After coming up short in last year's Leinster final against Oulart-The Ballagh, Cuala manager Mattie Kenny felt that  they had to claim a maiden provincial title to make any progress this year.

The Dublin champions achieved that goal with a fully merited 3-19 to 1-16 win over Kilkenny's O'Loughlin Gaels in the decider at O'Moore Park on Sunday. 

Cuala's determination to finally bring home the prize was given full expression afterwards when Kenny told RTÉ Sport: "We knew if we didn't win today it meant that no progress had been made."

On the road travelled since last year's loss to Oulart, Kenny added: "It's a year since we were in this position before and we came out very disappointed.

"It's a privilege to be with these guys and win the Leinster championship"

"Last year was a great journey until the Leinster final. We came back this time with the aim of winning the Dublin championship and then to have another crack at Leinster. The novelty of getting to the final in 2015 was no longer a novelty. Every game had to be won and that brought its own pressure.

"To win it was a great relief and a great honour. It's a privilege to be with these guys and win the Leinster championship."

Next up for the Dalkey side is a date with Ulster champs Slaughtneil in the All-Ireland semi-final on 4 February. Kenny's men will have to wear the favourites tag for that encounter and not surprisingly the manager is keen to dampen expectations.

"We have an ambitious bunch of players, but yet are very grounded," he outlined. 

"We encourage them to think just one game at a time.

"We give every team the respect they deserve. We'll do our homework and prepare the best we can and won't fall into the trap of looking too far ahead."