Friday 23 August 2019

Gillane stands tallest as Treaty dominate league's best

Aaron Gillane. Photo: Sportsfile
Aaron Gillane. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Limerick sit atop the hurling ladder as they head into the summer chasing back-to-back All-Irelands and John Kiely's side dominate the league's best 15 after ending a 22-year wait to land the Allianz HL Division 1 crown.

1. Nickie Quaid (Limerick)

Continued his role as orchestrator of the Treaty symphony with pinpoint puck-outs and some excellent saves.

2. Richie English (Limerick)

Rarely looks uncomfortable, English's ability to play with his head up ensures that possession is never wasted.

3. Eoghan O'Donnell (Dublin)

O'Donnell gave a tour de force in defence when manhandling Limerick's Graeme Mulcahy in the semi-final. Superb distribution makes him a complete defender.

4. Noel Connors (Waterford)

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Had a tough day against Aaron Gillane last Sunday but the Déise skipper continues to be one of the most consistent defenders in the game.

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick)

A springboard for Limerick attacks and brilliant in the air, Byrne was one of spring's stand-out players, hitting 0-20 from wing-back.

6. Padraic Mannion (Galway)

Has nailed down the No 6 shirt and continued the magnificent form which he produced last year.

7. Kevin Moran (Waterford)

One of the few Déise players to emerge with any credit from Sunday's final, Moran has been brilliant in his new defensive role.

8. Cathal Mannion (Galway)

Outstanding in his new midfield role picking up loose ball and helping himself to 1-15 from play, but may have to revert back to attack as a result of Joe Canning's groin injury.

9. Shane Golden (Clare)

Clare's campaign ended in disaster against Waterford in the quarter-final but Golden was a shining light throughout the league with his pace creating plenty of attacking openings.

10. Gearóid Hegarty (Limerick)

Notching 1-9 from play complemented his immense work-rate as Hegarty continues to provide crucial defensive cover and is a huge attacking weapon under puck-outs.

11. Joe Canning (Galway)

Such a pity that this summer may be robbed of Canning's talents after a league campaign which showed him to be better than ever. Leaves a gaping hole in the Galway attack.

12. Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin)

Returned to the type of form which saw him earn an All-Star in 2013. Sutcliffe is becoming the focal point of the Dublin half-forward line under Mattie Kenny and his point-taking throughout the league was sublime.

13. Aaron Gillane (Limerick)

The best player on show throughout the league. Should be a marked man after some scintillating displays last year but Gillane continues to torment defences hitting 2-45 in six games.

14. Stephen Bennett (Waterford)

A tally of 4-85 tells the tale of his free-scoring exploits. Bennett is enjoying his time at full-forward - without the task of working around the opposition sweeper.

15. Martin Kavanagh (Carlow)

Played a huge hand in two of the most significant league results with his last-gasp free earning a shock draw with Galway in round two, while Kavanagh was crucial as they relegated Offaly to Division 2A.

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