcoming St Brigid’s, St Vincent’s and Kilmacud by an average of 3.6 points.

Mattie Kenny embraces Ollie Baker after the game Mattie Kenny embraces Kilmacud manager Ollie Baker after the game: Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“The teams we’re playing have improved as well. Some people are saying Cuala aren’t playing as well as they were but I think that’s down a lot to the opposition. Brigid’s and Vincent’s really put it up to us and Crokes were the same tonight. You have to stand down expectations at this time of the year. Everyone is such a battle.

“Last year to get out of Dublin we had to go to extra-time with ‘Boden, got over the line against Lucan and just got over the line against Crokes. So nothing has changed really.”

Next up for the three in a row champions is the winners of today’s Kilkenny decider between Dicksboro and James Stephens. Kenny doesn’t plan on travelling to the game and says he’ll watch it from the comfort of his home instead.

“We’re just taking it one game at a time and as you can see, we’d be very foolish to do anything else. That’s all we had to do, just get to the next game, get to the next game. We’ve got to the next game again now against the Kilkenny champions in a weeks’ time.

“I think it’s on TG4 so I might have a look at it.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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