Saint Mullins: Finally where they belong 2 weeks ago

Saint Mullins: Finally where they belong

Through Inistioge and you see the signs for Thomastown.

Bennetsbridge isn't too far away either. Ballyhale is only a half an hour drive.

This is Kilkenny's hurling heartland. You can almost smell it around the place. Another blink and you're in Gowran, home to one of the greatest hurlers ever.

Culture and tradition line the roads we sit above. Google Maps says just five more minutes. Five minutes? Graiguenamangh goes in a flash and before we know it, we've entered a different land.

Carlow. The home of Saint Mullins GAA club. You could literally puck a ball back to Kilkenny. But the puck of a ball can make a big difference. These people are steadfast about their place. The man in the shop tells us proudly that he's a Saint Mullins man. That was Kilkenny, but this is Carlow.

For years, Carlow was a forgotten land in hurling's pocket atlas.

Kilkenny and Wexford around them, Carlow was stuck in the middle and struggling.

There were good hurlers from here, but those hurlers would have been better off on the other side of the county boundaries.

For now, they're better off where they are. The St Mullins shop-owner has seen plenty, he hurled for St Mullins back in the day he tells us, but he's never seen days like these.

No way.

The puck of a ball can make a big difference. Just ask James Doyle. His last minute score against Rathdowney Erril helped the club to their first ever Leinster senior final.

Coming just a few months after the county team drew with Galway in the league, and a few weeks after St Mullins beat Cuala, this is real, this is huge.

Now, the underdog of all underdogs are preparing for Ballyhale Shamrocks and all their might in the Leinster senior hurling final.

Carlow hurling is where it should be, and St Mullins GAA club is at the centre of it.

You can watch their story here.