On Saturday evening last, Adrian Mullen made his championship bow for Kilkenny and alongside him in attack was a player he describes as "magical" TJ Reid.

Mullen, of course, is well placed to offer a view on Reid. They are both Ballyhale Shamrock players and with Colin Fennelly also forming part of the Cats forward division, the trio from All-Ireland club champions will no be central figures for the Black and Amber this summer.

Brian Cody's men got their Leinster campaign off to a winning start when they eventually came good to defeat Dublin in a somewhat fiery clash at Nowlan Park

For 19-year-old Mullen, "it was an unbelievable experience", when asked to reflect on the game byRTÉ GAA correspondent Brian Carthy at the Bord Gáis Energy U20 hurling championship launch.

We were getting togged out in the dressingroom beforehand and Brian Cody mentioned to me to go out and play my own game and enjoy it.

The Cats were five-point winners in the end

"The home crowd cheering us on was great. 

"In the first half Dublin did get a run on us and were front in front at half time. We felt our performance wasn't good enough and we went out and corrected errors in the second half. We worked harder and things just fell into place.

Mullen, who got on the scoresheet himself against the Dubs, then paid tribute to a man who chipped in with 2-12.

"TJ is magical and I see that magic every week in training. It's nothing new to me. He's an unbelievable player.

"Himself and Colin (Fennelly) link up so well together.

"They are doing that the whole time with Ballyhale. So I suppose they are well used to each other at this stage. We know each others' stengths and weaknesses so well.

Adrian Mullen in the colours of Ballyhale

All we do down in Ballyhale is hurl. It's a small, rural club, but with a great spirit.

Next up for Kilkenny is an date with Carlow at Newtwatch Cullen Park on Sunday next, with Mullen mindful of the strong performance Colm Bonnar's sidse turned in against Galway.

"Anything can happen on any given day. Carlow are a team that should be respected. They put it up to Galway this year, not once, but twice." 

Follow all the hurling action this weekend via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, listen to live national commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and watch live and exclusive TV coverage of the Munster SHC on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player this Sunday