DESPITE being three leagues their junior, Cuala upset all the odds to see off a vastly experienced AFL3 side, St Monica’s, in Parnell Park last Saturday night to claim an incredible Dublin junior A championship title.
The result sees them promoted to the intermediate championship, a grade the club’s first team only vacated a season ago to become a senior outfit, showing the vast strides taken by the Dalkey club in recent times.
They led almost from pillar to post with an expansive game that garnered 2-13 from play with eight different players on the score sheet.
Indeed, they also managed to get over the absence of Kevin Killion who was forced out of the tie following an ankle injury in the warm-up, with Dublin minor Martin Cahalane coming in to good effect.
Cuala started well, Colm and Cillian Sheanon linking up well while Colm Cronin scored a couple of early points for a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
Monica’s countered with the next three points but a burst and some top scores from Colm Murphy, Cronin and Cillian Sheanon meant the Hyde Road club were 0-7 to 0-5 leaders at half-time.
Facing into the wind, it could have been tricky in the second half while Cronin was subbed off with a hamstring injury. But they were reassured when Dylan Kennedy found the net soon after the change of ends.
Paul James kept the five-point gap intact with some handy frees before the game was well and truly sealed in the closing 10 minutes.
Cathal O’Giollain won a fine break in the middle of the park and set off on a pacy run at the heart of the Monica’s defence with Cahalane on his shoulder. O’Giollain slipped the ball to the corner back who crashed home.
Former Dublin hero Vinny Murphy did reel in the margin with a late goal but when he clipped his penalty over the bar, it allowed Cuala breathing room down the stretch to land a superbly won title.