Defending All-Ireland club hurling champions Cuala are back in the final after dispatching of the challenge of Liam Mellows 1-17 to 0-11 on Saturday evening in Thurles.
The win came hours after Na Piarsaigh got the better of Slaughtneil in a Parnell Park thriller to set up the final that most neutrals wanted to see.
Cuala dealt with the Liam Mellows sweeper particularly well and, while not putting up the same score as they did in the Leinster Championship success, still put up a good tally while staying mean at the back.
While Liam Mellows were somewhat of an unknown quantity for many observers after their first county title win in 47 years, Galway native, and Cuala boss, Mattie Kenny, was all too well aware of the threat posed by the men from the City of the Tribes.
“I know a good few of the Mellows guys. I had David Collins and Aonghus Callanan at under-21 in 2005 when we won an All-Ireland, which was a good while ago.
“And then another bunch of them (like) Tadgh Haran in 2011 so I’m personal friends with a good few of the Mellows guys and they are really, really nice guys and they had a great year themselves.”
A county final win over Gort meant that Liam Mellows were the first city club to win the county title in 33 years – a testament to the work they are putting in.
It is this work that Kenny believes will see them back playing at the highest level again in the future.
“(It was a) great achievement winning the Galway Senior Championship and I know they will be disappointed tonight but when they look back on it, they are a coming club, the effort they are putting in on the outskirts of Galway city – they are bringing hurling back to the city in Galway.
“They are going to be a club for the future, they have a really good under-age coaching and development structures in place. It’s a bright future I believe for Mellows.”
While Liam Mellows are looking at the next few years, it is the next few weeks that are key for Kenny and Cuala as they prepare for another All-Ireland final.