FOURTEEN-man Cuala produced a superb extra time showing to land the Dublin Minor A football title for just the second time as they saw off local rivals Kilmacud Crokes at Chanel College last Sunday.
They were a man short from before the end of the first half but managed to stay in the mix, drawing at the end of normal time 1-8 each, before cutting loose in extra time. With full numbers restored, they outscored Crokes 1-6 to a point to emulate the feat of their 2006 vintage in some style.
It completed a superb day as their second minor side ran out three-point winners over St Mark’s to reach the D championship final while the Minor B hurlers also have a semi-final to look forward to.
Cuala had started brightly with the combination of Con O’Callaghan’s frees and some swift attacks via Andrew Murphy, Sean Treacy and Cillian Sheanon causing serious problems.
They built a 0-6 to 0-2 lead at half-time but Murphy’s early departure after an incident with Andrew McGowan gave Kilmacud a spur.
And they opened the second half with a goal when Ryan Muphy broke through to close the gap significantly.
His side subsequently hit the front for the first time since the second minute with McGowan and Aidan Jones clearing the bar.
Cuala, though, got a key goal when Sheanon took in a Conor Murphy pass and duly hit the net in the 38th minute.
With O’Callaghan to the fore, they managed to just about protect the lead enough to see the tie through to extra-time.
From there, Cuala kicked on superbly. Buoyed by their return to 15 players, Kyle Braine came off the bench to score the game’s defining goal.
O’Callaghan added four more points for good measure as Cuala had broken their opponents’ resolve after their big fightback earlier in the piece, ending the Dalkey side’s seven-year wait for the title.