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08th Apr 2024

The GAAJOE football team of the weekend

Lee Costello


This is the official TOTW so don’t @ us.

Whether you like it or not, the championship is back, and if you weren’t up to the pace, then you were eliminated, and it’s as simple as that.

The likes of Monaghan and Westmeath are some of the big hitters to fall at the very first hurdle, but a lot of that was to do with brilliant performances from the opposition as opposed to their own poor showings.

So without further ado, here is the GAAJOE football team of the weekend:

1. Rory Beggan

Barely off the plane from America and having only kicked an oval shaped ball for the last few months, you would’ve forgiven Beggan for being rusty as he was thrust straight into the starting team in Monaghan’s game against Cavan.

However, he was scoring free kicks, a point from play, and made an unbelievable save against Paddy Lynch which looked to be a sure goal.

He even picked up the BBC Man of the Match.

2. Brian O’Connell

Any corner back tasked with managing a full forward line of Conor McManus and Jack McCarron will always have their hands full, but Brian O’Connell played a great game for Cavan and was defensively sound throughout.

O’Connell’s energy and drive was also vital, and he kicked a vital point in the latter stages of the game when Cavan badly needed a score.

3. Daniel O’Mahony

Cork have been leaky at the back during their league campaign, and no one really knew what to expect from them as they prepared to play Limerick in the Munster championship.

However, the forwards did their job, scoring three goals, and the backs did well to keep Limerick to 11 points and a clean sheet in an impressive performance, particularly in the second half.

A first half point from O’Mahony was also well taken.

4. Jack Glynn

Okay, Glynn didn’t have loads to do against London from a defensive point of view, but his energy workrate and determination never wavered throughout the game, and he was obviously solid at the back as well.

With injuries continuing to pile up, it’s good to see they have Glynn fit and ready.

5. Padraig Faulkner

A no-brainer really, the flying half back could have got into this list with his goal alone, it was incredible. Most forwards wouldn’t take the ball on the turn like that, never mind backing themselves to go straight and put the boot through it.

Peter Canavan overruled the RTE panel by choosing him as the Man of the Match, despite Paddy Lynch’s impressive tally of 1-09.

6. John Daly

Admittedly Daly didn’t have too much to worry about when it came to the threat that the London forwards held, but he was central to a lot of Galway’s positive play, and kicked a nice score to round off a good match for the centre back.

7. Darragh Cummins

Sligo were comfortable winners in the end against Leitrim, but a lot of their good play came from that left flank in the shape of Darragh Cummins.

The flying half back kicked two points and was involved with everything, sometimes too involved as he also picked up a yellow, but an impressive performance from the Sligo man.

8. Dean Healy

What a performance from this man in the middle of the park for Wicklow as he helped them cause a massive upset against a much fancied Westmeath team.

His scoring output was also impressive – if you’re scoring 1-02 from midfield, then you deserve to be in this team.

9. Paul Conroy

Just the 1-03 from the Galway midfielder as they hammered London in the Connacht championship. The Tribesmen have been plagued with injuries this year, but if they can keep Conroy fit, then they will always be competitive in the middle of the park.

10. Johnny Heaney

Arguably one of the best players in the league, Galway’s Johnny Heaney has been in sensational form, so with a defence as weak as London’s trying to contain him, he was always going to have a field day.

The flying half forward kicked four points before being taken off with an injury, something which Pauric Joyce and the whole of Galway will be hoping isn’t serious.

11. Gerard Smith

A constant buzz of energy in and around the D, Smith was an absolute handful for the Monaghan defence, and their worst fears came true when he broke through for a well-taken goal that gave Cavan an almighty lift towards the end of the game.

12. Eoghan Frayne


Some people may have thought that Meath had a handy draw against Longford, but the O’Byrne Cup champions knocked them out of the provincial series early last year, and Colm O’Rourke couldn’t let that happen again.

Eoghan Frayne kicked 1-05 and was clinical when they needed him most, so Meath will be hoping that he will bring that kind of form against Dublin next week.

13. Tom O’Connell

It’s not every day that Waterford win in the Munster championship and it certainly isn’t every day that you score 2-03 in the process of winning that game, but that’s exactly what Tom O’Connell did.

His Mo Salah celebration afterwards was just incredible as well.

14. Paddy Lynch

Few people kick 1-09 in a championship game and don’t win the Man of the Match award but that won’t bother Lynch who has elevated himself as Cavan’s main man now.

Lynch put on an exhibition in free taking and his goal to punish Beggan who was way out of his nets was just the cherry on top as Cavan go marching into the quarter finals.

15. Ryan O’Donoghue

Ryan O’Donoghue was on fire during the league, and despite some of Mayo’s performances being shakey, the clinical shooter was consistently a 9/10 at least, so with a game as open as the one in New York, he was always going to dominate.

Unbelievably, he kicked 1-13, a crazy amount of scores that most teams would be happy to convert, never mind an individual.

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