All-Ireland Club Hurling semi-final: Cuala end Slaughtneil club treble hopes
Slaughtneil's hopes of reaching all three All-Ireland Club Senior GAA finals in the same season were dashed as Cuala earned a 3-21 to 2-11 win in the Hurling semi-final at Armagh.
Con O'Callaghan's 11th-minute goal helped Cuala lead 1-7 to 0-2 and they led 1-13 to to 0-5 at half-time.
Sean Treacy's goal increased the lead before Slaughtneil rallied with Gerald Bradley and Se McGuigan goals.
But Niall Carthy netted late on to emphasise the Dubliners' superiority.
Cuala will be the first Dublin club to appear in the St Patrick's Day showpiece when they take on Ballyea of Clare next month.
Slaughtneil outclassed after promising start
The Derry men made a promising start with early scores from Chrissy McKaigue and Brendan Rogers, but the Dubliners responded through David Treacy and Mark Schutte.
Treacy's dead ball striking was to be a key factor as the Leinster champions stepped up the tempo, dominating all the key areas, and establishing a firm defensive grip op the tie.
Jake Malone, Sean Moran and Cian O'Callaghan were solid at the back, and provided the platform for several rewarding attacks.
Darragh O'Connell's distribution was another plus for a Cuala side growing in confidence with every passing moment, and he was instrumental in the creation of their 11th-minute goal.
A well worked move ended with O'Callaghan smashing an unstoppable shot to the top corner of the net.
McKaigue, Rogers and Cormac O'Doherty did pull back points, but a couple of Con O'Callaghan scores sent Cuala in with a 1-13 to 0-5 lead.
Slaughtneil rally comes too late
Sean Treacy skipped past his marker to bury a second goal just seconds after the restart, but the Oak Leaf men responded immediately with a goal of their own, scrambled home by Bradley.
Sean Moran landed a monster free from 120 metres and Cronin dinked over another on the run as the margin swelled to 14 inside the opening ten minutes of the second half.
A superb Oisin Doherty save denied O'Callaghan a second goal and Slaughtneil were reduced to 14 minute with nine minutes left as Cormac McKenna picked up a second booking.
Despite the setback, they grabbed a second goal through Se McGuigan, but Cuala inevitably had the last say as Mark Schutte unselfishly off-loaded to substitute Niall Carty for goal number three.
Cuala: S Brennan; O Gough, C O'Callaghan, S Timlin; S Moran (0-1, f), J Malone, J Sheanon; C Cronin (0-3), D O'Connell (0-1); S Treacy (1-1), C Sheanon (0-1), D Treacy (0-7, 6f); C Waldron, C O'Callaghan (1-3), M Schutte (0-1). Subs: N Kenny (0-1) for Waldron (44), N Carty (1-0) for C Sheanon (51), N Waldron (0-1) for D Treacy (57), S Stapleton for J Sheanon (59)
Slaughtneil: O O'Doherty; C McAlister, K McKaigue, P McNeill; S Cassidy, Shane McGuigan, M McGrath; E Cassidy, G Bradley (1-2); B Rogers (0-2), M McGuigan, C McKenna, Se McGuigan (1-0), C McKaigue (0-2), C O'Doherty (0-5, 2f, 1 '65). Subs: B Cassidy for M McGuigan (h-t), R McCartney for E Cassidy (42)
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).