Anthony Daly opted for John Mullane over Nicky English in his Munster ‘Railway Cup’ dream team of the last 30 years but says the Tipp great would be on his all-time selection.
On this week’s Irish Examiner GAA Podcast, Daly joined former Limerick hurler and manager TJ Ryan and All-Ireland-winning Cork captain Mark Landers to pick a best Munster 15 from 1990 to 2020 out of 60 nominated players. The proviso was that players could only be selected in their nominated position and not accommodated elsewhere.
That caused some surprise omissions. The final team featured four players each from Cork and Tipperary, three Clare men, and two each from Waterford and Limerick.
Apart from the decision between Brian Lohan and Diarmuid O’Sullivan at full-back, perhaps the most hotly contested line was the inside forwards. Patrick Horgan got the vote over Seamus Callanan, Lar Corbett and Niall Gilligan at 14, while Eoin Kelly pipped Joe Deane, Paul Flynn, and Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin at left-corner forward.
But arguably the most debate was over the right corner. Graeme Mulcahy and John McGrath were also nominated but Ryan went for Waterford flier Mullane, while Landers opted for English, leaving the casting vote to Dalo.
He said: “If I was picking a team of all-time, I’d have Nicholas English on it. I can’t go back to fellas like Mackey and Ring. I’ve only seen bad clips of stuff.
“I got to mark Nicky and Fox a couple of times and you could do nothing with them, with big Bonnar full-forward.
“One day, I was holding my own on Fox, in a league game in Thurles. He was as tough as nails. And I don’t know who was in the other corner, they were making their debut, and they were on Nicky. And Nicky had taken him for about 1-3.
“And (then Clare manager) Len Gaynor came down the line and said: ‘Over you go.’ He switched the two corners. And I said: ‘Jesus, Len, what are you doing to me.’
“And he got about another 1-3 off me, I never got out of Thurles as quick. He was a class act.
“But for the period we’re talking, Nicky’s body was beginning to ache from 1990. I think he suffered a lot with hamstrings in that period. And for me, for the period we’re going on — it’s six All-Stars against five, very hard to pick — but ‘d give the nod to the great John Mullane.
“I just thought he was nearly impossible to stop for Waterford.”
MUNSTER DREAM TEAM: Brendan Cummins (Tipperary); Stephen McDonagh (Limerick), Brian Lohan (Clare); Brian Corcoran (Cork); Brendan Maher (Tipperary), Sean McMahon (Clare), Sean Óg Ó hAlpín (Cork); Ciaran Carey (Limerick), Jerry O Connor (Cork); Ken Mcgrath (Waterford), Declan Ryan (Tipperary), Jamsie O’Connor (Clare); John Mullane (Waterford), Patrick Horgan (Cork), Eoin Kelly (Tipperary).