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Henry Shefflin has secured a record-breaking sixth consecutive All Star hurling award

Henry Shefflin has secured a record-breaking sixth consecutive All Star hurling award

Henry Shefflin has secured a record-breaking sixth consecutive All Star hurling award

Henry Shefflin and Tommy Walsh wrote themselves into the record books yesterday as Kilkenny headed the list for the 2007 Vodafone All Stars hurling team.

The Leinster and All-Ireland champions have six positions on a team which features just four counties.

There was disappointment for Wexford as Damien Fitzhenry, their talismanic goalkeeper, missed out on a third award.

Fitzhenry was the inspiration behind Wexford's shock All-Ireland quarter-final win over Tipperary in July when he scored a goal from a late free.

But that moment of magic, coupled with another fine season of shot-stopping, wasn't enough to deny Limerick's Brian Murray his first reward.

Failure

Cork's indifferent season is reflected in their failure to secure a position while Tipperary's involvement in those three memorable games against Limerick has yielded the full-back position for Declan Fanning.

Fanning saw off competition from Kilkenny's consistent full-back Noel Hickey and Limerick's Stephen Lucey in what was surely one of the toughest calls.

Shefflin's record-breaking feat saw him secure a sixth successive award, bringing his total to seven and within striking range of DJ Carey's nine.

By collecting a sixth consecutive award, Shefflin surpassed the five in-a-row shared by Limerick's Pat Hartigan (1971-75), Kilkenny's Eddie Keher (1971-75), Kilkenny's Noel Skehan (1972-76), Cork's John Fenton (1983-87), Kilkenny's DJ Carey (1991-95).

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Tommy Walsh now joins that elite bunch with his fifth successive award but he has carved out a unique distinction for himself by becoming the first in either hurling or football to win all five awards in different positions. His selection at right half-back comes after previous awards at left half-back (2006), left half-forward (2005), left corner-back (2004) and midfield (2003).

Waterford's failure to reach an All-Ireland final was not reflected in the composition of the team as the clear weight of their league success, Munster title and subsequent All-Ireland quarter-final win over Cork after a replay carried them to their biggest representation ever (five).

Tony Browne fought off competition from Mark Foley to claim a third award (1998 and 2006 were his previous awards) while Ken McGrath has also moved himself to three (2002 and 2004).

McGrath's selection at centre-back allows him to share Tommy Walsh's distinction of picking up awards in defence, midfield and attack. He was left half-forward in 2002 and midfield in 2004.

Limerick should be pleased with their haul of three as Murray is joined by Ollie Moran and Andrew O'Shaughnessy in attack.

The one attacking position up for grabs gave Waterford victory over Kilkenny. Stephen Molumphy's form all season clearly helped him to suppress the claims of Kilkenny pair Eoin Larkin and Martin Comerford.

Molumphy is a first-time award winner as is Jackie Tyrrell, Walsh, Fanning, Murray, Moran and O'Shaughnessy.

The Hurler of the Year and Young Hurler of the Year awards will be revealed at the All Stars banquet tomorrow night. The full 2007 All Stars hurling team is: Brian Murray (Limerick); Michael Kavanagh (Kilkenny), Declan Fanning (Tipperary), Jackie Tyrrell (Kilkenny); Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), Ken McGrath (Waterford), Tony Browne (Waterford); Jame "Cha" Fitzpatrick (Kilkenny), Michael Walsh (Waterford); Dan Shanahan (Waterford), Ollie Moran (Limerick), Stephen Molumphy (Waterford); Andrew O'Shaughnessy (Limerick), Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), Eddie Brennan (Kilkenny).


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