Cuala's Colm Cronin felt the side saved their best performance until it mattered most after they eased past Ballyea to claim a maiden AIB All-Ireland club hurling title at Croke Park.

The Dublin and Leinster champions had 12 points to spare over their Clare opponents in the St Patrick's Day decider.

Cronin, who scored his side's opening goal, told RTÉ Sport that everything clicked perfectly on the day.

"From one to 15 and the lads that came on - it was a team effort where everyone put in a shift and everyone worked so hard. It was our best performance all year."

Reflecting on the goal scored that set Cuala on their way, Cronin added: "The ball broke and it fell for me. I picked it up and scored. I think it was my first touch in the game.

Inside forward Mark Schutte paid tribute to work done by many - the culmination of which saw the Dalkey club reach the promised land.

He said: "Mattie Kenny put in three years hard work to get us this far - but it goes back further than that.

"Others have done trojan work going back 20 years, many of them were up in the stands. We were the lucky ones that got to play and win a final."