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Bernard still in pole position for accolade

NEXT Sunday evening, barring the first All-Ireland deadlock in a decade, we'll be saluting new champions. The 'Footballer of the Year' debate may carry on for a few more days or even weeks but, as matters stand, here is how we see it.

Bernard Brogan remains in pole position even without an invite to the All-Ireland ball.

Only one finalist, Marty Clarke, looks potentially poised to launch an overtaking manoeuvre in the home straight. Two other Down players, Danny Hughes and Benny Coulter, could possibly enter the reckoning but only if they deliver career-best performances.

And Cork? Even in victory, we cannot construct a compelling case for any individual Rebel. Not that they'll mind if the cup heads south ...