McInerney named U-21 Hurler of the Year

Clare defender David McInerney was honoured as the 2013 Bord Gáis Energy Under-21 Hurler of the Year at the inaugural Team of the Year Awards ceremony last night in Croke Park.

McInerney named U-21 Hurler of the Year

Clare defender David McInerney was honoured as the 2013 Bord Gáis Energy Under-21 Hurler of the Year at the inaugural Team of the Year Awards ceremony last night in Croke Park.

McInerney was selected ahead of his Clare team-mate Podge Collins and Tipperary's Jason Forde, having played a significant role in the Banner youngsters retaining their All-Ireland U-21 crown as well as helping Davy Fitzgerald's seniors lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

McInerney, who received a specially commissioned trophy as the award winner, was part of a Clare U-21 defence that conceded only two goals in 2013.

The Tulla full-back's influence can be measured by the two consecutive man-of-the-match awards that he received following the Clare U-21s' victories over Tipperary and Galway.

Also announced at last night's TG4-broadcast ceremony was the 'Score of the Year' as voted by fans through the Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Hurling social media channels.

Over 30% of the voters favoured Antrim's Ciaran Clarke for his sublime goal against Wexford in their famous All-Ireland U-21 semi-final victory.

Niall Kenny, acknowledged last night as the Under-21 'B' Hurler of the Year, was pivotal in guiding the Kildare U-21s back to the All-Ireland 'B' final for the second successive year where they lost out to an injury-time goal to Kerry.

The right half-forward was sublime in this year's Under-21 'B' Championship, culminating with him scoring 2-3 in the All-Ireland decider.

Commenting on the Player of the Year award winners, GAA President Liam O'Neill said: "I offer my heartiest congratulations to both David and Niall on the fantastic achievement of being honoured as the Bord Gáis Energy Players of the Year for 2013 in their respective Championships.

"Having followed David's progress throughout the year in what was a fantastic competition, I can't say I am surprised with the judges' decision. Already established as one of the finest defenders in the game at present, I wish him well ahead of what will be a hugely exciting career in the Clare and Tulla colours.

"Similarly, Niall has had a fantastic year with both Kildare and Celbridge, and I look forward to witnessing him assisting Kildare to make great strides in hurling into the near future.

"Some superb hurlers have been winners of this award in the past and its existence is another example of Bord Gáis Energy's commitment to our U-21 Hurling Championship."

Bord Gáis Energy Sports ambassador and Cork selector Ger Cunningham added: "I would like to congratulate both David and Niall in addition to all the nominees on their achievements this year with their counties in the Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Championship.

"However, their own performances made them stand out contenders for this award and they are a credit to their clubs, their counties and their family and friends.

"Picking one player was not easy and certainly Joe (Canning), Ken (McGrath), Mícheál (Ó Domhnaill from TG4) and myself had a difficult task but we felt David and Niall deserved it."

Previous winners of the Under-21 Hurler of the Year gong include Clare's Seadna Morey (2012) and Darach Honan (2009), Seamus Hennessy from Tipperary (2010) and Cork's Aidan Walsh (2011).

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