Kilkenny under 21 manager Michael Walsh hailed his troops for their excellent display of hurling after the Cats ensured back-to-back Leinster successes following this close run four-point Leinster final win over Dublin at Parnell Park on Wednesday night.
“I'm just thrilled for our lads the way that they performed today. I thought they played magnificently and that Dublin played magnificently,” he said.
“I thought it was a great advert for hurling especially Leinster hurling. It was as good a Leinster final as you would see.”
Walsh's charges were in outstanding form throughout this game with Man of the Match and two-goal hero John Joe Farrell bagging the first of his goals after two minutes, after the Cats got off to the best possible start.
The Kilkenny boss was delighted by the positive start his side made to this game.
“The big thing about this game was that we made a great start and the second point I found in the game was that we were able to answer Dublin when they came at us strongly – able to tip over a point when required,” Walsh said.
And indeed the Cats made a magnificent start to this tie as they showed great hunger right from the throw-in of Offaly referee Tony Carroll.
A brace of John Mulhall points inside the opening minute and a half quickly settled the nerves, before Farrell's goal ensured an early five-point lead.
Richie Hogan ensured a 1-03 to 0-00 score-line with the first of his five points in the fourth minute, as it seemed Dublin had no answer.
It was that positive start which stood to Kilkenny well despite Dublin cutting the gap to a goal by the 16th minute.
Scores flowed freely in the 10 minute spell before the interval, however it was the Cats who were on top as they outscored Dublin by six points to two in that period to ensure a 1-12 to 0-08 interval lead.
Dublin made an explosive start to the second half, with the gap cut to five points inside 47 seconds of the restart thanks to scores from Barry O'Rourke and Peter Kelly.
However the hosts could have cut the gap to a goal margin inside three minutes, but for wides from Peter Kelly and Paul Garbutt.
Kilkenny once again display their accuracy and fire-power outscoring Dublin by four points to one over the next four and a half minutes to ensure a 1-16 to 0-11 advantage with Mark Kelly, JJ Farrell, James Nolan, and John Mulhall on target.
However Dublin weren't keen on giving up without a fight with Peter Kelly slotting the ball to the net after Liam Rushe's initial shot was blocked by Cats’ full-back Paddy Nolan.
Kelly's one-handed three-pointer ensured a 1-16 to 1-11 score-line in the 39th minute, and the Metropolitans failed to ease up as points from Barry O'Rourke and David Treacy cut the gap to a goal with 17 minutes remaining.
However Kilkenny were quick to respond with Farrell bagging their second goal after Richie Hogan set in a well placed delivery from close to the sideline.
Farrell's 43rd minute goal left this contest beyond doubt, although Dublin did battle hard until the finish, with late points from substitute Michael May and Rushe.
After the game Kilkenny stand-in captain David Langton received the cup from Leinster Council chairman Seamus Howlin, in the company of GAA president Christy Cooney, and former Cork hurler and Bord Gais Energy representative Ger Cunningham.
KILKENNY: C McGrath; P Murphy, P Nolan, C Fogarty; L Ryan, D Langton, M Walsh; M Kelly (0-1 ), L Ryan (0-2 ); C Fennelly, M Bergin (0-4 ), J Mulhall (0-4 ); R Hogan (0-5, 4f ), JJ Farrell (2-2 ), J Nolan (0-2 ). Subs: K Hogan for Fennelly (56 )
DUBLIN: F McGarry; G Kelly, M Quilty, O Gough; P Schutte, Rory O'Carroll, R Walsh; S Lambert (0-4, 2 65', 1f ), C Clinton (0-2 ); P Kelly (1-3 ), D Treacy (0-3, 2f ), P Garbutt (0-1, 1f ); D O'Connor, L Rushe (0-3 ), B O'Rorke (0-2 ). Subs: D Whelan for Garbutt (37 ); M Maye (0-1 ) for Schutte (40 ); J Sheanon for Lambert (47 ); D Kelly for O'Connor (50 ); D O Maoileidigh for Gough (58 )
REFEREE: Tony Carroll (Offaly )