Wednesday 12 December 2018

Hurling team of the week: Only one Dublin representative as Limerick and Cork dominate the combined XV

Patrick Horgan and Rory O'Connor make the XV
Patrick Horgan and Rory O'Connor make the XV

Sam Roberts

It was a busy weekend in the senior hurling championship as counties in Leinster and Munster adjust to the new round-robin championship system.

Limerick's win over Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds stole the headlines, a late surge from the home side seeing them across the line for a deserved victory over a lacklustre Tipp.

Elsewhere in Munster, Cork made the most of 11 minutes of injury time to pull away from Clare in what was an absorbing and very evenly-matched clash in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

In Leinster Dublin suffered late heartbreak for the second time in as many weeks as a Rory O'Connor-inspired Wexford secured victory at the death, while Kilkenny strolled to a comfortable victory over Offaly.

Here is your hurling team of the week:

1. Alan Nolan (Dublin)

Wexford were the only side across this weekend's senior championship games without a goal, and in large part that is down to the work of Alan Nolan, although the Dublin goalkeeper couldn't prevent his side from slipping to a late defeat at Wexford Park.

2. Sean Finn (Limerick)

Part of a united defensive effort from Limerick that limited the opportunities for Tipperary's talented forward line.

3. Damien Cahalane (Cork)

At the centre of a powerful Cork defence that frustrated Clare throughout, it was this resilient defensive effort that was crucial to the home side's victory.

4. Colm Spillane (Cork)

Along with Calahane, Spillane was not necessarily going to be making the headlines, but his dirty work was instrumental to the home side's victory in Páirc Ui Chaoimh.

5. Diarmuid Byrnes (Limerick)

Another part of the solid Limerick defence, Byrnes also stepped up with two mammoth frees to give the home side vital points in a tie that was always going to be razor close.

6. Declan Hannon (Limerick)

The Limerick captain formed part of a highly impressive half-back line and despite his frustration over the number of frees his side conceded, he must surely have been happy with what he saw from his team on Sunday afternoon.

7. Mark Coleman (Cork)

One of Cork's most impressive performers in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the 20-year-old did not look remotely out of place on the championship stage, his perfectly-timed block on David Reidy the highlight.

8. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Cork)

If Coleman was one of Cork's most impressive performers, Fitzgibbon was perhaps the most impressive, scoring three points of his own and playing a crucial role in assisting others.

9. Tony Kelly (Clare)

Took Clare's goal superbly at a time when his side desperately needed it, just minutes after Cork had scored one of their own.

10. Aaron Gillane (Limerick)

A threat to the Tipperary defence throughout, Limerick's top point scorer with 0-8 and perhaps their star performer overall.

11. John Conlon (Clare)

Another Clare man who was impressive in defeat, scoring 0-5 and acting as a driving force behind the Banner county's strong response to Cork's opening goal.

12. David Reidy (Clare)

A threat for Clare throughout, a superb last-ditch block from Coleman taking away a huge goal opportunity from the Clare midfielder.

13. Patrick Horgan (Cork)

Cork's top point scorer on the afternoon, Horgan's touch of class set-up the opening goal for the Rebels as he chased down an errant shot and somehow managed to keep the ball in play, directing it into the path of Conor Lehane to score the opener.

14. Rory O'Connor (Wexford)

The hero for Wexford in their victory over Dublin, securing victory in injury-time with a mammoth point, one of his 12 on the afternoon.

15. Luke Scanlon (Kilkenny)

One of the standout performers for Kilkenny in their comfortable victory over Offaly, withdrawn relatively early but only after four excellent first-half points and the 21-year-old certainly looks to be the future for Kilkenny.

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