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02/08/2021

Denise Gaule earns top award as Kilkenny claim six Camogie All-Stars

Cats claim lion's share of awards while Brian Dowling was named Manager of the Year

Kilkenny Camogie

Kilkenny star Denise Gaule was named winner of the Senior Players' Player of the Year award at the Camogie All-Stars

Kilkenny have cleaned up at the Camogie All-Stars, with six awards coming to the county.
The Cats, who beat Galway to bring the O'Duffy Cup back Noreside in December, had the lion's share of players named on the Team of the Year. Awards went to full-back Claire Phelan, half-back Davina Tobin, midfielder Grace Walsh, half-forward Denise Gaule and Miriam Walsh and Anne Dalton in the full-forward line.
And, to crown the night, Denise Gaule was selected as the Players' Player of the Year.
Gaule's experience came to the fore throughout the year, while the 1-6 she scored in the final helped her to land her second Player of the Year award.
"It was great to able to just go out and play - winning the All-Ireland was a bonus," said Gaule, who also won the Player of the Year award in 2016. "We found a love for the game when we went back to our clubs during the season.
"It just drove us on," she added. "After that it was an honour to go out and play."
Gaule helped the Cats land the title when she stayed ice-cool to fire home a late penalty in the final. Many would have settled for a point, but Gaule had nothing but goal on her mind.
"It's hard to think back - it's all like a blur now," she said, when asked about the penalty. "With the new 1v1 rule the forward has the advantage. You don't often have the chance to help your county win a game like that, but I was happy to see the sliotar cross the line."
And she is already looking forward to 2021.
"I can't wait - training on own isn't ideal, but we're looking forward to getting back out now," she said. "After such a positive year, to have something positive to build on means all the girls will be hungry to get back playing."


Kilkenny also claimed another award on the night, as Brian Dowling was named Manager of the Year.
It was a breakthrough year for Dowling, who was in his first season in charge. His side had a 100% record, beating Cork in the semi-final and champions Galway in the final.
"There was so much relief in Croke Park when the final whistle went," he said. "The hard work was finally rewarded - after the pain the girls had gone through in previous years, to get the victory was amazing. It was an incredible feeling."
The 2020 Camogie All-Stars teams were announced at a virtual ceremony this evening.
The Senior All-Stars team was selected from the top performers in the 2020 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championships, while the Soaring Stars team was picked from the 2020 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate and Premier Junior Championships. Owing to the shortened nature of the 2020 championships the winning teams were announced on the night.
Senior All-Stars - Aine Slattery (Tipperary); Shauna Healy (Galway), Claire Phelan (Kilkenny), Mary Ryan (Tipperary); Hannah Looney (Cork), Karen Kennedy (Tipperary), Davina Tobin (Kilkenny); Chloe Sigerson (Cork), Grace Walsh (Kilkenny); Niamh Rockett (Waterford), Orla Cronin (Cork), Denise Gaule (Kilkenny); Orlaith McGrath (Galway), Miriam Walsh (Kilkenny), Anne Dalton (Kilkenny).
Soaring Stars - Aedín Lowry (Laois); Claire Coffey (Meath), Dearbhla Magee (Down), Chloe Drain (Antrim); Niamh Donnelly (Antrim), Fionnuala Carr (Down), Clodagh Tynan (Laois); Roísín O'Keeffe (Cavan), Paula O'Hagan (Down); Leanne Donnelly (Armagh), Sara-Louise Graffin (Down), Maeve Kelly (Antrim); Niamh Mallon (Down), Ciara Donnelly (Armagh), Sorcha McCartan (Down).
Senior Player of the Year: Denise Gaule (Kilkenny)
Intermediate Player of the Year: Niamh Mallon (Down).
Junior Player of the Year: Ciara Donnelly (Armagh).
Manager of the Year: Brian Dowling (Kilkenny).

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