Siobhán McGrath wins Player of the Year as Dublin cap three-in-a-row season with seven All Stars
ALL-Ireland Senior champions Dublin led the way with seven representatives on the 2019 TG4 Ladies Football All Star team announced last night.
Dublin's haul matches their all-time best of seven players on the annual selection, which was also achieved last year.
The 2019 team was revealed at the annual TG4 All Star awards banquet, in association with Lidl, at the Citywest Hotel.
Dublin's Sinéad Goldrick won a seventh All-Star award in eight years, and there was a fifth award for team-mate Lyndsey Davey, who was Player of the Match against Galway in the 2019 TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, which was played out in front of a record 56,114 attendance.
Another Dublin star, Siobhán McGrath, was honoured for a fourth time and also named as the 2019 TG4 Senior Players' Player of the Year while there was a third All Star for team-mate Carla Rowe.
McGrath was the popular choice of her peers to claim the award, beating off stiff competition from Dublin team-mate Sinéad Goldrick and Galway's Louise Ward.
It's the third successive year that a Dublin player has won the award following wins for Noelle Healy in 2017 and captain Sinéad Aherne in 2018.
Galway defender Sinéad Burke and Cork forward Orla Finn, who was joint top scorer in the 2019 Senior Championship, both collected their second awards.
The 2019 selection is also noteworthy for the presence of Galway twin sisters Nicola and Louise Ward in the prestigious 15.
Nicola and Louise are the first set of twin sisters named in an All Star team since Waterford's O'Ryan twins, Martina and Geraldine, back in 1992.
It's also the third successive year that sisters are named on an All Star selection as the Hegartys from Donegal, Ciara and Niamh, were listed on the 2017 team, while the O'Sullivans from Cork, Ciara and Doireann, were honoured in 2018.
Nicola and Louise Ward will now turn their attentions to next weekend's All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final, when Kilkerrin-Clonberne will pit their wits against holders Mourneabbey from Cork.
There were nine first-time winners on the 2019 TG4 All Star team, including Dublin's Niamh Collins, Olwen Carey and Niamh McEvoy.
Monica McGuirk earns the goalkeeping spot for her exploits with Meath, who contested the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Final, and it's also a first All Star for the Royal County since 2011, when another goalkeeper, Irene Munnelly, was honoured.
The other first-time All Star recipients are Melissa Duggan (Cork), the aforementioned Ward sisters, Tracey Leonard, the Galway captain, and Mayo's Rachel Kearns.
Galway's haul of four All Stars is second behind Dublin on the 2019 selection, while two players from Cork, and one each from Meath and Mayo complete the line-up.
In total, there are four survivors from the 2018 All Star team – Dublin trio Goldrick, McGrath and Davey, and Galway's Burke.
It was confirmed that the 2020 TG4 All Star Tour will visit Austin, Texas, in the United States, with the tour scheduled for March 31-April 8.
Also on the night, the 2019 TG4 Intermediate Players' Player of the Year award went to Tipperary's Aishling Moloney.
The 21-year-old Cahir star was named as Player of the Match in the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Final as Tipperary lifted the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup for the second time in three years.
It's also the second time in three seasons that a Tipperary player has been named TG4 Intermediate Players' Player of the Year, following success for Aisling McCarthy in 2017.
Moloney earned the nod in the Intermediate grade ahead of team-mate Orla O'Dwyer, and 2019 TG4 All Star goalkeeper Monica McGuirk from Meath.
And while Fermanagh may have lost the TG4 All-Ireland Junior Final against Louth at Croke Park, 18-year-old Eimear Smyth was voted by her peers as the TG4 Junior Players' Player of the Year.
Smyth was nominated alongside Louth's TG4 All-Ireland winning captain Kate Flood, who was TG4 Junior Players' Player of the Year in 2015 and 2018, and London's Hannah Noonan.
Earlier in the evening, Mayo legend Christina Heffernan was officially inducted into the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) Hall of Fame, while Ellen Power (Galway/Connacht), Ciara Smyth (Meath/Leinster), Eimear O'Donovan (Cork/Munster) and Saoirse Kiernan (Cavan/Ulster) collected the provincial Young Player of the Year awards.
Mayo star Niamh Kelly won the TG4 'Score of the Season' award for her stunning goal against Galway in the 2019 TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final at Croke Park.
Kelly's mother, Breda, accepted the award on her behalf, and it was presented by LGFA President Marie Hickey during a 'Red Carpet Live' Facebook event on the Spórt TG4 page.
2019 TG4 Ladies Football All-Star team:
Monica McGuirk (Meath) – 1st award
Sinéad Burke (Galway) – 2nd award
Niamh Collins (Dublin) – 1st award
Melissa Duggan (Cork) – 1st award
Nicola Ward (Galway) – 1st award
Sinéad Goldrick (Dublin) – 7th award
Olwen Carey (Dublin) – 1st award
Louise Ward (Galway) – 1st award
Siobhán McGrath (Dublin) – 4th award
Carla Rowe (Dublin) – 3rd award
Niamh McEvoy (Dublin) – 1st award
Lyndsey Davey (Dublin) – 5th award
Tracey Leonard (Galway) – 1st award
Rachel Kearns (Mayo) – 1st award
Orla Finn (Cork) – 2nd award
County by county breakdown:
7 Dublin, 4 Galway, 2 Cork, 1 Meath, 1 Mayo
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