Mullen magnificent as Cats coast to provincial glory!

Team Celebrates After the Game

TJ hits 2-6 in Croker cakewalk



2024 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Final

Kilkenny 3-28

Dublin 1-18

Kilkenny put Dublin to the sword last Saturday evening when they crushed Micheál Donoghue’s outfit by an impressive 16 points in Croke Park and in doing so made it five provincial titles on the bounce and a 76th Bob O’Keefe Cup for the Noresiders.  POTM Adrian Mullen was at the heart of everything good about this showing from Derek Lyng’s men as the returning Shamrocks Ballyhale man showed exactly why he is so crucial to this Kilkenny team.

Goals from fellow clubmen, TJ Reid (2) and Eoin Cody alongside a tremendous exhibition of point scoring ensured that the Leinster decider was a much more one-sided affair than the finalists earlier meeting in Parnell Park, when just two points separated the teams at the final whistle. With Dublin sitting off another member of South Kilkenny’s finest club, this allowed Richie Reid to dictate matters from his centre-back position and get on a savage amount of ball across 70+ minutes of hurling.

The holders opened the scoring inside two minutes thanks to a placed ball from TJ Reid after John Donnelly was fouled but Dublin responded immediately with a nice point from Chris Crummey who was set up by corner back Paddy Smyth.  Then came what would be the first of three majors for the Marble City men.  Eoin Cody emerged from a bit of a ruck and headed for goal.  The 2-time former young hurler of the year gave the eyes to Conor Donohoe before gliding past the Erin’s Isle man and rifling his shot past Sean Brennan in the Dubs goal, a quality goal from a quality player.

This was exactly the start Micheál Donoghue would have wanted to avoid, and it didn’t get much better throughout the remainder of the final.  Billy Ryan and John Donnelly sent over quickfire points to push the Cats into an early 5-point lead at headquarters before St Vincent’s Conor Burke found space to strike his side’s second point of the evening.  Adrian Mullen then turned provider and set up two classy scores for Mossy Keoghan and Cian Kenny with the Metropolitans notching one from a Donal Burke free, after Mikey Carey was blown up for a throw ball.    The industrious John Donnelly then intercepted a pass before giving the sliotar to Adrian Mullen who registered the first of a hugely impressive 0-7 for the versatile All-Star.  TJ then gave a nice pass to Cian Kenny and the James Stephens man rifled over his second point of the evening to extend his sides lead to seven before a pair of free’s from TJ left the scoreboard making happy reading for the Kilkenny supporters.

Kilmacud’s Dara Purcell then got the first ‘home’ score in some twelve minutes and Donal Burke’s 22nd minute free meant Dublin had notched consecutive scores for the first time in the 2024 provincial decider.  O’Loughlin’s Huw Lawlor then hit a long pass to the roving Adrian Mullen who split the posts to highlight the ease with which those in black and amber were finding it to tag on scores.  The next Dublin attack was dismantled, and Tommy Walsh struck a booming shot towards the Dublin posts.  Keeper Sean Brennan rose to claim the ball, but it slipped from his grasp and the ever-alert TJ Reid swept the ball to the net.  Ten minutes from half-time, Kilkenny the same number of points ahead as their latest goal scorer’s jersey number.

The influential Adrian Mullen struck over another booming score from near halfway, but Dublin managed to register the next point, another free from Na Fianna’s Donal Burke.  Then came a rare contentious moment from the Cats dominated performance.  Dublin’s dangerman, Donal Burke raced clear of the Kilkenny defence, but his run to goal was halted illegally by David Blanchfield.  Waterford whistler Thomas Walsh awarded a free to the Dubs, and somehow just a word of warning to the Bennettsbridge man, as many thought a black card was the likely outcome.  Burke lifted himself off the ground and dispatched the free to reduce the deficit to ten points.

A fourth point of the game then followed for Adrian Mullen but there was a blow for Lyng’s charges when Young Ireland’s Mikey Carey was forced off through injury and was replaced by Glenmore’s Shane Murphy.  Not content with 0-4 to his name, Mullan fired over another sweet score which was responded to by Dara Purcell’s second of the decider.  Kilkenny then hit five of the last six scores in the opening period, Mossy with two, Cian Kenny with his third of the game and number 6 for the irrepressible Adrian Mullen.  The boys in blue could only muster one, courtesy of St Jude’s Danny Sutcliffe as the short whistle sounded with the Cats fifteen points to the good.

One can only imagine the shell-shocked state of the Dublin changing room during the interval.  Micheál Donoghue and his management team made a triple change ahead of the second half, with Paddy Doyle, Sean Currie and Fergal Whitely being replaced by Daire Gray, Darragh Power and Mark Grogan respectively.   To their credit, Dublin came out with a little more fire in their bellies as the action resumed, indeed, they nearly struck an early goal, only to be denied by a nice block from Huw Lawlor. A brace of placed balls from Donal Burke along with a rare point from Lucan’s John Bellew gave the Captial teams supporters a tiny glimmer of hope, but you felt that a couple of goals would be needed to even plant the smallest seed of doubt in Cats minds.

