AIB All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship Final – Cuala (Dublin) 2-19 Ballyea (Clare) 1-10

Cuala (Dublin) defeated Ballyea (Clare) by 2-19 to 1-10 in the AIB All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship Final on Friday March 17th at Croke Park.




Cuala win AIB All Ireland SHC title

AIB All Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship Final

CUALA (DUBLIN) 2-19 BALLYEA (CLARE) 1-10

Report By John Harrington for GAA.ie

Cuala created history in Croke Park today by becoming the first ever Dublin club to win the AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship.

It was a richly deserved victory too as they over-powered a game Ballyea team that simply couldn’t cope with their firepower.

The Dublin side dominated right down the spine of the field thanks to herculean performances from the likes of Cian O’Callaghan, Sean Moran, Darragh O’Connell, John Sheanon, Colm Cronin, and Con O’Callaghan.

That sextet in particular hurled with a potent combination of aggression, pace, and craft, that bodes very well for the general health of Dublin hurling.

Cuala’s performance was all the more impressive considering the greasy sod and spitting rain made playing conditions difficult.

It was a scrappy, hard-hitting contest in the early stages with forwards finding it difficult to turn quickly which played into the hands of the tight-marking defenders of both teams.

As the half progressed though Cuala gradually began to take control of the contest, thanks largely to the dominance of their half-backs and midfield.

The Dublin team had given regular wing-back John Sheanon the arduous task of man-marking Ballyea danger-man Tony Kelly, and the manner in which the dominated that tussle really set the tone for the contest.

His showing combined with some brilliant hurling from Darragh O’Connell alongside him in the Cuala midfield and the ball-winning ability of Colm Cronin meant the Ballyea defence was coming under increasing pressure.

The first significant blow of the game was struck on 15 minutes when that man Cronin scored a fine goal.

Cuala full-forward Con O’Callaghan broke a high ball right into the onrushing Cronin’s path, and the centre-forward drilled a brilliant finish to the right-hand corner of the net.

The initial response from Ballyea was impressive as Niall Deasy and James Murphy knocked over points to reduce the deficit to two, but Cuala then enjoyed their best spell of the game in the ten minutes before half-time as they hit four unanswered points.

Con O’Callaghan was becoming a more and more influential presence at the apex of their attack, and was very unlucky when a looping shot came off the cross-bar and back into play.

He got the score he had been long-threatening just before the half-time whistle when he slung over a beauty from the right-hand side to give Cuala a 1-7 to 0-4 lead.

Ballyea needed a fast start to the second-half and they nearly got it too when Pearse Lillis tore through on goal.

But just when it looked like he must hit the back of the net, Paul Schutte did brilliantly to get in a partial hook in that took the power out of the shot and made the save a lot easier for Cuala ‘keeper Sean Brennan.

That miss looked all the more costly when Cuala then scored the first three points of the match at the end, two frees from Treacy and another classy point from Con O’Callaghan.

It was starting to look grim for Ballyea who trailed now by nine, but points from Gary Brennan and Pearse Lillis briefly gave their supporters cause for hope.

The problem for the Clare team was that for all of their effort, Cuala remained dangerous at the other end of the field whenever they hit the ball in the direction of men like Cronin, O’Callaghan, and Treacy and by the 45th minute still held an eight-point lead, 1-12 to 0-8.

The match then entered a tit-for-tat phase with Treacy and Niall Deasy regularly exchanging pointed frees, which did little to aid Ballyea’s overall cause.

They badly needed a goal, and it finally came on the 50-minute mark when their two most dangerous forwards combined as Pearse Lillis picked out Deasy with an angled cross-field pass and the wing-forward smashed the ball to the back of the net.

Ballyea had the momentum they so badly craved, but it didn’t last long. Darragh O’Connell immediately responded with a fine point for Cuala after a jet-heeled run, and then a couple of minutes later they struck for their second-goal.

Con O’Callaghan did well again to win a hard ball before popping a perfect hand-pass to the onrushing Jake Malone who delivered an emphatic low finish to the net. Cuala now led by 2-15 to 1-10, and Ballyea were faced with a mountain they simply couldn’t climb.

The remainder of the match was a Cuala procession that delighted their vocal supporters as they hit the final six points of the match. It was the perfect exclamation mark for a hugely emphatic performance.

