Thursday 26 April 2018

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

Kilkenny's Richie Hogan
Kilkenny's Richie Hogan
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

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.

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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