Cuala are Leinster champions for the second consecutive year, after comprehensively seeing off Kilcormac-Killoughey on a scoreline of 1-23 to 1-08.
The Dubliners once again displayed their hugely dynamic attack with devastating impact, as David Treacy scored 10 points from placed balls, Colum Sheanon and Colm Cronin bagged three points apiece, while Con O’Callaghan scored 1-02.
The Offaly champions came out for the game fired up, and clearly fancied going toe-to-toe with the Dalkey side, without pulling a man back in defence. They were exposed, and badly.
Con O’Callaghan found the net and tagged on another two points as he began to break into his stride. Colm Cronin and Colum Sheanon also contributed to the scoring, while Treacy converted from placed balls to put significant daylight between the sides.
Cuala raced into a 1-07 to 0-00 lead before the Kilcormac-Killoughey management elected to double up on the Young Footballer of the Year, but it looked like the damage was already done.
However, the 2013 All-Ireland finalists rallied, and Conor Mahon began to cause the Cuala rearguard serious issues, with Seán Moran receiving a yellow card for a foul on the rampaging forward, while Cian O’Callaghan was lucky to avoid a similar fate after pulling Mahon’s stick back.
As a Mahon goal gave the underdogs hope, there was a belief growing amongst the Offaly contingent in the packed stand that there was life in this game yet. However, a red card to Mahon on the stroke of half-time completely changed the complexion of the game before the second period.
The 14 men of Kilcormac-Killoughey battled bravely after the break, but when Sean Brennan pulled off an impressive save from a Ciaran Slevin penalty on the 37th minute, the writing was on the wall.
Points from Darragh O’Connell, Colum Sheanon, Jake Malone and Cian Waldron kept Cuala in a somewhat comfortable lead, as Kilcormac-Killoughey continued to apply pressure and were finding some success through long balls.
Nonetheless, the southside club continued to drive forward, buoyed by bursting runs forward from Colm Cronin to ensure there was a gloss on the scoreboard at the death.
After successfully defending their Dublin and Leinster titles, Cuala now look ahead to the All-Ireland semi-final, where they face the Galway champions – Liam Mellows. Judging by today’s showing, it will take something special to stop the Dublin side from repeating the trick on St Patrick’s Day.