Limerick’s marquee attacker Declan Hannon and Clare wing-back Patrick O’Connor are the big omissions from the list of 45 nominees for the 2013 GAA GPA Hurling All Stars.
Despite hitting 0-17 from two games in the Munster championship, Adare powerhouse Hannon has been overlooked by selectors.
And O’Connor is one of just two players from the Clare team that started last Saturday night’s All-Ireland final (Cian Dillon the other) who failed to get the nod from selectors.
The big decisions to leave out Hannon and O’Connor will surely lead to much debate — and the reactions of current Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald and John Allen, who recently stepped down as Limerick supremo, will be interesting. Hannon finished as Limerick’s leading scorer in the championship and O’Connor was consistent, without being spectacular, as part of a rock-solid half-back line during Clare’s landmark campaign.
Hannon knocked over 0-9 as Limerick shocked Tipperary in the Munster SHC semi-final and the 20-year-old added eight points in the historic provincial final victory over Cork.
Three of Hannon’s points against Tipp were contributed from play, as he added five frees and a 65. And against Cork, he hit two points from play and also nailed a magnificent sideline cut. But Hannon appears to have paid for a free-taking nightmare against Clare in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final.
And it is understood it came down to a straight shoot-out with Limerick teammate Graeme Mulcahy for a nomination among the full-forwards.
Mulcahy didn’t score against Tipperary, hit two from play in the Munster final and picked off a point from play against Clare. In that Croke Park semi-final, Hannon scored two frees but was left inconsolable at the final whistle after missing placed balls that he would normally convert.
Limerick’s sense of annoyance may also be heightened as they digest the news that captain Donal O’Grady and wing-back Paudie O’Brien have also been left out.
Again, it is understood that another Limerick man, Paul Browne, may have edged out O’Grady in the voting, with Shannonside centre back Wayne McNamara preferred to O’Brien in the half-back division.
Elsewhere, there is no room for a Waterford forward and Maurice Shanahan can feel hard done by here. The Lismore man scored 1-29 in this year’s championship and hit a stunning individual tally of 0-13 in the All-Ireland qualifier victory over Offaly.
Jake Dillon scored 1-2 from play against All-Ireland champions Clare in the Munster championship but also misses out, as does Wexford’s promising young forward Jack Guiney and Kilkenny’s free-scoring Richie Power.
According to well-placed sources, the make-up of the full-back line nominations led to plenty of debate, with Michael Cahill believed to be the only Tipperary player close to gaining a spot on the long list.
However, there are no nominations for Tipperary this year, after Eamon O’Shea’s side lost to Limerick in the Munster semi-final, before crashing out of the All-Ireland qualifier against Kilkenny at Nowlan Park.
Galway have also failed to earn a nomination and prolific forward Joe Canning is overlooked, despite hitting an average of 9.33 points in his championship matches. Not surprisingly, All-Ireland champions Clare lead the way with 13 nominations, with Tony Kelly and Pádraic (Podge) Collins nominated for both Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year.
Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash is also on the shortlist for the Player of the Year gong, with David McInerney making up an all-Clare line-up for the Young Player of the Year prize.
All-Ireland final hat-trick hero Shane O’Donnell has forced his way into the list of full-forwards, after the 19-year-old bagged 3-3 against Cork last Saturday evening. Some observers may quibble with his inclusion given his relative lack of game time but O’Donnell also scored goals against Waterford, Laois and Wexford during the summer, with his championship total an impressive 6-5.
The remainder of the 45-man All Star shortlist is made up of nine players each from All-Ireland final runners-up Cork and Leinster champions Dublin, seven from Munster champions Limerick, four Kilkenny, two Waterford and one Wexford.
There are just 13 survivors from last year’s list of nominees and the final selection will be voted on at a judges’ meeting on Wednesday, November 6, with the awards banquet at Croke Park on Friday, November 8.
Hurling All Star nominations
Anthony Nash (Cork), Patrick Kelly (Clare), Gary Maguire (Dublin)
David McInerney (Clare), Domhnall O’Donovan (Clare), Richie McCarthy (Limerick), Tom Condon (Limerick), Peter Kelly (Dublin), Shane O’Neill (Cork), Conor O’Sullivan (Cork), Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), Tomás Waters (Wexford)
Brendan Bugler (Clare), Patrick Donnellan (Clare), Liam Rushe (Dublin), Michael Carton (Dublin), Brian Murphy (Cork), Wayne McNamara (Limerick), Gavin O’Mahony (Limerick), Kieran Joyce (Kilkenny), Michael Walsh (Waterford)
Conor Ryan (Clare), Colm Galvin (Clare), Joey Boland (Dublin), Paul Browne (Limerick), Daniel Kearney (Cork), Kevin Moran (Waterford)
Tony Kelly (Clare), John Conlon (Clare), Colin Ryan (Clare), Séamus Harnedy (Cork), Patrick Cronin (Cork), Conal Keaney (Dublin), Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin), James Ryan (Limerick), Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny)
Podge Collins (Clare), Conor McGrath (Clare), Shane O’Donnell (Clare), Patrick Horgan (Cork), Conor Lehane (Cork), Paul Ryan (Dublin), David O’Callaghan (Dublin), Graeme Mulcahy (Limerick), Richie Hogan (Kilkenny)
Nominees for player of year
Tony Kelly (Clare), Anthony Nash (Cork), Podge Collins (Clare)
Nominees for young player of the year
Tony Kelly (Clare), David McInerney (Clare), Podge Collins (Clare)
Clare — 13
Cork — 9
Dublin — 9
Limerick — 7
Kilkenny — 4
Waterford — 2
Wexford — 1
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