Champions Westmeath rule the roost on Tailteann Cup Team of the Year 3 months ago

Champions Westmeath rule the roost on Tailteann Cup Team of the Year

Westmeath rule the roost on the very first Tailteann Cup Team of the Year with six of their players honoured.

The champions are closely followed by beaten finalists Cavan, who have four players on the team while semi-finalists Sligo are next best with three award-winners. Offaly and Leitrim men complete the team with Anton Sullivan and Keith Beirne their sole representatives.

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The tough calls have to be made and Cavan trio Raymond Galligan, Padraig Faulkner and Paddy Lynch can count themselves unlucky.

Galligan didn't put a foot wrong all year, kicking 0-9 from placed balls and drilling kick-outs with military precision but to be fair, Sligo's Aidan Devaney was just as impressive. He saved a penalty against London as well as two more in the shoot-out against Leitrim and it was these moments, you'd have to imagine, that tipped the scales in his favour.

Faulkner, as we've come to expect, was a rock in defence for Mickey Graham's team, he also chipped in with a goal against Fermanagh and there can't have been too much between himself, Evan Lyons and Jack Smith for those corner back spots.

Paddy Lynch, meanwhile, was one of their leading lights in attack all year, hitting 0-11 in their campaign including three in the final. It's a toss-up really, between himself and Keith Beirne.

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Westmeath's Ray Connellan also had an impressive year, but midfield was very competitive and it's hard to make arguments against either Sam McCartan or Sean Carrabine, the latter of whom had a tremendous year for Sligo.

The awards will be presented this Friday evening in the Croke Park Hogan Suite in a black-tie ceremony streamed live on GAA.ie from 7.00.

Tailteann Cup Team of the Year

1. Aidan Devaney (Sligo)

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2. Jack Smith (Westmeath)

3. Kevin Maguire (Westmeath)

4. Evan Lyons (Sligo)

5. Jason McLoughlin (Cavan)

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6. Ronan Wallace (Westmeath)

7. Killian Clarke (Cavan)

9 July 2022; A dejected Killian Clarke of Cavan after the Tailteann Cup Final match between Cavan and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

8. Sam McCartan (Westmeath)

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9. Seán Carrabine (Sligo)

10. Gearóid McKiernan (Cavan)

11. Ronan O’Toole (Westmeath)

12. Anton Sullivan (Offaly)

13. Gerard Smith (Cavan)

14. John Heslin (Westmeath)

15. Keith Beirne (Leitrim)