Monday 20 February 2017

Hogan leads the way in race for Hurler of the Year award

Published 01/09/2016 | 02:30

Kilkenny's Richie Hogan
Kilkenny's Richie Hogan

Richie Hogan is poised to land a second Hurler of the Year award in three seasons if he plays well and Kilkenny win next Sunday's All-Ireland final.

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However, with five Tipperary men in the next six on the betting lists, the honour is likely to go to one of them if Kilkenny are dethroned.

While it is not a requirement that the award goes to the All-Ireland winners, it has been established practice for a long time, with only Dan Shanahan (Waterford) in 2007 and Brian Corcoran (Cork) in 1992 breaking the trend over the past 25 years.

The winner will be chosen by a poll of GPA members and announced in conjunction with the All-Stars awards.

Hogan, who has scored 0-13 from open play in four championship games, is 11/8 to repeat his 2014 success, with Waterford's Austin Gleeson (3/1) the only outsider on what is a Kilkenny-Tipperary monopoly list.

Tipperary's Padraic Maher (6/1), Seamus Callanan (8/1), Cathal Barrett (12/1), Noel McGrath (20/1) and Michael Breen (22/1) are the five closest pursuers to Hogan and Gleeson.

Kilkenny's next contenders are Conor Fogarty (25/1), Paul Murphy (25/1) and Cillian Buckley (25/1), while TJ Reid, last year's Hurler of the Year, is on 33/1.

Gleeson's senior campaign is over but he has a chance to make a further case for winning the award when Waterford play Galway in the U-21 final on Saturday week.

Callanan was nominated for the award in the last two years but lost out to a Kilkenny man on each occasion. A big performance on Sunday, accompanied by a Tipperary win, could see him zoom to the head to the queue.

Irish Independent

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