Treaty take home record-breaking haul of All-Stars but unluckiest absentee is a Limerick man
Aaron Gillane scored 1-6 in the All-Ireland final, he scored 1-5 in the semi-final and when Limerick were in serious bother in the Munster final, he was the man that came onto save them.
It's a fair point that, for his petulant and unnecessary clip on Cathal Barrett, the Patrickswell man shouldn't have been around to save that Munster final but the facts are that he was and he did.
After a subdued semi-final display against Cork, John Kiely opted to drop him for that Munster decider but 30 minutes was all it took to realise that they wouldn't win without him. With Limerick trailing by ten points, Gillane was brought on for Graeme Mulcahy and he had reduced the arrears with a well-taken point within a minute.
The second half was only five minutes old when, with the fight-back of all fight-backs on, Gillane took a rasper of a shot that rebounded out to Seamus Flanagan for a game-changing goal. He scored another wonder-point a few minutes later, nailed all his frees and by the end, it was clear that the impetus Gillane brought was the impetus that Limerick needed.
He'd gotten his warning by then and come semi-final time he was back in form, hitting the goal that finished Waterford off. If he was back in form in the semi, he was back on fire in the final where he scored 1-6 against Cork, 1-3 from open play in a vintage Aaron Gillane display.
That's 100% certified All-Star form. There's no doubt about it.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 22, 2021
There's another 100% certified All-Star who didn't make the team and that's Waterford's Jamie Barron. In successive weeks, the Fourmilewater club-man had hurling followers all over the country head over heels for his displays against Galway and Tipperary as he quite literally ran the field.
Now this is where it gets tricky. Who are they replacing?
In years gone by, given their displays this year, players like Jack O'Connor, Jason Forde and Eoin Cody are in with a shout but it says it all about the standard of hurling in this year's championship that they barely get a mention here. Instead, with those boys already omitted, it's who do we take out of the official All-Star team (listed below) for Barron and Gillane. After plenty of head-scratching, we've settled on Tony Kelly and Darragh O'Donovan.
O'Donovan was very good but Barron was outstanding. Tony Kelly would be a cert in any other year because there were games when he was also outstanding, against Waterford and Cork, but he also had a couple of relatively quiet games against Wexford and Tipperary.
Let the debates and arguments begin. But here are your official All-Stars.