For Kilkenny the opening ten minutes of the second period saw them add just one point to their 2-18 on the scoreboard, a lovely score from play by the evergreen TJ Reid. Only one score but three yellow cards were picked up by hard working forwards, Adrian Mullen, Eoin Cody and TJ himself.  The Cats then sent on Conahy’s Tom Phelan for Billy Ryan, who was already on a yellow card from early in the game and the Graigue Ballycallan man had got through a mountain of work in the opening 35 minutes.  John Donnelly then became the latest player to benefit from an Adrian Mullen assist as the Thomastown man sent over a tidy score from the middle of Croker.  Na Fianna’s Donal Burke added two more points to his tally before John Donnelly struck over another lovely point after being picked out by a Paddy Deegan pass.  Eoin Cody then got in on the point scoring when he showed good movement and acceleration to get away from his marker to fire over his sides 22nd point of the game.

Another of Kilkenny’s impressive performers, Cian Kenny struck over his fourth point of the day before Adrian Mullen added his final point of his 0-7 tally, in a what was a cracking shift on his return from injury to extend the Noresiders lead to a sweet sixteen points.  From the restart, Dublin netminder Sean Brennan played the ball out to his captain, Paddy Smyth, but the Clontarf man wasn’t aware of this, and the Cats pounced.  Adrian Mullen picked up possession and struck a pass to TJ who was unmarked, the outcome inevitable, as The Shamrocks man fired the ball past the diving Cuala keeper.  Micheál Donoghue’s side notched the next two scores, points from the hard-working Conor Burke and sub Darragh Power.

With 63 minutes of Cats domination gone, David Blanchfield fired over a trademark score, and this signaled a trio of changes to the black and amber line-up.  Walter Walsh, Jordan Molloy and Conor Fogarty entered the fray in place of Adrian Mullen, Cian Kenny and Huw Lawlor as manager Derek Lyng shuffled the pack late on. St Vincents Conor Burke fired over his 3rd of the final before Walter Walsh showed great skill in picking up the sliotar before arrowing a booming effort between the Dublin posts.  With 67 minutes on the clock, Eoin Murphy got a little angry.  The Dubs sent a long ball in and around the house which Donal Burker collected and somehow managed to offload to the supporting Mark Grogan, who fired past the Glenmore man.  Little more than consolation for the boys in blue and a nice memory for the Kilmacud player, but the reaction of Kilkenny’s All-Star keeper told you all you needed to know – his side may have been 15 points ahead, but he wanted a clean sheet, great mentality from the netminder.

Tom Phelan, who had been involved plenty since replacing Billy Ryan, then got his reward when he showed a good turn of pace before splitting the posts for a nice score.  Dublin’s final point came from captain Paddy Smyth, but fittingly the last score of the 2024 Leinster final came from the legendary TJ Reid.  Final score, Kilkenny 3-28, Dublin 1-18.


Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy; Tommy Walsh, Huw Lawlor, Mikey Butler; David Blanchfield (0-01), Richie Reid, Mikey Carey; Cian Kenny (0-04), Paddy Deegan; Adrian Mullen (0-07), TJ Reid (2-06, 0-03 frees), John Donnelly (0-03); Martin Keoghan (0-03), Eoin Cody (1-01), Billy Ryan (0-01).

Subs: Shane Murphy for Carey (28), Tom Phelan (0-01) for Ryan (46), Jordan Molloy for Lawlor (64), Walter Walsh (0-01) for Mullen (64), Conor Fogarty for Kenny (64).

Dublin: Seán Brennan; Paddy Smyth (0-01), Eoghan O’Donnell, John Bellew (0-01); Chris Crummey (0-01), Conor Donohoe, Paddy Doyle; Brian Hayes, Conor Burke (0-03); Danny Sutcliffe (0-01), Dara Purcell (0-02), Fergal Whitely; Donal Burke (0-08, 0-07 frees), Seán Currie, Ronan Hayes.

Subs: Darragh Power (0-01) for Whitely (16-17, temp), Daire Gray for Doyle (half-time), Darragh Power for Currie (half-time), Mark Grogan (1-00) for Whitely (half-time), Colin Currie for R Hayes (53), James Madden for B Hayes (62).

Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford).



Come on you boys in……There wasn’t as much singing in Croker as there was in Parnell Park a few weeks ago.  This was probably Kilkenny’s most complete performance of the championship so far and boy was it needed.

The Shamrocks contingent were fantastic, hitting 3-14 between them in the rout of Micheál Donoghue’s side, while the one that gets left behind, played a blinder at centre-back.  It appeared criminal that Dublin would grant the freedom of Croker to Richie Reid and Adrian Mullen, and they paid the ultimate penalty.  TJ hit 2-6, including 2-3 from play, while Mullen’s magnificent 7 were, well truly magnificent! 

Once again, John Donnelly and Cian Kenny put in exceptional performances, notching 0-7 between them, let’s hope The Village man’s withdrawal in the second half was merely a precaution.  It’s probably unfair to single out those above, as Kilkenny had great shifts from all involved.

I love the fact that Eoin Murphy wasn’t happy at the conceding of a goal, despite being home and hosed, great to see.  Paddy Deegan looked like a child on Christmas Day as he waited to hoist Bob in the air.  Leinster secured, now let’s focus on the bigger days ahead.

Congratulations to Derek Lyng & all involved with the Kilkenny senior team. Bob is back.


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