Teams of the decade: John Horgan picks his Cork club hurling All-Star 15

Teams of the decade: John Horgan picks his Cork club hurling All-Star 15
Alan Kennedy, Sarsfields goalkeeper, held off Cathal Hickey's claims to make our hurling selection. Picture: Jim Coughlan

ANOTHER decade has come and gone in the Cork County Senior Hurling Championship and now the time has come, at the request of the Sports Editor, to select the best 15 players in the competition over that 10-year period.

It was a decade dominated by a couple of club teams, Sarsfields, Glen Rovers, Midleton, and Carrigtwohill.

However, the feat of Imokilly in winning three-in-row titles and Sars winning three as well stands them apart as the best of the lot.

That is not diminishing what the others did, particularly the Glen who came in from the cold to win back to back titles in 2015 and 2016.

What makes their achievement all the more remarkable is that in 2014 they were hammered out the gate by Sars and as a result were written off.

Midleton had a great victory in the 2013 championship but were not able to push on and win at least one more.

Carrigtwohill’s sensational win in 2011 was the stuff of dreams, a rank outsider at the outset of the year bursting through to secure a title that nobody gave them a snowball’s chance in hell of winning when the campaign began.

For obvious reasons, players from the aforementioned clubs and from Imokilly are going to dominate our selection of the best 15 and nobody else really gets a look in no matter what they might have done.

Contenders:

There was no shortage of contenders for the goalkeeping position with Alan Kennedy from Sars, Cathal Hickey from the Glen and Tommy Wallis all making a case for themselves.

Kennedy was superb in Sars title victories, providing plenty of stability for those in front of him while it was and still is the case with Hickey.

It’s a toss-up really between them with Kennedy just shading it.

The full-back trio had no shortage of contenders either and you could select from a vast selection from all the title winners over the past 10 years.

We are going to go with Colm Barry at full-back, flanked by Stephen McDonnell and Conor O’Sullivan.

No shortage of consistent half-backs either, Noel Furlong was outstanding in their title winning year of 2011 as was Jason Barrett.

Eoin Quigley and Eanna Martin played a huge part in Sars victories, Finbarr O’Mahony was hugely consistent in 2013 while Brian Moylan from the Glen and Graham Callanan hardly put a foot wrong for the Glen.

John Cronin played a huge part in Imokilly’s recent dominance as did Niall O’Leary.

The three we are going for are Moylan in the centre, Quigley on the right and Cronin on the left.

Given his ultra consistency for Imokilly, Bill Cooper gets one of the midfield spots and the other one goes to the Glen’s Donal Cronin for his unseen work and sheer commitment with Danny Kearney very much in the running too.

To the six forwards and you really would require the wisdom of Solomon to come up with that sextet.

Conor Lehane from Midleton has to get one of the spots for his massive contribution to their 2013 title win when he posted 2-10 of their 2-15 final tally.

He was the singular difference that day against Sars in their two-point win.

The centre-forward slot goes to Seamus Harnedy, three times a winning captain with Imokilly, his scores and his leadership qualities were always to the forefront.

That brings us to Niall McCarthy and the role he played in Carrig’s unbelievable win in 2013.

Emotional:

That emotional Sunday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, he stood 10 feet tall but so too did many others like Micky ‘Da’ Fitzgerald and Rob White.

In any forward line, in the half-line or the full-line, Patrick Horgan has to play and he is an automatic choice for a place.

One of the great Cork forwards of our time Cian McCarthy from Sars put in a huge shift in their county title wins while Paudie O’Sullivan was always superb for Imokilly.

Young Deccie Dalton had a smashing year for Imokilly and Luke O’Farrell from Midleton and Fraggie Murphy from Sars are in the equation.

Our three, at the end of the day, are Horgan in one corner, Paudie Sull in the other with Cian McCarthy on the edge of the square.

With an exercise like this, you are never going to get it spot on and you will have to expect criticism for leaving this fellow or that fellow out and that’s not a problem.

SENIOR CLUB HURLING TEAM: Alan Kennedy, (Sars); Stephen McDonnell (Glen), Colm Barry (Imokilly) Conor O’Sullivan (Sars); Eoin Quigley (Sars), Brian Moylan (Glen), John Cronin (Imokilly); Bill Cooper (Imokilly/Youghal), Donal Cronin (Glen); Niall McCarthy (Carrigtwohill), Seamus Harnedy (Imokilly) Conor Lehane (Midleton); Paudie O’Sullivan (Imokilly/Cloyne), Cian McCarthy (Sars), Patrick Horgan (Glen).

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