Sport

GAA Round-up: Cuala beat Kilkenny champions Clara

SportBy Sean McGoldrick
Sean Treacy taps the sliotar past the diving Clara goalkeeper, Killian Phelan, to score the second Cuala goal
Sean Treacy taps the sliotar past the diving Clara goalkeeper, Killian Phelan, to score the second Cuala goal

Dublin hurling kingpins Cuala are through to their first Leinster club final since 1990.

Their ability to score goals, which underpinned their successful campaign in Dublin, was again to the fore at Parnell Park when they edged out Kilkenny champions Clara by four points.

Goals in the first half from Colm Cronin and Sean Treacy gave Cuala a 2-8 to 0-10 advantage at the break.

Dublin’s Mark Schutte found the net 20 seconds into the second half leaving with the visitors with an uphill task.

The Kilkenny side lost Conor O’Shea to a second yellow card and although they fought gallantly they could not close the gap.

In their only other final appearance in 1990 Cuala lost to Kilkenny’s Ballyhale Shamrocks.

The only other Dublin clubs to reach the final were Crumlin, who won the title in 1980, and UCD, beaten finalists in 2006.

The Dublin champions will face Oulart The Ballagh in the provincial decider.  

As expected the Wexford side overcame Clonkill (Westmeath) by double scores in a goalless contest.  

This will be Oulart The Ballagh’s fifth final appearance in six seasons but they are still waiting for that elusive win in the decider.

Meanwhile, Na Piarsaigh from Limerick will be aiming to secure their third provincial hurling title in five years when they meet Waterford’s Ballygunner in the Munster decider.  

Champions in 2011 and 2013, Na Piarsaigh overcame the challenge of Tipperary champions Thurles Sarsfields.

Again goals proved crucial; the winners scored two with David Dempsey’s late strike securing the win.  

Ballygunner, who had already secured their place in the decider, are aiming to win the title for the first time since 2001.

It will be their first final appearance since 2009.

Competition specialists Crossmaglen Rangers remain on target for their eleventh Ulster club title since 1996 after overcoming Down champions Kilcoo to reach their first decider since 2012.

After a low-scoring first half the sides were level 0-3 each at the break, but the Armagh champions’ third quarter spurt put them virtually out of sight.

Armagh inter county player Jamie Clarke came off the bench to assist them in the last four minutes as Kilcoo attempted to claw their way back into the contest.

Incredibly, Crossmaglen have never been beaten in an Ulster final.

As expected, the other semi-final between Scotstown (Monaghan) and Trillick (Tyrone) was a thriller.

A goal from Darren Hughes helped the Monaghan champions to a 1-5; 1-4 advantage at the break.

Hughes struck for a second goal early in the second half but Niall Gormley replied for Trillick.

Scores dried up completely afterwards on the heavy pitch.

Crucially - even though they failed to raise a flag from the 40th minute until the death - Scotstown kept their noses in front and they finally secured the win when Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan pointed a free in injury time.

This will be Scotstown’s first final appearance since they won their fourth provincial title in 1989.

In the Munster club series Nemo Rangers reached their first final since 2010 when they beat Kerry’s representatives Killarney Legion in a goalless encounter.

The Cork champions will be bidding for their 16th provincial crown when they take on Clonmel Commercials in the decider. 

The Tipperary champions hammered Miltown Mallbay by 13 points.

It will be Clonmel’s fifth final appearance but they lost in their previous appearances in 1994, 1990, 1971 and 1966.

RESULTS:

Munster Club SF semi-finals
Clonmel Commercials (Tipperary) 1-13; Miltown Malbay 0-03 (Clare)
Nemo Rangers (Cork) 0-14; Killarney Legion (Kerry) 0-08   
Ulster club SFC semi-finals
Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) 0-12; Kilcoo (Down) 0-08   
Scotstown (Monaghan) 2-8; Trillick (Tyrone) 2-07  
Leinster club SHC semi-finals
Cuala (Dublin) 3-12 Clara (Kilkenny) 0-17    
Oulart The Ballagh (Wexford) 0-16   Clonkill (Westmeath) 0-08 
Munster club SHC semi-final
Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) 2-15 Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) 0-17