Near the foothills of the Dublin mountains on the Knocklyon Road lies the Ballyboden St Enda's clubhouse. It's always a hive of activity and this week sees the club prepare for a Leinster hurling final date with Kilkenny's Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Enda's have yet to win a provincial title - their only appearance in the decider was in 2007 against Birr.

After the club's footballers went all the way in securing All-Ireland glory in 2016, there is a confidence that the hurling squad under the stewardship of Joe Fortune can land silverware, starting with Sunday's showdown with the Kilkenny champs at Netwatch Dr Cullen Park, throw-in 2pm. 

Now at the age of 36, Conal Keaney is very much a seasoned campaigner and has had success in both hurling and football. In looking ahead to the final, Keaney first of all paid tribute to those who give of their time to ensure that Ballyboden's talent base remains strong.

He told RTÉ Sport: "We have huge numbers coming through, great coaches in every grade and great leadership from the top. That has been the case for years and years. This has not been an overnight success.

"On a Saturday morning, you would see a stream of kids on the playing fields. I have my own girls involved in it now so I realise fully the work that goes on behind the scenes, where no one gets anything only a 'thanks'.

"We are lucky enough to keep producing good enough players to compete at both hurling and football. We had a barren spell for a while with the hurlers but we're back up there now and hopefully we can emulate what the footballers did in 2016."

Ballyboden St Enda's Dean Curran with Eoghan Parlon of Coolderry

Ballyboden have come through more them a few tough tests en route to this stage, a testament to their character, says Keaney.

"This team has worked really hard and we have come though a lot of games this year where at stages we looked liked we were dead and buried," he added.

"We came out the right side of those games and that will stand to us.

"In the Dublin final, we drew with Kilmacud the first day and were lucky to draw with them. In the replay we probably learnt a little bit more than they did and that ultimately was the difference.

"And then we played Clonkill, who brought a lot of spirit on the back of a sad situation for the club. They could have beaten us on the night, they missed key chances.

"If it had been a draw it think it would have been difficult for us to go to their place. Luckily, we got over the line and just did enough on the day.

"And then on to Coolderry. That was an extraordinary game to say the least - a game with so many scores. Everything that was good about hurling happened on that day.  

"We were leading relatively comfortably for long stages in normal time - at one stage by seven but they came back at us. Then we led by nine and they came back at us again.

"We survived but conceding so many goals (five) would be a worry."

Ballyhale Shamrocks line up before the Kilkenny final

And so to the clash with Henry Shefflin's troops.

Keaney continued: "It's a Kilkenny team and everybody is talking about how good they are.

"Cuala were the All-Ireland champions for the last two years and came out of Leinster relatively comfortably, so we'll take some confidence from that. I don't think we're as good as Cuala were but we are there now representing every club in Dublin and we are going to give it one hell of a shot.

"To say that Ballyhale have superstars is correct, but we also have superstars and have young lads coming through that want to make their mark.

"We are not going to sit back and be in awe of them.

"We have come out the right side of some tight games so far and that will stand to us.

"All the young lads coming through in Ballyboden are serious, serious hurlers. They may not have got the rub of the green at inter-county so far but they are desperate for that to change with the club.

"I'm looking forward to seeing them drive it on Sunday, they have it in them, more so than the senior players like myself, Malachy Travers and David Curtin, to win the game on Sunday for us." 

Live blog of Ballyboden St Enda's v Ballyhale Shamrocks on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App from 1.30pm. Live commentary on Sunday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1 from 2pm.