Hurling All-Stars: Cork get nine nominations along with Young Hurler of the Year

Despite a heavy loss in the All-Ireland final to Limerick, the Rebels are in the mix for the All-Star 15 with Shane Barrett on the Young Hurler of the Year shortlist 
Hurling All-Stars: Cork get nine nominations along with Young Hurler of the Year

Cork goalkeeper Patrick Collins and defender Seán O'Donoghue are nominated for All-Stars. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

NINE Cork hurlers are in contention for the 2021 PwC All-Star team.

Goalkeeper Patrick Collins, defenders Robert Downey, Seán O'Donoghue and Tim O'Mahony and forward Jack O'Connor are nominated for the first time.

Mark Coleman, an All-Star in 2017, Patrick Horgan, a four-time winner, Seamus Harnedy, a recipient in 2013 and '18, and Shane Kingston, nominated last winter, are also in the mix.

Midfielder Luke Meade can consider himself unfortunate not to make the list as he was one of the most consistent Rebels across the campaign that saw them defeat Clare, Dublin and Kilkenny, while losing twice to Limerick. The Newcestown native was one of the better performers in the All-Ireland final.

In its 50th year, the record number of hurling All-Stars is nine, which Limerick matched last season but following a dominant year they could break when the awards are announced in December.

Cork's best bets seem to be Seán O'Donoghue at corner-back and Jack O'Connor or Seamus Harnedy up front. 

Though he was withdrawn in the All-Ireland, O'Donoghue was a dominant defensive force in the three wins before that, while O'Connor's pace and goal-threat were electrifying and Harnedy the team's most reliable scoring threat from play.

The award for Young Hurler of the Year, those who turned 21 or younger in 2021, is between Eoin Cody of Kilkenny, who won last year, Cork forward Barrett and Clare attacker Aidan McCarthy. Cody could well repeat his win from 2020, as Barrett only started one of Cork's five games.

The presentation of the PwC All-Star awards will take place on December 10 in a televised ceremony that will be in line with Covid-19 restrictions and will be confirmed in due course.

Nine counties are included, but not Galway for the first time since 2013, with Dublin captain Danny Sutcliffe, Laois’s Paddy Purcell and Wexford co-skipper Lee Chin their county's sole representatives.

Cork's Seamus Harnedy and Seamus Flanagan of Limerick. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Cork's Seamus Harnedy and Seamus Flanagan of Limerick. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Goalkeepers: 

Patrick Collins (Cork); Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny); Nickie Quaid (Limerick).

Defenders: 

Rory Hayes (Clare); Mark Coleman, Robert Downey, Seán O’Donoghue, Tim O’Mahony (all Cork); Paddy Deegan, Huw Lawlor (both Kilkenny); Diarmaid Byrnes, Seán Finn, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash (all Limerick); Cathal Barrett, Ronan Maher (both Tipperary); Kieran Bennett, Calum Lyons, Conor Prunty (both Waterford).

Midfielders: 

Cathal Malone, Tony Kelly (both Clare); Paddy Purcell (Laois); William O’Donoghue, Darragh O’Donovan (both Limerick); Jamie Barron (Waterford).

Forwards: 

Seamus Harnedy, Patrick Horgan, Shane Kingston, Jack O’Connor (all Cork); Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin); Eoin Cody, TJ Reid (both Kilkenny); Peter Casey, Seamus Flanagan, Aaron Gillane, Gearóid Hegarty, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey (all Limerick); Jason Forde (Tipperary); Stephen Bennett, Austin Gleeson, Dessie Hutchinson (both Waterford); Lee Chin (Wexford).

County totals: Limerick 15, Cork 9, Waterford 7, Kilkenny 5, Clare 3, Tipperary 3, Dublin 1, Laois 1 Wexford 1.

Hurler of the Year nominations: Seán Finn, Kyle Hayes, Cian Lynch (all Limerick).

Young Hurler of the Year (U21) nominations: Aidan McCarthy (Clare), Shane Barrett (Cork), Eoin Cody (Kilkenny).

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