Munster GAA awards for Martina O'Brien and Shane Barrett

Rebels rewarded by provincial council for their exploits in 2020
Munster GAA awards for Martina O'Brien and Shane Barrett

Cork's Shane Barrett scores a point in the Munster U20 hurling final win over Tipp. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

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. 

Clonakilty's Martina O'Brien and Meabh O'Donovan celebrate after defeating Glanmire. Picture: Gavin Browne
Clonakilty's Martina O'Brien and Meabh O'Donovan celebrate after defeating Glanmire. Picture: Gavin Browne

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.

The veteran goalie, who has made the position her own in the years since she succeeded Elaine Harte, is the definition of captain material for Cork. 

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.

2020 Munster GAA Award winners

Senior Hurler of the Year: Cian Lynch (Limerick).

Senior Footballer of the Year: Conor Sweeney (Tipperary).

Manager of the Year: David Power (Tipperary).

Camogie Player of the Year: Mary Ryan (Tipperary).

Ladies Footballer of the Year: Martina O’Brien (Cork).

Handballer of the Year: Martina McMahon (Limerick).

U20 Hurler of the Year: Shane Barrett (Cork).

U20 Footballer of the Year: Killian Falvey (Kerry).

Minor Hurler of the Year: Adam English (Limerick).

Minor Footballer of the Year: Cian McMahon (Kerry).

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