Slightly fortunate to be chosen ahead of Nickie Quaid last year but is a head and neck ahead of the Limerick goalkeeper at the moment. The best in the business.
Mikey Butler and Paul Flanagan have to be considered and yet Finn looks as formidable as ever. His resilience in the closing stages of Sunday’s semi-final was typical.
One of an O’Loughlin Gaels defensive triumvirate who will be in the shake-up for All-Stars in October, Lawlor is a totemic force at the edge of the square.
The chatter about him being a hurler of the year candidate isn’t without foundation. He’s a ball player first and foremost and is redefining the floating inside back role.
If Nash is one HOTY contender right now, Byrnes and TJ Reid are the other two. It’s not just his placed ball accuracy but the assured presence he is on the right wing.
Richie Reid is running him a close second but Hannon has carried on where he left off last year with timely examples of leadership and a calmness few centre-backs possess.
A defender whose versatility may have cost him in the past, Deegan’s adaptability and size is now a great asset as the Cats have caught up with the modern game.
Eight points in his last two games, Mullen is delivering on the potential he showed as young hurler of the year in 2019 now that he has moved from his cruciate concerns.
Not the sole but a primary reason for Wexford turning around their championship and then coming so close to qualifying for the semi-finals. Makes things happen.
A forensic analysis of Reid’s performance against Clare on Saturday would establish it as one of his greatest in a Kilkenny jersey. A phenom who doesn’t seem to grow old.
Already selected as a player of the month, O’Donnell’s return to this exquisite form from his concussion woes is a remarkable story. Unmarkable in full flight.
Add up the angles of all of Whelan’s scores this championship and we imagine the number would be incredibly low. The tougher the shot, the more he likes it.
A total of 3-22 from play across five games is a fine return for one of the game’s true box office players. Should have more Limerick company here after Sunday week.
After two iffy games against Wexford and Kilkenny (was he fully fit?), he will likely lose making the official list but he’s here after a spellbinding Munster campaign.