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18th Feb 2019

GAA team of the weekend

Niall McIntyre

Corofin are class, Crokes are coming, we’re set for a dream All-Ireland club final.

The Limerick hurlers are the real deal, Wexford are showing signs while Tipperary, Kilkenny and Clare are all struggling. St Mary’s Belfast are afraid of nobody and Wednesday’s Sigerson decider should be a good one too.

The weekend just past was a jam-packed GAA feast and here were the best performers.

1 Eanna Martin (Wexford)

Martin, who plays for the Carrickshock club in Kilkenny, has been used as a wing forward and a wing back by Davy Fitzgerald in recent years but this year he’s the goalkeeper.

He fared well against Tipperary on Sunday, looking comfortable under the dropping balls all day long.

2 Joe Phelan (Laois)

Laois’ Mr. reliable in the inside back line was rock solid again.

3 Sean Finn (Limerick)

There wasn’t a mig out of Kevin Kelly and he kept Liam Blanchfield fairly quiet as well.

4 Liam Rafferty (St Mary’s Belfast)

The Tyrone man has been lording it in the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup to date and he was astute and on-top again on Saturday as the Ranch inside back-line held UCD’s feared forward line of Con O’Callaghan, Evan O’Carroll and Barry McGinn scoreless from play.

5 Diarmuid O’Keeffe (Wexford)

A shrewd operator in the middle third. Comes up with important scores but doesn’t shoot for the sake of it either.

6 Gavin White (Dr Crokes, Kerry)

This lad is a colt. Takes off up the field like he has missiles in his boots and so much of Crokes’ attacks stem from his explosive, bulging bursts.

Just look at the speed of him.

7 Liam Silke (Corofin, Galway)

One of the Corofin men detailed with a marking job and along with Leonard and Daithí Burke, he succeeded in keeping the lightning Ó Baoills and Odhran Mac Niallais out of it.

Got forward to kick a wonder-score himself too.

8 Jarlath Óg Burns (St Mary’s Belfast)

Fetched balls higher than most lads would be able to bat. Himself and Liam Devlin, the twin towers in midfield dominated UCD in Mallow and the Armagh kicked a gorgeous score too.

9 Cathal Mannion (Galway)

Made some of the most difficult points look scandalously easy at the weekend. Making himself at home in the middle of the field.

10 Aaron Gillane (Limerick)

Aaron Gillane lives for the battle. A few belts and defenders trying to rise him will only make him better. Scored some outrageous points in Nowlan Park and won some incredible balls.

11 Tony Kelly (Clare)

Lost the game but still got man-of-the-match. Says it all. Tony Kelly was in full flight and you missed out if you didn’t get to see his six gorgeous points.

12 Katie Power (Kilkenny camogie)

Turned it on with 1-4 from play as Kilkenny stretched their legs in Offaly early on.

Camogie round-up: Power unstoppable for Kilkenny as Galway too good for Waterford

13 Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes)

The business. So fast and jinky that it’s almost impossible for anybody to stay close to him. Scored 0-6, 0-4 from play but set up a lot too.

14 Kevin Cassidy (Gaoth Dobhair, Donegal)

No player in the country wants to get their hands on the ball as much as Kevin Cassidy. Didn’t get as much of it as he would have liked against Corofin, but whatever he did get, he made it count.

A great club man and a leader too, he was regularly seen encouraging and driving on his teammates when they were under pressure.

15 Ian Burke (Corofin, Galway)

There is not a quicker pair of hands in the country. For the Farragher goal, he caught the ball in the air and had it passed before he’d hit the ground.

Peak Ian Burke. Gaoth Dobhair couldn’t cope with him.

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