All-Ireland champions Cuala are on the march again. The Dublin club take on St Martin’s in this weekend’s Leinster semi-final as they aim to defend their provincial title.
After another hard-fought county title, the Dalkey side flexed their considerable muscle with a somewhat comfortable win over Kilkenny champions Dicksboro, on a scoreline of 2-20 to 1-16.
Unlike many top club teams around the country, Cuala don’t have one go-to scoring forward, and this is often a problem for the opposition.
A host of intercounty talent in the forwards leaves opposition defences attempting to plug several holes, and this has been key to Cuala’s success.
Speaking ahead of the St Martin’s clash, Shane Stapleton of Cuala feels this is a real strength of the Cuala side.
“Other teams will look at their own strengths and say, ‘how do we get him on the ball and get him in scoring positions to do damage?’ They’ll also say ‘we need to stop that guy, that guy and that guy’.
“You’d hope if Con [O’Callaghan] gets shut down, someone like Mark Schutte would step up, David Treacy, or Sean Treacy with goals. Even Niall Carty came on the last day and scored two points, he got a goal in the All-Ireland semi-final last year!”
Even further out the field, Darragh O’Connell, Jake Malone and Colm Cronin have been bursting up to contribute with the scoring, ensuring the scoreboard keeps on ticking.
“So you just hope that somebody is always going to make the impact, that you can put your fingers in so many holes, but hopefully the dam will break somewhere, and you’ll get the win.
“Who knows how it will pan out? But hopefully there will be a match-winner somewhere for us.”
The last time the Dublin outfit faced Wexford opposition was in the Leinster final two years ago, when their run was stopped by Oulart the Ballagh. Stapleton and Cuala will be eager to avoid a repeat, as they aim to recreate the heroics of 12 months ago.