Friday 24 November 2017

Do you agree with our hurling Team of the League?

Stars on the rise mingle with some hardy old reliables in our hurling selection

Joint Clare captains Cian Dillon, left, and Tony Kelly lift the cup after the Allianz Hurling League
Joint Clare captains Cian Dillon, left, and Tony Kelly lift the cup after the Allianz Hurling League
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Patrick Kelly (Clare): Operated behind a much improved defence and kept four clean sheets. Kelly really stood up in the drawn final against Waterford. Edges out Galway's James Skehill, who had a fine sequence of games in Colm Callanan's absence.

Shane Fives (Waterford)

On top of his game in both games against Clare, and that reflected the solid League campaign Fives had. Always comfortable, dealing particularly well with high balls.

Cian Dillon (Clare)

Had a spell at centre-back but has brought a robust presence to Clare's defence from full-back and has developed a great understanding of the sweeper system sometimes deployed with Pat O'Connor.

Noel Connors (W'ford)

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Mr Consistency in the Deise defence, there is scarcely a better exponent in those ruck situations that continuously develop on Waterford's watch. Tested at times against Limerick but in both games against Clare he was rock solid.

Barry Nash, Limerick, in action against Noel Connors and Darragh Fives, Waterford

Padraig Walsh (Kilkenny)

Kilkenny's most consistent defender has been building steadily since taking over the family mantle from brother Tommy. Got forward to pick off five points from play.

Ronan Maher (Tipperary)

An indifferent League campaign for Tipp has still uncovered a centre-back in Ronan Maher, forceful and dominant in the position despite being still only 20. Presence there releases brother Padraic to the wings. Edges out Dublin's Liam Rushe, who had a fine campaign.

Austin Gleeson (W'ford)

Liberal selection of Gleeson at half-back when the source of his class was those midfield jungle conditions that Waterford create. Perhaps no one registered more wides, but the scores he picked off were quite spectacular.

David Reidy (Clare)

For a long time Colm Galvin led Clare's midfield charge but Reidy has been comfortably in his slipstream and really surged in the League finals to take him past Tipperary's Michael Breen.

David Reidy, Clare, in action against Paul Browne, Limerick

Jamie Barron (Waterford)

The sight of Baron scurrying from a forest of bodies to make hard yards and score has become a feature of Waterford's play. His performance levels rarely dipped in that demanding role.

TJ Reid (Kilkenny)

How do you follow a season where you have swept the boards? Rarely has a Hurler of the Year followed on with such an impressive League. Picked off more than half of Kilkenny's scores in the campaign, 2-61 from 6-113. Says it all.

Joe Canning (Galway)

Galway may have dropped down but Canning did his utmost to keep them up, hitting 1-52 in six games. Reserved his biggest displays for the games against Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Galway's Joe Canning Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

John Conlon (Clare)

Hard to omit Sunday's match-winner Tony Kelly, who only started two games but Conlon's goals for Clare were so important to their progression, hitting three in successive games against Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny until injury took him out of the equation. His routing of Kilkenny under the dropping ball in the semi-final may be a fork in the season's road.

Patrick Curran (W'ford)

So much to take from the League for Waterford but Curran's development stands out. He hit 2-45, 2-14 from play. Notably didn't shirk responsibility from frees in Sunday's replay.

Seamus Harnedy (Cork)

Harnedy's goals have been nourishment for troubled Cork, five in the campaign, six if you credit him with a second against Kilkenny that Bill Cooper is down for. Few forwards have the capacity to win their own ball like him; he squeezes in ahead of the impressive Conor Lehane.

63 SPORT rebels 1134721.jpg
Seamus Harnedy of Cork in action against Galway duo Andrew Smith and Adrian Tuohy during Sunday’s Division 1 Relegation Play-off in Pearse Stadium. RAY RYAN / SPORTSFILE

Conor McGrath (Clare)

McGrath's influence can't be overstated. In the big games, he rarely fails to deliver. His five points against Limerick were followed up by such important scores against Kilkenny and Waterford, particularly the equaliser in normal time of the drawn game and the first half the last day.

Irish Independent

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