The Sunday Game panel voted unanimously for Pádraic Mannion as their Player of the Year 3 months ago

The Sunday Game panel voted unanimously for Pádraic Mannion as their Player of the Year

"This is a live vote, just so you know."

With pen and paper in hand, as in days of yore, Des Cahill got the voting underway for The Sunday Game's Player of the Year.

Around six hours after the final whistle had sounded at Croke Park, and with Michael Lyster well ensconced in Limerick's team hotel at Citywest, the panel set about threshing it out over the year's best player. Only, for a change, there was little arguing and debating.

Galway might have been beaten in the final by Limerick but all seven of the panel agreed that Pádraic Mannion, their star defender, was the man to pick.

Former Tipperary goalkeeper started the Mannion ball rolling and Anthony Daly, by his side, seconded the motion, saying:

"Yeah, Mannion for me. I still thought he had a good game today, even though those around him were failing."

Next up, in his dashing three-piece, Kilkenny great Eddie Brennan agreed with Cummins and Daly. "He was a cert, as far as I was concerned, going into today," said Cyril Farrell, who felt Mannion being on the losing side did not matter a jot.

"I mentioned him first!" joked Donal O'Grady. "Fully justified, I think."

"I can't believe you're all so agreed," exclaimed Cahill as Jackie Tyrrell added his voice to the Mannion chorus.

"It's funny," Tyrrell added, "I know Joe Canning got Player of the Year last year, but I think he was even better this year. Still, Pádraic Mannion was immense all year."

It was left to Ken McGrath to be the dissenting voice but the former Waterford talisman wasn't having a bar of it. Seven from seven and as emphatic as you like.

Other players, albeit briefly, mentioned in the discussion were Canning, Limerick's Cian Lynch and Graeme Mulcahy, and John Conlon of Clare. SportsJOE's Niall McIntyre opted for Mulcahy, who scored 1-2 in the final, as our Player of the Year.

The All Star awards are not for some weeks yet but you can't help but think that unanimous vote from so many hurling greats will sway plenty of minds.