Ballyhale Shamrocks manager James O'Connor hailed their Leinster final display against Clough Ballacolla in Croke Park as their "most complete performance" of his two-year reign.

The Kilkenny aristocrats had made rather laboured progress through Leinster in 2021, surviving a massive scare against Offaly's St Rynagh's in the semi-final but they were in unforgiving mood in Sunday's decider, cutting the Laois champions to ribbons in a devastating hour of hurling.

Captain Colin Fennelly rustled up 2-01, with Eoin Cody, Brian Cody, Eoin Reid and Adrian Mullen rattling home further goals as they ran riot in a 6-23 to 0-14 win, claiming a third successive Leinster title and the 11th in the club's 49-year-history.

Ballyhale manager James O'Connor - a former Waterford hurler - takes the team into the All-Ireland series at the first time of asking. Having succeeded Henry Shefflin in 2020, he guided the side to a third successive Kilkenny crown last year, but the virus put paid to any club championship ambitions beyond that. In 2022, he gets a chance to mount a successful All-Ireland defence.

"To be honest, it was a brilliant performance from start to finish," O'Connor told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

James O'Connor eyes his team as they work through their warm-up

"Eoin Cody got the first goal, settled the team and we just went at it then. Croke Park is such a brilliant place to play, the width, the length of the field. There's an acre of space for forwards to play with. That really suits Shamrocks and they can open you up. In my two years, it was one of the most complete performances."

Ballyhale's formidable strength in depth was evident as they continued to riddle their opponents, long after the outcome was determined, O'Connor citing Eoin Reid's cameo.

"A total example of that is Eoin Reid. He's a guy that's won everything in the game, didn't start today but he ended up with 1-02 and scored one of the best goals that I've seen in club hurling. Brilliant flick out of the air."

Fennelly, no longer dividing his time between club and county, said it was gratifying to think back on what the club has achieved over the decades.

Founded in 1972 out of an amalgamation between Ballyhale and Knocktopher, the club is comfortably the most successful in both the Leinster and All-Ireland roll of honour.

"I was looking up at that cup at half-time, just for a split second, and you're thinking what do we have to do in the second half to get over the line," the team captain told RTÉ Sport.

"To think of what the club has achieved over the years, and what we've achieved together. We learned a lot with the last team I played with, Henry (Shefflin), (Aidan) Cummins, Paul Shefflin.

"People are saying 'you're tired and all that' or 'you're on the road a long time'. It's not really the case. Joey Holden spoke on Friday night about the people in pain in the parish and just to put a smile on their faces. It's absolutely everything to us."