The Cuala senior hurlers celebrate their AHL1 success

CUALA took home the AHL1 league trophy on Sunday at Parnell Park, as the Dalkey side were relatively comfortable throughout in keeping challengers O’Toole’s at arm’s length.
With the game played under complicating windy conditions, both sides preferred to play at a relatively low altitude and high pace, with Cuala the better able to cope.
With the wind in the first half, they threatened consistently and were quicker to the ball through county men Mark Schutte and David Treacy.
Both Sean and David Treacy, in fact, were in battling form, with the latter’s consistent frees – he would eventually hit five – helping to establish Cuala’s lead.
O’Toole’s hit back through Michael Cunningham, his side’s outstanding player at half back, with his opening point coming from a slingshot hit emphatically from the left byline.
Come half time, though, Cuala had a six point lead, one that could have been a great deal more substantial if not for O’Toole’s ‘keeper Brendan McLoughlin. The last man first snatched a high ball off the hurley of David Treacy and then appeared to put off the same man as he closed in on a goal chance.
With the wind in their favour, O’Toole’s were always going to be stronger second half, and set about Cuala through Niall Arthur, who quickly added a couple of frees.
That was as close as they were to come, however, as Cuala’s county men upped the ante and pulled them seven points clear, not least through a massive point from John Sheanon.
There was to be a late burst from O’Toole’s, with Liam Ryan and the imperious Cunningham inspiring the north Dublin side but Treacy’s consistency again came up trumps, while Darragh O’Connell lit up the match with a burst of pace from midfield followed by an effortless point to cap the closing stages of a four-point success.