Leinster Club Hurling Final: Cuala favourites to delete KK

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Kilcormac-Killoughey face reigning champions Cuala in the Leinster Final this weekend, with the Offaly champions most certainly up against it, especially without influential midfielder Cillian Kiely who misses out through suspension.

What Kilcormac-Killoughey have achieved as a club is remarkable, having only won their first ever Offaly hurling championship in 2012, when overcoming St. Rynagh’s, which was followed up with a three in a row and this years victory was only their fourth ever title.

Having watched KK in their last two encounters against Mount Leinster Rangers and Castletown-Geoghegan respectively, I have been very impressed.

I thought they were outstanding against Mount Leinster last time out. Their performance was near-perfect, with Daniel Currams and James Gorman outstanding. The Carlow champions were completely overwhelmed with the physicality, pace and skill levels KK brought to the table.

They struggled for large periods against Castletown-Geoghegan, who were missing talisman Aonghus Clarke and the Westmeath side would have felt aggrieved at some refereeing decisions on the day, but KK still came out with a six point victory, which they would take any day in the Leinster Championship.

Cuala on the other hand are an amazing side. They have won three Dublin Championships on the bounce, which is a fantastic achievement and lifted the Tommy Moore cup in March, after overcoming Ballyea.

They were outstanding on the day and will fancy their chances of retaining their All-Ireland title again this season.

Con O’Callaghan is an amazing talent. He’s an outstanding hurler and footballer, having scored a goal in this years football decider and KK will need a master plan tomorrow, if they are going to curtail his influence.

Two relatively comfortable victories over Dicksboro and St. Martin’s, after a narrow victory over Kilmacud Crokes in the Dublin decider, have seen Cuala advance to the final.

The Offaly champions no doubt had the easier side of the draw, but KK have excelled this year, particularly against Mount Leinster Rangers in the semi-final and have experience of playing in two Leinster Finals in 2012 and 2014.

KK lifted the trophy in 2012 and were very unlucky not to win the All-Ireland that season, narrowly losing to St. Thomas’s in the decider.

They also were unlucky in 2014, losing to Ballyhale-Shamrocks after extra time and they could well win another title this weekend.

I Fancy Cuala to have just that bit more in them though, as they are an exceptional side, with talented players throughout the pitch and I’m going to tip Cuala to win by 5-7 points.

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