Their victory over champions Mary Immaculate College means that Dublin will have a college in the Fitzgibbon Cup final this year, with UCD and DIT meeting in a quarter-final tie this evening.
The Fitzgibbon Cup has not been in the capital since UCD were victorious in 2001 but DCU will now hope to push on from ending Mary Immaculate’s hopes of a third success in a row.
“We have been building for the last few years so this is a special night,” said Kilkenny man Mullen.
“It was a tough game and we are just delighted to get those couple of scores at the end to win it.
“We just want to move on to the next one and take it from there. We have had a few good teams in the last few years and hopefully now we can push on from here,” said the Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman.
The sides were deadlocked eight times during a sometimes fiery encounter, but DCU did not give up when they were hauled back in the final quarter and fell behind.
An early goal from Michael O’Loughlin for Mary I was cancelled out by three frees from Dublin’s Donal Burke and that set the tone for the night, with the sides constantly exchanging points.
They were level four times in the opening half but points from Conor Delaney and Burke saw DCU lead by 0-8 to 1-3 at the break.
Mary I, forced to line out without injured Limerick player Aaron Gillane, hit back after the restart with good points from Gary Cooney and Cian Lynch after Doyle had got an early score for the home side.
The accuracy of Burke was augmented by three great points from Joe O’Connor, which left DCU ahead by 0-14 to 1-6 going into the final quarter.
The champions got back into contention when goalkeeper Eoghan Cahill went forward to blast home a penalty before Lynch levelled and Colm Stapleton edged the holders in front.
Burke and Rian McBride put DCU back in front before Luke Meade and Cooney pointed for Mary but with extra-time looming, DCU pushed for home and Doyle and Conor Burke delivered the winning points to knock out the champions in an exciting finish.
D Burke 0-8 (6f), K Doyle 0-3, J O’Connor 0-3, R McBride 0-2, C Delaney 0-1, D Mullen 0-1, P Curran 0-1, C Burke 0-1
M O’Loughlin 1-5 (0-5f), E Cahill 1-0 (1-0pen), C Lynch 0-2, G Cooney 0-2, B Corry, L Meade 0-1, C Stapleton 0-1.
O Foley (Wexford); D Brennan (Kilkenny), E O’Donnell (Dublin), C McSweeney (Limerick); A Maddock (Wexford), C Delaney (Kilkenny), P Foley (Wexford); D Mullen (Kilkenny), D Grey (Dublin); R McBride (Dublin), F Whitely (Dublin), J O’Connor (Wexford); J Donnelly (Kilkenny), P Curran (Waterford), D Burke (Dublin).
K Doyle (Westmeath) for Donnelly (20), C Burke (Dublin) for Whitely (41), P Hogan (Waterford) for Grey (51).
E Cahill (Offaly); C McCullagh (Tipperary), D Peters (Wexford), D Browne (Cork); S Taylor (Clare), T O’Mahony (Cork), D Prendergast (Waterford); J Mackey (Tipperary), P Ryan (Tipperary); C Guilfoyle (Clare), C Lynch (Limerick), L Meade (Cork); G Cooney (Clare), M O’Loughlin (Clare), B Corry (Clare).
C Stapleton (Laois) for Mackey (45), M Corry (Clare) for B Corry (58).
J McGrath (Westmeath).