Eight All-Stars, and it could have been more

KILKENNY’S consistency throughout the hurling season, during which they won the All-Ireland final and appeared in the National League decider, was rewarded when eight players won places on the GAA GPA All-Stars team.

KILKENNY’S consistency throughout the hurling season, during which they won the All-Ireland final and appeared in the National League decider, was rewarded when eight players won places on the GAA GPA All-Stars team.

And on top of that, powerful midfielder Michael Fennelly from Ballyhale Shamrocks was voted Hurler of the Year.

The long serving Henry Shefflin claimed a record 10th All-Star award while Tullaroan’s Tommy Walsh created his own piece of history by claiming a ninth consecutive award.

Shefflin won his first award in 2000 and his ninth in 2009 which brought him level at the top with Pat Spillane (Kerry) and D.J. Carey (1991-2002).

Last year, Tommy Walsh equalled the record of eight-in-a-row (picking up awards in five different positions - the first four at midfield, left corner-back, left half-forward, left half-back and the last four at right half-back) and his award this year sets a new record for consecutive awards.

First time winners in Kilkenny were Danesfort pair, Paul Murphy and Richie Hogan, along with team captain, Brian Hogan.

While winning eight awards was some feat, it wouldn’t have surprised had Kilkenny’s take been even better, because All-Ireland final stars, Jackie Tyrrell and J.J. Delaney could easily have slipped into the elite XV.

Fennelly’s individual win was well flagged because he has enjoyed a super season, capped by the scoring of a goal in the All-Ireland final.

All-Star hurling team - 1 Gary Maguire (Dublin); 2 Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), 3 Paul Curran (Tipperary), 4 Michael Cahill (Tipperary); 5 Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), 6 Brian Hogan (Kilkenny), 7 Pádraic Maher (Tipperary); 8 Liam Rushe (Dublin), 9 Michael Fennelly (Kilkenny); 10 Michael Rice (Kilkenny), 11 Richie Power (Kilkenny), 12 Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny); 13 John Mullane (Waterford), 14 Lar Corbett (Tipperary), 15 Richie Hogan (Kilkenny)