Good times keep rolling for Cuala hurlers

by Staff Reporter

THE good times just keep rolling on for Cuala’s senior hurlers as they booked their place in the Leinster SHC final with superb 3-12 to 0-17 win over Clara of Kilkenny on Sunday.
Cuala were the better side throughout the 60 minutes and, crucially, were able to convert chances into goals while Clara were limited to score over the bar.
The Dalkey side will now contest their first Provincial final since 1989 against Oulart the Ballagh from Wexford in next Sunday in Dr Cullen Park, Carlow. Speaking to GazetteSport less than 24 hours after the win over Clara in Parnell Park, Cuala selector Tadhg Murphy said the side’s achievements in recent weeks had come in a gruelling but worthwhile period.
“It’s fantastic, especially after a tough few weeks,” he said.
“We’ve played five championship games in six weeks now which can really take its toll. But we’ve a chance to rest up now this week and hopefully recover and focus on the final in Carlow on November 29.”
Cuala lost that other Leinster final 26 years ago against Ballyhale Shamrocks of Kilkenny. Having now knocked out a Cats County club in this year’s semi-final, Murphy is confident that this Cuala crop, under the guidance of Mattie Kenny, can go one further and claim Leinster glory.
“It’s a big hurling milestone, not just for Cuala, but for hurling in Dublin,” he said. “To reach the Leinster final is a big deal, and obviously beating a Kilkenny club makes it even sweeter. Kilkenny set the bar in the country for hurling standards, at club and intercounty level, so beating one of their sides gives us massive confidence. We’ve no reason to fear anyone now in Leinster.”
He also paid tribut to Cuala boss Kenny for what he has brought to the table this year to push the Dalkey side to this new high.
“It’s a couple of things I think,” said Murphy. “He’s got a huge knowledge of hurling. It’s hard to explain the effect he’s had on the team, sometimes you don’t know what you’ve learned till you’ve learned it and then it just clicks.
“He’s got so much experience so he knows what to do and how to do it in almost any situation.
“He’s been through highs and lows in his career, been involved at the highest level for club and county and I think players feed off that. He makes lads believe in themselves, and you can’t buy that.”

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