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Published: 11:14 | 4/12/17

Kenny delighted by Cuala's strong start

Cuala manager Mattie Kenny was delighted by his side's strong start to Sunday's Leinster's SHC club final win over Kilcormac/Killoughey at O'Moore Park.

The All-Ireland club champions eased to a 1-23 to 1-09 victory over the Offaly side, with the damage done in the opening 18 minutes as the Dalkey side raced to a 1-08 to 0-00 lead, with Con O'Callaghan contributing a goal and two points.

"We went after that first quarter," Kenny said. 

"We said that we wanted to set the tempo and we got the few early scores. 

"We missed a few as well, they defended well. Con, for example, was in for a goal early on but they got back on him very, very quickly. 

"But we kept building up the score and that first quarter lead gave us an advantage that we were able to take into the second half."

Kilcormac-Killoughey manager Stephen Byrne admits his 2013 All-Ireland finalists struggled to deal with Cuala's rampaging start to the game in Portlaoise. 

"The first 10 or 15 minutes, we were all over the shop," he said. 

"They blew us out of the water. It just didn’t seem to work out for us on the day at all.

"I wouldn't mind but we could have got ourselves back in the game. Even in the first half when we got ourselves a bit closer we could have pushed on. Then unfortunately we'd a sending off.

"Conor Mahon got sent off and it's not like Conor to be getting a red card, so it was just very unfortunate. Then that put us under a bit more pressure."

Cuala will meet Galway champions Liam Mellows, who won the provinvial title for the first time in 47 years this weekend, in the All-Ireland club semi-final on 10 February.

Kenny's side became the first side to retain the Leinster title since Ballyhale Shamrocks in 2009 with Sunday's victory. and are now just two games away from becoming the first club since Portumna in 2009 to retain the Tommy Moore Cup.

Photo Inpho/ Ken Sutton

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