GAA team of the weekend 1 year ago

GAA team of the weekend

Club GAA. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

This is the fourth in our series of GAA team of the weekends, and each one has gone down a treat so far.

1. Goalkeeper - Daniel Mottram (Scoil Uí Chonaill, Dublin)

Scoil Uí Chonaill claimed promotion to division two of the Hurling League in Dublin with their victory over Round Towers at the weekend.

Their goalkeeper combined accurate puck-outs with acrobatic saves. Ended the game with a clean sheet as the Clontarf side secured promotion.

2. Left corner back - Mark Staunton (Ballyragget, Kilkenny)

Ballyragget were a class above Meath champions Kiltale when the sides met in Páirc Tailteann on Saturday. The Kilkenny side will now go into the Leinster final as overwhelming favourites when they take on Glenealy.

Mark Staunton stood out for them at the weekend, keeping his man scoreless and contributing with some crucial blocks and tackles in the rare moments when they were under pressure.

This set the platform for the likes of Kevin Kelly and Michael Brennan to excel further up the pitch.

3. Full back - Conor Coleman (Lahardane MacHales, Mayo)

The small junior club from North Mayo won their first ever Connacht title at the weekend. Managed by John Maughan, the MacHales edged a thriller in Castlebar, defeating Sligo champions Ballymote on a scoreline of 1-15 to 3-5.

Their full back played a crucial role in neutralising the Sligo attack, and was one of his side's best performers on the day.

4. Right corner back - Michael Casey (Na Piarsaigh)

Helped his side to their fourth Munster title since 2011. Casey was yet again a rock in the Limerick side's inside line. His recent form has led many to claim that he is the only club hurler left that has what it takes to stifle the influence of the rampant Con O'Callaghan.

Casey held JJ Hutchinson scoreless in a typically robust display of defending.

5. Left half back - Barbra ward (Corduff Gaels, Monaghan)

"It will go down in the annals as one of the best days in the history of the club," said the Corduff Gaels Facebook page.

The Monaghan side defeated Cuala to reach the All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football final.

Barbara Ward was one of their best performers on the day, although they were a team of heroes in their 4-10 to 2-8 victory.

6. Centre half back - Ronan Wallace (Multyfarnham, Westmeath)

2017 has been something of a fairytale for Multyfarnham.

The small Westmeath club won their first county title in 61 years recently. They backed it up with Leinster glory on Saturday when they defeated Erin Rovers from Offaly.

Their young half back Ronan Wallace starred for them, holding the centre well throughout.

His tough tackling and strong running are central to everything good about the side who now advance to the All-Ireland stages of the junior club competition.

7. Right half back - Ruairi Sheridan (Glencar Manorhamilton, Leitrim)

"We salute our very worthy recipient of the Man of the Match Award, Ruairi Sheridan who was a colossus throughout the game," said the Leitrim club's Facebook page.

Manor won the Leitrim under-21 crown at the weekend, and their energetic half back must have covered every blade of grass in Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada.

8. Midfield - Leighton Glynn (Glenealy, Wicklow)

Glenealy became the first Wicklow team to reach a Leinster club hurling final when they defeated Wexford Champions St. Anne's on Saturday.

Leighton Glynn was as impressive as ever for the Wicklow men, scoring two points from play. It capped off a fine week for the multi-talented Glynn, who played a key role in Rathnew's underdog triumph over St. Vincent's the weekend previous.

Ballyragget are waiting for them in the final.

9. Midfield - Amy Dowling (Carnacon, Mayo)

Carnacon booked their place in their first All-Ireland Senior Ladies club final since 2013 when they defeated St. MacCartan's on Sunday.

Dowling was the star of the show scoring 1-3 from open play in a display of powerful running and class.

10. Left half forward - Laura Fitzgerald (Mourneabbey, Cork)

The nippy forward scored an extra-time goal that eventually proved crucial in booking a place against Carnacon in the All-Ireland Ladies Senior final.

Scored 2-3 in a fine afternoon's work.

Video credit: Jerome Quinn.

11. Centre half forward - Barry Cushen (Scoil Uí Chonaill, Dublin)

"I asked the referee how long was left, and he replied, 'this is it.'"

Scoil Uí Chonaill were trailing by two points. Barry Cushen stood over the free. He was 30 yards out from goal. 12 Round Towers players stood between him and the net.

Scoil were trailing by two points. It was a goal or nothing.

Score and the Clontarf outside would gain their fifth promotion in 7 years to become a Senior team for the first time since 1999.

Miss, and it would have been a heartbreaking end to the season.

The 21-year-old nailed it low and hard to the bottom corner.

Elation, joy. "The whole team went around throwing our hurls and helmets all over the pitch," said Cushen to SportsJOE.

That was to add to the 0-6 he had scored in the hour of hurling before that puck.

Impossible to ignore that.

To make it better, his father was the side's manager.

12. Right half forward - Adrian Breen (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick)

Scored 1-5 from play, with each score coming at crucial, crucial times in the game.

Na Piarsaigh won their fourth Munster title since 2011, and this man, younger brother of David has been a key player for them for quite a while now.

13. Left corner forward - Con O'Callaghan (Cuala, Dublin)

Is it really the GAA team of the weekend if this man isn't in it?

It probably is, but it's certainly better when he's involved. Scored 1-3. Gave the St. Martin's defence a nightmare with his power, direct-running and ruthlessness in front of goal.

His three points came in a 69 second period. Talk about explosiveness.

The best hurler in Dublin? He's definitely up there.

14. Full forward - Paul O'Connor (Cavan Gaels, Cavan)

A hat-trick from open play in the Ulster senior football semi-final. The Gaels only defeated a gallant Derrygonnelly Harps side by a point.

How could he be left out?

15. Right corner forward -  Shane Loftus (Lahardane MacHales, Mayo)

The MacHales' inside forward, Loftus, was a constant outlet for them, and ended his day with 3 of the finest points from play.