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Kilkenny make light work of Dubs to add to Leinster haul

A 76th Leinster title for Kilkenny, and by far the most comfortable final victory since the Cats were at the peak of their powers in the midst of their run of four All-Irelands in a row between 2006 and 2009.

This was arguably even easier than some of those wins, as it was done and dusted by half-time, and they could afford to step back and cruise through the second 35 minutes, while Dublin saved a small amount of pride with some good scores, including a close range goal for Mark Grogan.

The first half, however, was one-way traffic and it was devastating. Richie Reid controlled play from centre back, Cian Kenny was a bundle of energy at midfield and up front, Adrian Mullen made his value evident with six first-half points from play in his first appearance since their championship opener against Antrim.

After the opening score from a TJ Reid free was cancelled out by a superb strike from Chris Crummey on the Cusack Stand sideline, Eoin Cody darted in to fire in the game's first goal and it was soon evident that Dublin were not at the same level in any facet of play.

Crummey and his full back line of Eoghan O’Donnell, Paddy Smyth and John Bellew tried manfully to plug gaps, but further outfield it was a bloodbath, with Kilkenny controlling every battle.

1-05 was on the Kilkenny side of the scoreboard after seven minutes, and when Paddy Deegan sent a long, low percentage shot wide of the posts, it stood out because it was so out of character for the team in a period in which their hurling was utterly clinical.

John Donnelly and Martin Keoghan weighed in with impressive points while Kenny seemed to pop up everywhere he was needed, but the ease with which Mullen just fired over one score after another showed that Kilkenny will be a