Dublin All Stars vs Mayo All Stars - two great teams but who is better?
ONE thing is certain ahead of Sunday’s Croker finale - the GAA/GPA All Stars football team is set to be dominated by men in sky blue and green-and-red. How can it be any other way?
First, you had the sporadic to non-existent resistance of our last-eight losers; then the faltering form of Kerry and collapse of Tyrone’s much touted ‘system’.
Very few individuals, perhaps one apiece, might make it from our two vanquished semi-finalists onto the eventual team. And that leaves a posse of ruthless Dubs and born-again Mayo aces.
With this in mind, it would appear the perfect time to sign off our ‘Theme of the Week’ feature with two teams for the price of one ...
May we present our best ever Dublin All Stars versus their Mayo counterparts. Two superlative line-ups, you might agree, even if they’ll never share the same field.
First up, for those perusing the above teams and screaming blue murder over the latest miscarriage of All Star justice, some ground rules.
You can only make our team in a position where you won an All Star.
We will allow some minor leeway here: corner-backs, wing-backs, wing-forwards and corner-forwards are eligible for inclusion in either corner (or wing, depending) so long as they stay in the correct line.
If you won All Stars in two positions (such as midfield and full-forward, a la Aidan O’Shea) you can be located in either.
But a midfield All Star cannot be moved to wing-forward, just to accommodate him; or a full-back to the corner; or a centre-forward to the wing, etc.
You’ve guessed it: this pedantic rule caused head-wrecking consternation.
But we can still only name 15 per team, leading to hard choices and eye-catching omissions.
Both counties have a glut of high-calibre midfield options, with Michael Darragh Macauley (2013 Footballer of the Year) and Ciarán Whelan losing out for Dublin while Willie Joe Padden and TJ Kilgallon miss out for Mayo.
Several of Heffo’s ’70s heroes are likewise eclipsed by the current generation - including Robbie Kelleher who won four All Stars at No 4.
We won’t predict a winner of this hypothetical collision ... except to say, given it’s Dublin and Mayo, there’ll be nothing polite about this All Stars exhibition with a difference.