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Hetherton: 'Cuala have a great chance'
By Cian O'Connell
"I think it would," Ciaran Hetherton replies when asked how important it would be for hurling in the capital if Cuala were to be crowned Leinster Champions.
A Craobh Chiarain stalwart, Hetherton served as a selector for Anthony Daly between 2009 and 2014, and is the Leinster manager for next weekend's Inter-Provincial series.
"Crumlin were the last team to do it in 79," Hetherton remarks about a Dublin team's last victory at this level. "Ballyboden won six-in-a-row in Dublin, but couldnt win Leinster, so it would be a great achievement.
"In fairness to Mattie Kenny hes doing a great job there. Hes only there two years so far and hes doing a great job."
Hetherton feels Cuala's 'well balanced team' are developing nicely ahead of their second provincial decider on the spin. "They seem to be a well balanced team," Hetherton says. "The couple of inter-county lads they have have just strengthened that.
"They have good lads around in other positions as well. Obviously the pace of Darragh OConnell in midfield and the prowess of David Treacy and Mark Schutte up front gives them the edge on some club teams, both in Dublin and Leinster.
"They havent probably been tested as well as OLoughlin Gaels have, but it is a great opportunity for them.
"The likes of Paul Schutte and Oisin Gough, they have stars all over each line Cian OCallaghan at full-back. They have plenty of options there even in the full-back line they have three lads that played inter-county hurling there."
Lessons will have been learned from the 2015 defeat against Oulart The Ballagh according to Hetherton. "Its great they are in two Leinster finals in a row and were unlucky last year against Oulart where they were pipped by a point.
"A lot of people looked at the Oulart OLoughlin Gaels match, but hurling is a game of goals and OLoughlins got the goals and came back and pulled away.
"It's great for them, but I think Cuala have a great chance. Its a couple of years since OLoughlins won Kilkenny, but they are still Kilkenny champions and it will be a tough game to win and hopefully they get over the line."