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06th Nov 2023

GAA JOE Team of the weekend

Niall McIntyre

County final season is now as good as done and dusted.

There is a delayed London senior hurling final still to be played but that aside, it’s full steam ahead for the provincial championships.

Corofin, East Kerry and Newcastle West won three of the latest county finals of the year, in Galway, Kerry and Limerick respectively, over a weekend that also played host to some entertaining provincial quarter final clashes.

The Leinster senior football quarter finals were for the most-part, one-sided with wins for all four favourites Kilmacud Crokes, Naas, St Loman’s and Ardee St Mary’s. Crokes have been drawn against Ardee St Mary’s in the semi-finals there.

Meanwhile in Munster, it was business as usual for the brilliant Ballygunner team who, despite the wind and the rain, racked up 2-20 in a seventeen point beating of Cork’s Sarsfields. On a wet and windy day, Stephen O’Keeffe’s long and booming deliveries created consternation among their opponents’ rearguard.

And that’s why he’s the first name on our team of the weekend.

1 Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

Also made two big saves.

2 Benny Kavanagh (Éire Óg)

The veteran corner back battled right to the end for the Carlow champions against Kilmacud.

3 Ryan McEvoy (Kilcoo)

Even got forward for an inspirational score.

4 David Mangan (Mid Kerry)

The Laune Rangers club-man held David Clifford to one point from play amid shouts for a call-up to the county team.

5 Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)

Ran at the Éire Óg defence from start to finish.

6 Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)

A masterclass at the heart of the Gunners’ defence.

7 Liam Silke (Corofin)

Raided forward for two points from play, and set up the match-winning goal.

8 Gavin Burke (Corofin)

Another young star who has re-invigorated the Galway champions.

9 Sean O’Brien (Mid-Kerry)

Impressed around the middle against East Kerry.

10 Ronan O’Toole (St Loman’s)

Scored a brilliant goal and two points against Killoe Young Emmetts.

11 Alex Beirne (Naas)

Scored 0-3 from play vs Summerhill.

12 Ciaran Keenan (Ardee St Mary’s)

His speed had Blessington in trouble from the start and he ended his day with three from play.

13 Patrick Fitzgerald (Ballygunner)

Continues his excellent form for the Waterford kingpins, slicing and dicing five from play from all sorts of angles against Sarsfields.

14 Darragh Roche (East Kerry)

Set up the first goal for Paudie Clifford, before slotting frees and two from play.

15 Eoin Hurley (Newcastlewest)

Plundered two goals and was nerveless with the frees as Newcastlewest made it three county titles in a row in Limerick.

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