Scorers for Cuala: David Treacy 0-9 (8f), Colm Cronin 1-1, Jake Malone 1-0, Con O’Callaghan 0-3, Darragh O’Connell 0-3, Colum Sheanon 0-2, John Sheanon 0-1, M Schutte 0-1,

Scorers for Ballyea: Niall Deasy 1-6 (6f), Pearse Lillis 0-2, Gary Brennan 0-1, James Murphy 0-1,

CUALA: Sean Brennan; Simon Timlin, Cian O’Callaghan, Paul Schutte; Jake Malone, Sean Moran, Oisin Gough; John Sheanon, Darragh O’Connell; Sean Treachy, Colm Cronin, David Treacy; Cian Waldron, Con O’Callaghan, Mark Schutte.
Subs: Colum Sheanon for Cian Waldron (46), Ross Tierney for Simon Timlin (61), Nicky Kenny for Colm Cronin (60+3).

BALLYEA: Kevin Sheehan; Joe Neylon, Jack Browne, Brian Carrig; Gearóid O’Connell, Paul Flanagan, James Murphy; Tony Kelly, Stan Lineen; Niall Deasy, Gary Brennan, Cathal Doohan; Pat-Joe Connolly, Damien Burke, Pearse Lillis.
Subs: Martin O’Leary for PJ Connolly (37), David Egan for Damien Burke (39), Brian Murphy for Joe Neylon (55), Mark Coughlan for Stan Lineen (57).

REFEREE: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)




Fixture Details

17.03.2017 (Fri)
AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final
Páirc an Chrócaigh 15:00
Ballyea (An Clár) v Cuala (Áth Cliath)
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tiobraid Árann)
(E.T. if Necessary)



Ticket Information

Tickets for the games are on sale in advance of Friday’s fixtures from gaa.ie and usual outlets including selected Centra and SuperValu stores and members and supporters are urged to purchase in advance and avoid queuing on the day of the games.

Tickets cost €25 and €5 for children. A rebate of €5.00 is available on €25.00 Cusack/Davin Stand tickets from Block D turnstiles ONLY on the day with a valid student / senior citizens I.D.

There will be a special emphasis on family fun on the day with activities for young and old alike in the stadium as four of our top clubs prepare to take centre stage on one of the highlights of the GAA year.






AIB All-Ireland Club Senior Football Championship Final – Dr. Crokes (Kerry) 1-9 Slaughtneil (Derry) 1-7

Dr. Crokes (Kerry) defeated Slaughtneil (Derry) by 1-9 to 1-7 in the AIB All-Ireland Club Senior Football Championship Final on Friday March 17th at Croke Park.








Dr. Crokes win AIB GAA All-Ireland Club SFC Final

AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Senior Football Championship Final

Dr. Crokes (Kerry) 1-9 Slaughtneil (Derry) 1-7

Report By John Harrington for GAA.ie

Dr. Crokes dug deep to defeat a brave Slaughtneil in Croke Park this evening and win the AIB All-Ireland Club SFC for the first time since 1992.

Colm Cooper was the team mascot back then, and 25 years later he and this generation of Dr. Crokes players finally reached the promised land after many years of trying and falling just short.

They deserved their victory, but you could argue the decisive moment of the match came just before half-time when Slaughtneil midfielder Pádraig Cassidy was red-carded for striking.

Winning the match with 14-men was always going to be a huge ask for the Derry side, and Cassidy had been a key player for them until his departure, scoring their first-half goal.

Until that red-card there was nothing between the two teams. Slaughtneil were actually the quicker team to settle and seriously troubled Dr. Crokes early on with their clever, skilful, and every effective brand of football.

They played Sé McGuigan and Cormac Doherty in a two-man full-forward line right on the edge of the Dr. Crokes square, and made them the focal point of their attacking strategy.

Once they brought the ball into the Dr. Crokes half with strong running and slick hand-passing, they would then drive it in long and support runners would feed off the breaks from McGuigan and Doherty.

Sweetly struck points on the run from two of those support runners, Shane McGuigan and Christopher Bradley, gave them an early two-point lead as Dr. Crokes struggled to match their energy.

The Kerry and Munster champions slowly settled through, and Brian Looney got them off the mark after six minutes with a nice finish from the left-wing after cutting back inside onto his right foot.

That positive start from Looney was a foretaste of what was to come, and by half-time he would have accumulated three points from play, all of them really classy scores.

Dr. Crokes defender Gavin White had a glorious chance to score the first goal of the game after a turbo-charged run down the middle ripped the Slaughtneil defence asunder, but he steered his shot wide.

Dr. Crokes had still managed to chisel out a one-point lead by the eleventh minute thanks to converted frees from Colm Cooper and Daithi Casey, but a couple of minutes later they were reeling when Padraig Cassidy goaled for Slaughtneil.

Once again their tactic of going long to their two-man full-forward line and feeding off them worked a treat as O’Doherty won a great ball and then fed the on-rushing Cassidy.

The midfielder still had a lot to do, but he showed real composure to cut back inside onto his left-foot to take goal-keeper Shane Murphy out of the equation and clip a low shot to the back of the net.

