Premier scoop top Munster GAA gongs

Recognition for Tipperary on the double, and gongs also for Cork and Clare as Munster GAA this week begins the roll-out of its annual end-of-season awards.

The provincial Council hosts the Bord Gáis Energy Munster GAA Awards next weekend in Killarney and the stellar minor and U21 talents of 2012 will be feted.

Clare’s All-Ireland U21 hurling hero Tony Kelly — who won Munster minor player of the season last year — will be honoured this time as U21 player of the season. Ballyea’s Kelly (19) has already played all levels for his club and county, driving the Banner to win Munster and All-Ireland U21 hurling titles while also lining out with the county’s intermediate and senior hurlers in the championship.

The Munster U21 footballer of the year is Donal Óg Hodnett from Skibbereen club O’Donovan Rossa. He contributed hugely to Cork’s Munster U21 football final victories over Kerry in both 2011 and 2012.

Meanwhile, Tipperary has achieved a commendable double in the Munster GAA minor awards, with John McGrath taking the hurling title and Colman Kennedy the football.

Kennedy, from Clonmel Commercials, will always be remembered in Tipperary for the stunning goal he scored in the 2011 All Ireland minor football final. He continued his goal scoring prowess in this year’s Munster campaign (scoring 3-5) as Tipperary defeated Kerry, Cork and Kerry again to win back-to-back titles.

The minor hurling award winner John McGrath comes from the famed McGrath clan from Loughmore-Castleiney. He is son of Pat McGrath and brother of Noel, both of them All-Ireland senior hurling medallists. John carved his own piece of history when he became a dual minor medallist winning a football All-Ireland in 2011 and a hurling one this year. He was also a dual minor Munster medallist this year.

“There is some amazing talent coming through at U21 and minor level in GAA and it is fitting that we are recognising our future GAA stars at the Bord Gáis Energy awards,” said Bord Gáis Energy GAA Ambassador Ger Cunningham.

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