The All Ireland Hurling Club Final between Na Piarsaigh and Cuala will have to be replayed after the game ended in a draw this afternoon.
This was a open game with both sets of forwards being given ample space and time. Cuala enjoyed the best of this in the first half, David Treacy and Colm Cronin prolific in the half-forward line, shooting the Dublin side into an early lead.
Na Piarsaigh soon settled into the open space of Croke Park. Shane Dowling showed glimpses of being back to his best in his first start following injury, but it was Adrian Breen, dropping back who sparked the Caherdavin side into life after his side fired six wides. He and Dowling combined to get the last four points of the first half, shooting Na Piarsaigh into a two point lead at half-time.
The opening minutes of the second half were a shoot out between the two sides with Dowling and Treacy cancelling out each others scores. A brilliant goal from Peter Casey looked to have given Na Piarsaigh breathing space but within minutes, Treacy and Jake Malone had cancelled out the score.
From there the sides were level three times. Kieran Kennedy, who came in for the suspended Conor Boylan, along with Mike Casey ensured possession from the back while up front, points from Downes and Dowling gave Na Piarsaigh a two point lead. In additional time, Sean Moran reacted to a Treacy free and shot past Podge Kennedy to send the game to extra time.
It took till the first minute of extra time for Cuala sharpshooter Con O’Callaghan to hit the target. Less than a minute later, Sean Brennan was picking the ball out of his net following a superb effort from David Breen to put his side ahead by two. But it was not enough to pull away from Cuala and despite two Dempsey scores, Na Piarsaigh were only one point ahead at half time of extra time.
Further scores from Dempsey and Treacy in the second half ensured a replay with fixture details to be announced.
Na Piarsaigh: Podge Kennedy; Jerome Boylan, Mike Casey, Niall Buckley; Alan Dempsey, Cathal King, Kieran Kennedy; Shane Dowling (0-7), William O’Donoghue; Ronan Lynch, David Breen (1-1), David Dempsey (0-3); Adrian Breen (0-3), Kevin Downes (0-3), Peter Casey (1-2).
Cuala: Sean Brennan; Oisin Gough, Cian O’Callaghan, Paul Schutte; Darragh O’Connell (0-1), Sean Moran (1-0), John Sheanon; Jake Malone (0-1), Sean Treacy (0-4); David Treacy (0-12), Colm Cronin (0-1), Colum Sheanon (0-1); Mark Schutte, Con O’Callaghan (0-1), Nicky Kenny (0-1).