Leinster Club Senior Huring Championship
St Mullins v Cuala
Netwatch Cullen Park, Sunday, 2pm
AFTER their achievement in winning the county title, the St Mullins hurlers are back in Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday where they take on Dublin title holders Cuala in the first round of the Leinster senior hurling club championship.
The last time these sides met was in the 2016 provincial semi-final when the Dublin side won by 1-19 to 1-7.
David Treacy and Con O’Callaghan were Cuala’s leading scorers that day with 0-7 and 1-3 respectively. They are still on the Cuala side and in beating St Brigid’s by 1-18 to 1-14 in the Dublin county final Treacy annexed 0-12 while O’Callaghan scored his side’s only goal.
Three years ago the Dublin side went on to win back-to-back All-Ireland club titles.
St Mullins tested them when slipping into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead but Cuala hit back and by the end they were comfortable winners.
St Mullins captain marty Kavanagh is under no illusion how difficult their task is.
“They could be favourites for the All-Ireland. We couldn’t have got a harder first round draw. There won’t be much expected of us,” Kavanagh said.
The Carlow champions were back training on Wednesday. It was a wet and miserable evening.
“Lads are in good form and are glad to be going back to the field. The weather hasn’t been too nice so it is getting in, doing what they have to do and getting out of there.”
If they can replicate their county final form, St Mullins have a chance.
“We know ourselves what we can do and will be hoping we get it right on the day like we did that Sunday,” said Marty who was unable to say for certain how they upset the reigning champions, Mount Leinster Rangers.
“Lads had a good feeling about it and were really tuned in. I knew we were going to be good but not sure whether it was going to be good enough. Thankfully it was good enough,” the captain said.
Kavanagh was superb against Rangers. As a team, St Mullins faced down their opposition who were looking for three titles in a row. Now the green and whites are outside the province and need to go up another gear or two.
“We will be looking for the same and maybe more. Cuala will bring a savage work-rate and we will have to match them,” says Kavanagh.