We don’t envy the All Star selectors!
It was a tough job picking this week’s hurling Team of the Week with 16 games and 32 teams in action across the top four grades. That’s nearly 500 players!
In total we have players from nine clubs included and three grades. Abbeyleix lead the way with five representatives while Borris-Kicotton have three and Rathdowney-Erril, Ballinakill Gaels, The Harps, Mountrath, Colt Gaels, Clonad and Camross all have one each.
Those that came close include Paddy Mullaney (Castletown), Joe Fitzpatrick (Rathdowney-Errill), Liam Lalor (Shanahoe Gaels and Ballypickas), Conor Dunne (The Harps), Ger Doolan (Colt Gaels), Aaron Lynch (Abbeyleix), Joe Bergin (Abbeyleix), Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill) and Niall Synott (Trumera).
1 – Colin Delaney (Clonad)
Clonad have goalkeeper Colin Delaney to thank for their win over Park-Ratheniska on Saturday night. Delaney, who was acting as a stand in for normal keeper Shane Cahill who is out with a knee injury, normally operates on the half forward line. But he answered the call and Clonad will be glad that he did as he made no fewer than six outstanding saves – two in the first half and four in the second half.
2 – Noel Delaney (Borris-Kilcotton)
Is there a tidier corner-back in the county? Such a solid performer and rarely does a whole lot wrong. The same was the case against Clough-Ballacolla on Saturday evening. Used the ball well, kept his man quiet and even threw in a couple of lovely touches for good measure.
3 – Mark Cahill (Abbeyleix)
Ok, so he was corner-back for most of the game but we use All Star rules here and can move lads around a bit to accommodate the week’s best players. Cahill was outstanding on Zane Keenan and cleared a mountain of ball. Will now turn his attention back to the Ballyroan-Abbey footballers next weekend.
4 – David Bonham (Abbeyleix)
Nobody typified Abbeyleix’s spirit more than David Bonham. Made two brilliant blocks, cleared a lot of ball and worked, tackled and pressurised all evening.
5 – Dwane Palmer (Camross)
Camross will be disappointed with their performance and the result but they’ll take plenty from the game. Dwane Palmer drove them on in the first half when Abbeyleix were threatening to pull clear. A fine performance.
6 – Liam Delaney (Abbeyleix)
Strong in the air, good on the ball and able to read the play well, he also put in a thunderous shoulder on Dean Delaney in the second half that could almost be felt in the crowd. It earned him a yellow card and it gave away a point but it underlined the fact that the centre of the Abbeyleix defence wasn’t a place for the faint-hearted.
7 – Stephen Finan (Borris-Kilcotton)
Aaron Dunphy’s tally of 3-4 earned him the headlines but Finan was exceptional at the other end too, tracking Willie Hyland for most of the game and putting in a fine performance that helped lay the foundation for Borris-Kilcotton’s big win.
8 – Colm Kavanagh (Colt)
9 – Eoin Reilly (Abbeyleix)
Didn’t clock up as big a score as he did against Castletown in the opening round but he was still crucial to Abbeyleix’s win. A nerveless freetaker, he also showed incredible bravery on a couple of occasions to block Camross attacks. Comes in for a fair bit of hardship but gets on with it every time.
10 – Eamon Jackman (Ballinakill Gaels)
Ballinakill looked to be in bother in the opening half as Castletown got a bit of a run on them. But Jackman showed all his experience and class and helped get Ballinakill up and running and back into contention. Finished with eight points, four of them wonderful efforts from play.
11 – Ryan Peacock (Abbeyleix)
Was sensational in the first half of Sunday’s second game, getting on a mountain of ball and scoring four great points from play. Wasn’t as prominent in the second half but still popped up to win a couple of really important balls.
12 – John Brophy (The Harps)
The Harps were far from convincing in their win over Shanahoe Gaels on Friday evening and they’re going to have to show a lot of improvement if they’re going to go straight back to senior. John Brophy showed his class with four good points from play including a couple of fine efforts after half-time when they were really needed.
13 – Dylan Russell (Mountrath)
Mountrath lacked attacking power in their Round 1 loss to Ballyfin with centre back Jimmy Hyland top scoring thanks to his ability to slot over frees. But Dylan Russell stood up to the mantle in their win over Borris-Kilcotton on Thursday night – finishing with 2-6.
14 – Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill)
Rathdowney-Errill eased to a big win over Portlaoise on Saturday evening and had a number of fine performers all over the field. But Ross King’s tally of 16 points, six from play, earns him the Number 14 position.
15 – Aaron Dunphy (Borris-Kilcotton)
Arguably the individual performance of the weekend. Hit 3-4 from play and was a danger any time he got near the ball. Clough-Ballacolla couldn’t handle him at all and he’ll be a key man if Borris-Kilcotton are to retain their title.