By Kevin Regan
Another year down and Palatine have emerged as county champions for the 2nd year in a row against all odds after been written off by many at the start of the year.
It’s very difficult to sit down and pick a team of the year and as always there will be the “why did ya leave that lad out” or “what game were you watching” but at the end of the day it’s only an opinion and were all entitled to have one!
That’s the beauty of the Team of the week, team of the year, team of the day etc etc etc….
So here’s the 15 I went with based on the full championship.
1. Robbie Moore (Eire Og)
Conceded no goal in the group stages and only let in one goal in total all year.
2. Chris Crowley (Palatine)
A super addition to the Palatine team. Crowley played a huge part in the winning campaign.
3. Conor Lawlor (Palatine)
An absolute rock. Had a shaky start against Gary Dempsey in the final but recovered well and was the best full back in the county this year.
4. Niall Roche (Old Leighlin)
Old Leighlin conceded 4-14 against Eire Og on a night where Roche kept Darragh O’Brien scoreless. Roche was outstanding in the quarter final and semi finals as well and has a bright future ahead in both codes.
5. Gary Kelly (MLR)
Had a fantastic season and his county experience definitely made him an even better player for his club this year.
6. Wayne O’Donoghue (Rathvilly)
Another player who may not always be in the limelight but is very effective at centre back. It’s difficult to know when to sit back and protect and when to mark tight and Wayne done this very well throughout the campaign.
7. Willie Hickey (MLR)
Another player who was very consistent all year, cleaned up a rake of ball and held the Rangers defence together well.
8. Brendan Murphy (Rathvilly)
Murphy was missing for a chunk of Rathvilly’s campaign but led the way once he returned and if he wasn’t available for the semi final then Old Leighlin may have progressed instead. That’s how effective he is.
9. David Reid (Palatine)
Reid was a master of efficiency this year, and his unorthodox kicking style served Palatine well throughout the campaign.
10. Hughie Gahan (Old Leighlin)
An automatic selection. Gahan was the reason why Old Leighlin beat Tinryland in the Quarter Final and was the go to man for every game this year.
11. Shane O’Neill (Palatine)
It’s hard to believe that O’Neill was a minor last year given how accomplished and mature he is on the field of play. Nailed important frees all year as well and his distribution is absolutely top class.
12. Sean Gannon (Eire Og)
In my opinion Gannon was played out position for the club this year, but having said that he still played pretty damn good! Was unstoppable at times this year, particularly during the group stages.
13. Danny Thompson (O’Hanrahans)
A scoring machine all year. As good a forward as whats out there. Had a fine game in the relegation final and was very good during the group too.
14. Eddie Byrne (MLR)
This man was unmarkable against Eire Og and featured prominantly at both Full Forward and Midfield all the way up to the semi final.
15. Gary Dempsey (Rathvilly)
This lad is an absolute nightmare to mark and kicked some great points off both feet.