Another Christopher Bradley point was followed by a Paul Bradley free after an inspirational run from Chrissy McKaigue, and Slaughtneil were leading by 1-4 to 0-3 and looking good.

Dr. Crokes needed players to step up and show some leadership, and it was no surprise that Daithi Casey and Colm Cooper were those men.

Casey tore the Slaughtneil defence open with a powerful solo down the middle and then had the presence of mind to punch a ball that looked like it was about to bounce away from him into the path of Cooper.

The angle was tight, but Cooper produced a typically clinical finish as he angled a low shot past Antoin McMullan and to the back of the net.

The momentum was with Dr. Crokes now, and a point from Casey and two from Looney had them 1-6 to 1-5 ahead in first-half injury-time.

Then came that decisive moment when Cassidy was red-carded just before half-time for striking out at Kieran O’Leary of Dr. Crokes. By the letter of the law, referee Maurice Deegan had little option but to send him off.

Despite being a man down, Slaughneil bravely stuck to their guns for the second-half, lining out again with two inside forwards pushed right up onto the Dr. Crokes square. They scrapped tenaciously for every ball and deserved to draw level after 37 minutes when Paul Bradley flighted over a free.

The longer the game wore on the more likely the numerical advantage of Dr. Crokes would begin to tell, and so it proved. Their ability to bring on two live-wire attacking subs in the shape of Micheál Burns and Jordan Kiely was also an important factor because they both brought a lot of energy and class to the Crokes attack.

A smartly taken point from Burns pushed the Kerry side two up, and then Kiely set off on a jinking run that won a free Colm Cooper converted to push Dr. Crokes 1-9 to 1-6 ahead and put some daylight between the teams.

Slaughtneil refused to die, though. They emptied their bench to bring some much-needed fresh-legs into their hard-working team, and forced Dr. Crokes to concede a free that Bradley pointed to reduce the gap to two.

That proved to be their last score though as Dr. Crokes saw out the game in a very professional manner. They dropped Colm Cooper back into a deep-lying quarter-back role, and successfully played keep-ball for long stretches to run down the clock and keep Slaughtneil at bay.

Scorers for Dr. Crokes: Colm Cooper 1-2 (2f), Brian Looney 0-3, Daithi Casey 0-3 (2f), Micheál Burns 0-1

Scorers for Slaughtneil: Pádraig Cassidy 1-0, Christopher Bradley 0-2, Paul Bradley 0-3 (2f), Shane McGuigan 0-1, Francis McEldowney 0-1

DR CROKES: Shane Murphy; Luke Quinn, Michael Moloney, John Payne; David O’Leary, Gavin White, Fionn Fitzgerald; Ambrose O’Donovan, Johnny Buckley; Alan O’Sullivan, Gavin O’Shea, Brian Looney; Kieran O’Leary, Daithi Casey, Colm Cooper
Subs: Jordan Kiely for Gavin O’Shea (39), Micheál Burns for Alan O’Sullivan (39), Shane Doolan for David O’Leary (48), Tony Brosnan for Brian Looney (57), Eoin Brosnan for Daithi Casey (62), Christopher Brady for Kieran O’Leary (62)

SLAUGHTNEIL: Antoin McMullan; Brendan Rodgers, Paul McNeill, Karl McKaigue; Keelan Feeney, Christopher McKaigue, Francis McEldowney; Patsy Bradley, Padraig Cassidy; Micheál McGrath, Christopher Bradley, Shane McGuigan; Sé McGuigan, Cormac O’Doherty, Paul Bradley
Subs: Brian Cassidy for Cormac O’Doherty (48), Ronan Bradley for Micheál McGrath (52), Barry McGuigan for Keelan Feeney (52), Gerald Bradley for Sé McGuigan (54)

Ref: Maurice Deegan






Fixture Details

17.03.2017 (Fri)
AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final
Páirc an Chrócaigh 17:00
Dr Crokes (Ciarraí) v Slaughtneil (Doire)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)
(E.T. if Necessary)



Ticket Information

Tickets for the games are on sale in advance of Friday’s fixtures from gaa.ie and usual outlets including selected Centra and SuperValu stores and members and supporters are urged to purchase in advance and avoid queuing on the day of the games.

Tickets cost €25 and €5 for children. A rebate of €5.00 is available on €25.00 Cusack/Davin Stand tickets from Block D turnstiles ONLY on the day with a valid student / senior citizens I.D.

There will be a special emphasis on family fun on the day with activities for young and old alike in the stadium as four of our top clubs prepare to take centre stage on one of the highlights of the GAA year.



Click here for details about Clare v Limerick Munster SFC Quarter-Final on May 28th