TWO prizes are heading to Cork in the 2020 Munster GAA awards, with new ladies football captain Martina O'Brien and U20 hurler Shane Barrett being recognised by the provincial council.
Clon native O'Brien was as reliable as ever in between the posts for the Rebels last winter, particularly in the vital victory on the road to Kerry. She also had a memorable campaign on the local front, a county champion with her club Clonakilty when they upset the odds in the intermediate grade against Glanmire, and for West Cork who dethroned Mourneabbey at senior level.
O'Brien won't be available to West Cork as Clon are now promoted to senior but the division might not be allowed to defend their crown anyway.
National policy means amalgamated teams at that level can only take players from three junior clubs, or one intermediate and one junior club. In contrast, West Cork drew on footballers from 11 teams in 2020.
The Cork County Board put a motion to virtual congress on the matter but it was deferred until it can be discussed in person. Even when it is heard, it could be a hard sell to other delegates, given Cork is the only county that facilitates divisional teams.
Ephie Fitzgerald's charges were beaten by Dublin in the All-Ireland final but remain the most likely county to wrestle the Brendan Martin Cup from the capital.
Blarney hurler Shane Barrett was certainly the obvious option for the Munster U20 Hurler of the Year.
He shot 1-3 against Limerick and 0-4 in the win over Tipp and collected the TG4 Man of the Match are both games. Barrett is a lethal shooter but also possesses the work-rate, speed and stature to step up at senior level.
Kieran Kingston and his selectors gave the former Christians' Harty Cup ace a brief run at the end of the qualifier against Dublin in Thurles last October.
Barrett was a standout at minor for Cork in 2018 and is U20 again this year and his form for Blarney, PIHC winners, and UCC was extremely impressive in the club series.
The Cork U20s are through to the delayed All-Ireland final where they'll meet the Leinster champions, Dublin or Galway.
Cian Lynch (Limerick).
Conor Sweeney (Tipperary).
David Power (Tipperary).
Mary Ryan (Tipperary).
Martina O’Brien (Cork).
Martina McMahon (Limerick).
Shane Barrett (Cork).
Killian Falvey (Kerry).
Adam English (Limerick).
Cian McMahon (Kerry).