Eoin Larkin gave an exhibition of scoring to elevate Kilkenny's James Stephens to their third All-Ireland club hurling title on a scoreline of 0-19 to 0-14 over Athenry of Galway at Croke Park.

Man of the Match Larkin did the famous family name proud as 'the Village' strode to victory at Croke Park.

Back in 1982 when they last won the title they were led by the legendary Phil 'Fan' Larkin. This time around it was centre-forward Eoin that did the damage with 0-9 on the day and an exhibition of free-taking.

He was joined by cousin Philly Larkin in the victorious team as a new breed of James Stephens heroes were born. Captain Peter Barry raised the trophy aloft after the five-point win amid emotional scenes at the sun kissed venue.

"I'm delighted to be standing here on behalf of a great, great club," said a delighted Barry. "Everyone thought it was only a dream but today the dream has become a reality."

Barry turned in a big performance in the half-back line alongside Philly Larkin and Jackie Tyrrell to keep the Athenry forwards in check. In the end it was Athenry's lack of scoring power that ended their own dream of a fourth club title to emulate the record set in 2003 by Birr.

In turn, James Stephens took their scores when presented, emerging the right side of a tight first-half with a 0-10 to 0-9 interval advantage.

Amazingly, the sides were level eight times in that 30 minute period with Larkin accounting for 0-7 of James Stephens' tally. Athenry captain Eugene Cloonan was their chief scorer with 0-4 from placed balls to keep the Galway outfit in with a good shout at the break.

Joe Murphy scored immediately after the restart for Stephens though to open up a two-point margin for the first time in the game at 0-11 to 0-9. It was a visible turning point and they quickly pulled further away with points from Eoin McCormack, Richie Hayes and David McCormack to lead 0-14 to 0-10.

Cloonan responded with a couple of points but Stephens were good value for their lead which never dropped below a three point advantage in the run-in. In fact, Larkin could even afford to take his point instead of go for goal from the penalty spot when Paul Hardiman pulled down Eoin McCormack en route to goal after 51 minutes.

That gave Stephens a 0-16 to 0-12 lead and three unanswered points from Eoin McCormack ultimately eased the Leinster champions to All-Ireland glory.

James Stephens: F Cantwell; D Cody, M Phelan, D Grogan; J Tyrrell, P Larkin, P Barry; P O'Brien (0-1), B McEvoy; J Murphy (0-1), E Larkin (0-9; 5f 2 65 1 pen), G Whelan; E McCormack (0-5), R Hayes (0-1), D McCormack (0-2).
Subs: J Murray for Murphy 61.

Athenry: M Crimmins; T Kelly, P Hardiman, J Feeney; B Higgins (0-1), B Feeney, S Donohue; L Howley, B Hanley (0-1); J Rabbitte (0-1), MJ Quinn (0-1), E Caulfield; D Moran (0-2), E Cloonan (0-6; 4f), D Donohue (0-2).
Subs: D Burns for Caulfield 36, D Carroll for Hanley 49, C O'Donovan for S Donohue 58.

Referee: S Roche (Tipperary)