Friday 24 November 2017

Attack is the key for Cuala and the gang

Dublin champions have the firepower to heap even more misery on Oulart

Cuala forward Mark Schutte
Cuala forward Mark Schutte

Cuala look an easy fit in this most advanced stage of the hurling calendar.

"They're a very young team and it's very exciting for Dublin hurling really that they've made the impression they have," Ger Cunningham told the Herald, ahead of their AIB Leinster club SHC final with perennial jilted brides, Oulart-The Ballagh.

"It might be an inconvenience (for Dublin) at the moment but in general, it's great that they're now in a Leinster final.

"It's great for Dublin hurling.

"There was six of the Cuala panel in with us this year. So there's the basis of a great team there.

"And I think Mattie Kenny has brought something to the table there as well."


"In my time in Dublin, people were saying they were the best team in Dublin but they hadn't seen it through but it's not a surprise.

"Especially when you look at their forward line. They have Mark (Schutte) and David Treacy, Seán Treacy and Colm Cronin…they have some exceptional forwards."

The Dublin manager's last point is worth examining a little deeper in the context of their chances in Dr CullenPark tomorrow.

Until their semi-final win over Kilkenny's Clara, Cuala had averaged 26 points per game in four knock-out matches between the Dublin SHC and their first two rounds in Leinster.

Their 3-12 in Parnell Park, given it came against the Kilkenny champions, was arguably even more impressive and the four points Cuala eventually won by didn't flatter them any either.

In addition to the aforementioned attacking quartet, Con O'Callaghan came off the bench last day out after his suspension while former Dublin U21 player, Jake Malone, scored two points from midfielder.

Oulart, meanwhile, have the echoes of the jeers of four provincial final losses on the spin and if they say that run of misery hasn't impacted their thinking this week, they're lying.

Whether that has a positive or negative effect on their performance, it's impossible to tell.

They'll either be propelled by the possibilities of victory and educated on the pitfalls of the past or they'll be immobilised by the fear of failing yet again and scarred by their previous losses.

No Dublin club have won this title since 1979, when Crumlin became Dublin's first - and to this day, only - Leinster club champions.

In that time, teams from Kilkenny, Offaly, Wexford, Laois and Carlow have climbed the provincial mountain. But no Dublin club.

Oulart, in a dozen attempts, have never won it either.

Something's gotta' give.

ODDS: Cuala 8/15, Draw 15/2, Oulart 15/8


Leinster Club SHC Final: Cuala v Oulart-The Ballagh, Dr Cullen Park, tomorrow (LIVE TG4, 2.00)

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