There's a youthful look to the sixth Rearden’s Hurling All-Stars

There's a youthful look to the sixth Rearden’s Hurling All-Stars
Blackrock's Michael O'Halloran is tackled by Na Piarsaigh's Christopher Joyce and Gordan Joyce. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE Reardens Hurling All-Star team which will be honoured tomorrow night, from 7pm in Reardens Bar on Washington Street, contains six of this year’s SHC champions, Imokilly.

However, there is a decent spread, with five teams represented, while every one of the winners are first-time recipients of Rearden’s All-Stars, even though this is the sixth year of the popular scheme. The new-look All-Star side is a reflection of the fact four teams reached the county semi-finals this year who hadn’t featured in 2016.

Interestingly, eight of the All-Stars were U21 this season, while Colm Barry and Stephen Murphy are also in their early 20s. Sars’ Jack O’Connor and Eoghan Murphy and Killeagh’s Eoghan Keniry have one more game to play in 2017, Friday’s U21 county final.

Na Piarsaigh keeper Paul O’Sullivan is the veteran of the All-Star team, while Brian Lawton, Paudie O’Sullivan and Seamus Harnedy are in the late 20s and Imokilly wing-back John Cronin is only 25, though hurled in the 2011 county final for CIT in a defeat to Carrigtwohill.

A Hurler of the Year will be announced tomorrow from the 15 talented stick-men who made the cut here.

Other leading contenders for an All-Star award were Gavin Connolly, Niall Cashman, Colm Spillane, Ciarán O’Brien, Paul Leopold, Dayne Lee, Daniel Kearney, Shane O’Keeffe, Will Leahy, Alan O’Callaghan.

New Cork manager John Meyler will present the All-Star awards to the 15 winners.

REARDEN’S HURLING ALL-STARS 15:

1. Paul O’Sullivan, Na Piarsaigh:

In the most high-profile game of the earlier rounds of the championship, the northsider pulled off match-winning saves against the Glen. Very solid throughout the summer in between the posts and on puck-outs.

2. John Cashman, Blackrock:

The Rockies were surprise finalists thanks in no small part to their reliable defence. Cashman was their primary man-marker and rarely put a foot wrong.

3. Colm Barry, Imokilly:

Powerful in the air and in the tackle, Barry made the most of his size and strength at full-back. Granted, the division coughed up too many goals, but the Castlelyons native stood out throughout the campaign.

Imokilly's Colm Barry goes high with Sarsfields' Gavin O'Loughlin. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Imokilly's Colm Barry goes high with Sarsfields' Gavin O'Loughlin. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

4. Eddie Gunning, Piarsaigh:

This 21-year-old has been highly rated for some time and came of age this season. He defended from the front, usually on the edge of the square, and his reading of the play was excellent.

5. Eoghan Murphy, Sarsfields:

Captain of the Rebel minors two years ago, Murphy is maturing into the definition of reliability with his club. Terrific in the replay win over UCC and did a top job on Seamus Harnedy in the draw with Imokilly.

Imokilly's Dan Managan is tackled by Sarsfields' Eoghan Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Imokilly's Dan Managan is tackled by Sarsfields' Eoghan Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

6. Niall O’Leary, Imokilly:

Cork minor captain in 2016 and outstanding for St Colman’s in reaching the Harty Cup final last spring, O’Leary was trusted with the centre-back berth. He embraced the challenge and can push on from here.

7. John Cronin, Imokilly:

Recast as a teak-tough wing-back, the ex-Cork senior forward previously hurled in a county final with CIT. His fire and fury was evident from the first round against Bishoptown and he was particularly brilliant in the county final.

John Cronin about to strike the sliotar away from Bishopstown's Alan O'Sullivan. Picture: Gavin Browne
John Cronin about to strike the sliotar away from Bishopstown's Alan O'Sullivan. Picture: Gavin Browne

8. Stephen Murphy, Blackrock:

Another ex-Cork minor captain, Murphy also featured for the seniors in the league. Known as a defender, he hoovered up the world of ball out in midfield and used it cleverly at all times.

9. Brian Lawton, Imokilly:

Lawton might have been on the fringes of the Rebel team this summer, but he was a central figure in the county championship. Whether at midfield or half-forward, the Castlemartyr playmaker was sheer class, chipping in with 0-11 too.

10. Michael O’Halloran, Blackrock:

Another promising young hurler, the 20-year-old spearheaded the Rockies’ front six despite his relative inexperience. He clipped over 1-23 and was one of the best performers in the county final.

11. Seamus Harnedy, Imokilly:

This team isn’t loaded with inter-county stars but to lift a county you need your main men firing.

Harnedy did, in style, for Imokilly, scoring 2-18 from play. He also offered serious leadership and trademark ball-winning on puck-outs.

12. Eoghan Keniry, Killeagh:

While they might not have made the business end of championship, Killeagh were involved in some cracking games. Rookie Keniry was their sharpshooter, 3-24 in just four ties, including their epic upset against Douglas.

Killeagh's Eoghan Keniry in action. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Killeagh's Eoghan Keniry in action. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

13. Jack O’Connor, Sars:

Introduced into Sars side mid-summer, O’Connor was a ball of energy and his 3-14 from play made him their primary inside threat. His pace and movement earned him a share of frees as well.

14. Paudie O’Sullivan, Imokilly:

One of the stories of the season, just turned 29, having lost three county finals with his club, he played as well as ever. It wasn’t just his haul of 1-15, it was his range of flicks and tricks. The joy of hurling personified.

15. Padraig Guest, Piarsaigh:

Before a sliotar was pucked this year, few outside of Farranree had heard of Guest, largely due to recent injuries after a promising underage career.

The 21-year-old had a breakout summer, with his clinical free-taking and eye for goal as he blasted 3-30 to send Piarsaighs to the last four.

Dayne Lee and Padraig Guest, Na Piarsaig, celebrate their win against, Glen Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Dayne Lee and Padraig Guest, Na Piarsaig, celebrate their win against, Glen Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The club breakdown of the winners is as follows: Imokilly 6, Blackrock 3, Na Piarsaigh 3, Sarsfields 2, Killeagh 1.

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