Mattie Kenny praised his Cuala side for going into the lion's den and seeing off the spirited challenge of Carlow champions St Mullins.

The Dalkey side were put under pressure during a first half that saw the hosts hit the net and carry a two-point lead into the second quarter at Netwatch Cullen Park.

But Cuala powered back to rattle off six of the next seven points before the interval and, following a goal from Con O'Callaghan following the restart, went on to record a comfortable 12-point success.

And Kenny recognised that scoring burst either side of the break was crucial to breaking St Mullins' resolve.

"We knew Mullins would be a big obstacle for us, down here on their home pitch, so to speak," Kenny told RTÉ Sport.

"I thought they started very well and really put it up to us, and we just got a few scores before half-time that allowed us to bring a lead into the dressing-room. That gave us the small bit of a cushion that we needed.

"They are a dangerous team, they showed a lot of pace coming down the middle and caused us problems. You could see they are a strong team and were capable of getting another goal, so we needed that goal just to give us that extra daylight."

"We needed that goal just to give us that extra daylight."

Despite winning with plenty to spare, Cuala were guilty of squandering several chances, however, Kenny refused to place too much blame on his players given the difficult conditions.

He said: "The ball was a bit heavy today, the fog never lifted and the air is cold, so we're definitely gone away from summer/autumn conditions, and you have just move more into the scoring zone at this time of the year. 

"Once they are creating the chances is a help, and it was a healthy enough score."

Kilkenny champions O'Loughlin Gaels await in the Leinster final in a fortnight's time and are sure to offer a more thorough examination of the Dublin side, but Kenny insisted it would be business as usual for his panel.

"We won't do anything different or anything special over the next couple of weeks," he said.

"We'll recover from today's game and on Tuesday we'll be back training and preparing for the Leinster final.

"It's good to be back in there again and it gives us an opportunity to have a crack at it again."