August All-Stars: Kilkenny set to be cream of the crop

Kilkenny’s last two All-Ireland successes haven’t been replicated in the All Stars honour lists, where the runners-up in both years, Galway in 2012 and Tipperary last year, trumped them. As of now, Kilkenny look set to take the lion’s share of personal honours but Galway have plenty of strong contenders too.

GOALKEEPER

Colm Callanan (Galway):

His puck-outs have been excellent this year, but once again he showed his shot-stopping abilities against Tipperary.

Goalkeeper Nominations:

Darren Gleeson (Tipperary), Stephen O’Keeffe (Waterford).

DEFENCE

Johnny Coen (Galway):

Has looked the part since overcoming his difficulties against Mark Schutte in the drawn Leinster quarter-final.

Joey Holden (Kilkenny):

JJ who? In Kilkenny’s three outings this summer, the Ballyhale Shamrocks man’s mistakes have been negligible. Cool customer.

Paul Murphy (Kilkenny):

Cathal Barrett and Noel Connors are excellent corner-backs, but Murphy has shown why he remains the best in the country.

Aidan Harte (Galway):

A close-run thing with his fellow wing-back Daithí Burke. Harte looked so solid under the high ball on Sunday, just as he has been all season.

Tadhg de Burca (Waterford):

It’s likely no outfield player touched the ball more on average per game than de Burca and when he did it was usually highly effective.

Cillian Buckley (Kilkenny):

Nailed on for a second All -Star, providing he doesn’t have a nightmare next month. A player you can bank on.

Defence Nominations:

Cathal Barrett (Tipperary), Daithi Burke (Galway), Noel Connors (Waterford), Barry Coughlan (Waterford), Shane Fives (Waterford), Austin Gleeson (Waterford), John Hanbury (Galway), Kieran Joyce (Kilkenny), Pádraic Maher (Tipperary), Padraig Mannion (Galway), Iarla Tannian (Galway), Padraic Walsh (Kilkenny).

MIDFIELD

Conor Fogarty (Kilkenny):

Many in Kilkenny felt he was hard done by last year. Fogarty has been the constant in the Cats’ engine room through their successes this summer.

David Burke (Galway):

A terrific display from the relentless Burke on Sunday and he could well be joined by Andy Smith come November.

Midfield nominations:

Jamie Barron (Waterford), Shane McGrath (Tipperary), Kevin Moran (Waterford), Andy Smith (Galway).

ATTACK

John O’Dwyer (Tipperary):

A subdued display by his standards against Galway, but there was nobody better in the Munster SHC this year.

Richie Hogan (Kilkenny):

Hogan could become the first player to win back-to-back Hurler of the Year awards. A force of nature.

TJ Reid (Kilkenny):

Along with Hogan, Reid has taken the mantle of leadership in the Kilkenny forward line. They are the best in the business.

Maurice Shanahan (Waterford):

A splendid season for a player who on many occasions had to plough his own furrow up front. Can order the tux now.

Seamus Callanan (Tipperary):

Excellent against Limerick and unmarkable against Galway, Callanan will hardly be budged from the full-forward line.

Cathal Mannion (Galway):

Jason Flynn and Mannion have given a new dynamic to the Galway attack. While equal in many respects, Mannion edges out Flynn on consistency, but only just.

Forward nominations:

Ger Aylward (Kilkenny), Joe Canning (Galway), Cyril Donnellan (Galway), Colin Dunford (Waterford), Jason Flynn (Galway), Jonathan Glynn (Galway), Tony Kelly (Clare), Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny), Conor Lehane (Cork), Brendan Maher (Tipperary), Niall O’Meara (Tipperary), Michael Walsh (Waterford).

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