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Pearse Lillis of Ballyea, is disappointed following the All-Ireland Club Hurling Final at Croke Park. Photograph by John Kelly.

Disappointing end to Ballyea’s All-Ireland campaign

Cuala 2-19 Ballyea 1-10

A magnificent season for Ballyea ended in disappointment at Croke Park this afternoon when they were outplayed by their Dublin counterparts,Cuala in the All-Ireland senior club hurling final.

The Claremen can have few arguments with the outcome as Cuala dominated in all the key areas and were full value for their victory in a tie in which Ballyea’s key players failed to dominate as they had done in previous rounds.

Credit must go to the new All-Ireland champions for the manner in which they nullified Ballyea’s star man Tony Kelly in particular and also in the way they didn’t allow Niall Deasy to have as big a influence as Ballyea fans had hoped for

At the end of a low scoring first quarter the winners led by the odd point in three but then a slip up by the Clare side’s defence led to the opening for Colm Cr0nin to strike for the game’s first goal and they went on to open a six point lead by half time when the score was 1-7 to 0-4.

Ballyea needed a good start to the second half and they looked to be on their way to scoring a goal when Pearce Lillis got through but Paul Schutte somehow managed to hook the Cooraclare man and the chance was gone.

Cuala then hit back and they landed three unanswered points leaving Ballyea with a big task on their hands

Ten minutes from time Ballyea fans were given hope when Niall Deasy struck for his side’s goal after winning a delivery from Lillis but it proved to be their final score and Cuala dominated the remaining exchanges adding 1-5 without reply to seal a first All-Ireland club title for a Dublin side.

Darragh O’Connell was deservingly named as the man of the match and others to impress for the winners were Paul and Mark Schutte, David Treacy, Cian and Con O’Callaghan.

Gearoid O’Connell, particularly in the opening half, James Murphy, Gary Brennan, Pearce Lillis and Niall Deasy did best for Ballyea

Scorers; Cuala; David Treacy (0-9), 8 frees; Colm Cronin (1-1), Darragh O’Connell (0-3). Jake Malone (1-0), Con O’Callaghan, Colm Sheanan (0-2) each John Sheanan, Mark Schutte (0-1) each.

Ballyea; Niall Deasy (1-6) Pearce Lillis (0-2), James Murphy, Gary Brennan (0-1) each

Cuala; Sean Berennan; Oisin Gough, Cian O’Callaghan, Simon Timlin; Sean Moran Paul Schutte, John Sheanon; Jake Malone,Drragh O’Connell; Cian Waldron, Colm Cronin, David Treacy; Sean Treacy,Con O’Callaghan, Mark Schutte.

Subs; Colum Sheanan for Waldron; Ross Tierney for Timlin; Nicky Kenny for Cronin

Ballyea; Kevin Sheehan; Joe Neylon, Jack Browne, Brian Carigg; Paul Flanagan, Gearoid O’Connell, James Murphy; Tony Kelly, Stan Lineen; Niall Deasy, Pat Joe Connolly, Cathal Doohan; Pearce Lillis, Gary Brennan, Damian Burke

Subs; Martin O’Leary for Connolly; David Egan for Burke; Brian Murphy for Neylon; Mark Coughlan for Lineen;

Referee; Fergal Horgan, Tipperary

By Seamus Hayes

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