RIGHTLY so, Cork dominated the 2018 Camogie All-Stars team taking seven places on this year’s selection All-Ireland runners-up Kilkenny received five awards, with semi-finalists Galway and Tipperary receiving one award each and Waterford completing the line-up with number fifteen.
Paudie Murray received back-to-back Manager of the Year awards after guiding Cork to both the senior and intermediate titles last September. A record third reward for him.
It’s wonderful for those winning awards for the first time. Hannah Looney found herself in unfamiliar territory this year when Paudie decided to try her facing the ball. With a good hand, great strength and pace it was a wise move and Hannah must be thrilled that it resulted in her taking an All-Star award at right half back.
I’m thrilled to see Chloe Sigerson win one.
What a player she has developed into since her minor days. Her leadership qualities and confidence to strike points from defence and assume the responsibility for long-range free taking have blossomed.
No surprise, Gemma won her record 11th award and sits top of the All-Stars roll of honour. The ever-dependable Pamela Mackey thoroughly deserved her fourth award. Aoife was a certainty, wasn’t she?
I don’t think you can argue with that defensive selection. I was hoping Laura Treacy might get one, but Galway’s Sarah Dervan is a hard one to be up against and you would expect semi-finalists to grab at least one statue. Player of the final Orla Cotter took her sixth award at midfield.
I’m a big fan of Grace Walsh. I was a big fan of her brother Tommy too and there can be no denying her a first All-Stars Award at right corner-back. Anne Dalton claimed a sixth medal at centre-back and also picked up the Camogie Association/WGPA Senior Players’ Player of the Year. Meighan Farrell in midfield with Katie Power and Denise Gaule in the half-forward line were the other Kilkenny recipients.
The 2018 All-Stars team was completed with Tipperary forward Cáit Devane, rewarded with her first All-Stars Award for her performances as the championship’s top scorer in their run to the All-Ireland semi-final, by being selected at full-forward while Waterford star Beth Carton is recognised at left corner-forward as Waterford reached the knockout stages of the senior championship for the first time.
It’s great for Beth Carton, acknowledging the tremendous player she is. It’s far harder for a player from a weaker county to shine against stronger opposition, the chances don’t come your way as often, yet Beth has done it time and again and it’s well deserved.
Courcey Rovers’ Saoirse McCarthy was the recipient of the Intermediate Players’ Player of the Year while Dublin’s Caragh Dawson was chosen as the Junior Players’ Player of the Year. If I’m not mistaken, the last Cork player to receive three All-Ireland inter-county medals in one season was Glen Rovers’ Clare McCarthy back in the early 80s.
Cork had double the reason to celebrate again as our Intermediate All Ireland champions also led the Soaring Stars Awards. We took seven positions. Goalkeeper Amy Lee, captain Sarah Harrington and Leah Weste in the full-back line, Jennifer Barry at centre-back, Katelyn Hickey in midfield, Saoirse McCarthy at left half-forward and Catriona Collins at left corner-forward. 14 All Stars in total plus Manager of the year.
Not a bad night at all!
2018 All-Stars team sponsored by Liberty Insurance:
Goalkeeper: Aoife Murray (Cork) – 8th Time Winner.
Right Corner-Back: Grace Walsh (Kilkenny) – 1st Time Winner.
Full-Back: Sarah Dervan (Galway) – 5th Time Winner.
Left Corner-Back: Pamela Mackey (Cork) – 4th Time Winner.
Right Half-Back: Hannah Looney (Cork) – 1st Time Winner.
Centre Half-Back: Anne Dalton (Kilkenny) – 6th Time Winner.
Left Half-Back: Chloe Sigerson (Cork) – 1st Time Winner (Won Intermediate Soaring Stars Award in 2016).
Midfield: Gemma O’Connor (Cork) – 11th Time Winner.
Midfield: Meighan Farrell (Kilkenny) – 3rd Time Winner.
Right Half-Forward: Orla Cotter (Cork) – 6th Time Winner.
Centre Half-Forward: Katie Power (Kilkenny) – 4th Time Winner.
Left Half-Forward: Denise Gaule (Kilkenny) – 2nd Time Winner.
Right Corner-Forward: Katrina Mackey (Cork) – 5th Time Winner.
Full-Forward: Cáit Devane (Tipperary) – 1st Time Winner.
Left Corner-Forward: Beth Carton (Waterford) – 1st Time Winner (Won Intermediate Soaring Stars Award in 2015).
2018 Soaring Stars sponsored by Liberty Insurance:
Goalkeeper: Amy Lee (Cork) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
Right Corner-Back: Leah Weste (Cork) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
Full-Back: Sarah Harrington (Cork) – Intermediate – 2nd Time Winner.
Left Corner-Back: Alannah Savage (Down) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
Right Half-Back: Fionnuala Carr (Down) – Intermediate – 4th Time Winner.
Centre Half-Back: Jennifer Barry (Cork) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
Left Half-Back: Deirdre Johnstone (Dublin) – Premier Junior – 2nd Time Winner.
Midfield: Katelyn Hickey (Cork) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
Midfield: Paula Gribben (Down) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
Right Half-Forward: Caragh Dawson (Dublin) – Premier Junior – 1st Time Winner.
Centre Half-Forward: Jenny Grace (Tipperary) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
Left Half-Forward: Saoirse McCarthy (Cork) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
Right Corner-Forward: Niamh Mallon (Down) – Intermediate – 4th Time Winner.
Full-Forward: Sara-Louise Carr (Down) – Intermediate – 2nd Time Winner.
Left Corner-Forward: Catriona Collins (Cork) – Intermediate – 1st Time Winner.
2018 Manager of the Year: Paudie Murray, Cork – third Time Winner.