BETTER late than never! Every week through summer we've been selecting our up-to-date All Stars in both codes, but the All-Ireland hurling final replay delayed definitive judgement on our Small Ball XV.
Suffice to say, after Kilkenny's latest coronation, we've embarked on several last-minute personnel and positional alterations.
Faced with a number of borderline calls, we've decided to cheat by moving Galway skipper Fergal Moore to wing-back, even though he excelled in the corner, for the obvious reason that Kilkenny's Paul Murphy can no longer be ignored after two foot-perfect finals.
The resultant musical chairs see Waterford's Kevin Moran move from his usual wing-back stomping ground to midfield, where he also had some standout moments.
Finally, up front, there's is at least one floating All Star up for grabs ... even though Eoin Larkin didn't enjoy his finest summer, the Kilkenny skipper finished strongly last Sunday and he sneaks in ahead of several candidates (including the two Richies, Power and Hogan) with impressive league form proving the tie-breaker.
Our county-by-county breakdown reads: Kilkenny 6; Galway 5; Waterford 2; Cork 1; Tipperary 1. Now let's don our helmets before the argument starts ...
OUR HURLING ALL STARS
(1) Anthony Nash (Cork)
(2) Paul Murphy (Kilkenny)
(3) JJ Delaney (Kilkenny)
(4) Johnny Coen (Galway)
(5) Fergal Moore (Galway)
(6) Brian Hogan (Kilkenny)
(7) Pádraic Maher (Tipperary)
(8) Iarla Tannian (Galway)
(9) Kevin Moran (Waterford)
(10) David Burke (Galway)
(11) TJ Reid (Kilkenny)
(12) Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny)
(13) John Mullane (Waterford)
(14) Joe Canning (Galway)
(15) Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)
BOYLESPORTS CHARITY BET
AS he licks his All-Ireland wounds this week, Galway hurler David Burke can console himself that his goalscoring actions have not been all in vain.
We've endured a pretty rotten September in our weekly Boylesports Charity Bet, but at least we finished on a high with a €5 bet on Burke scoring the first goal in the All-Ireland SHC final replay at tempting odds of 25/1. Just for good measure, Galway's roaming No 10 quickly added Goal No 2 ... shame we didn't place the whole €50 on him!
Still, that long shot yielded a €125 profit, bringing our end-of-season total to €933.55, and this will go to a most worthy cause, the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.