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Stephen O'Keeffe edges Anthony Nash as Tribe dominate with seven All-Stars

02 November 2017 08:18
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Stephen O'Keeffe edges Anthony Nash as Tribe dominate with seven All-Stars

Joe Canning wins his fourth award after a season that saw Galway sweep to league, Leinster and MacCarthy Cup success, his match-winning point against Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final perhaps the stand-out moment of the season. Canning now stands levels with brother Ollie on four awards having made the teams in 2008, 2009 and 2012.

There are six first-time winners, four from Galway, while Cork's Mark Coleman and Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O'Keeffe are also team debutants.

Nash delivered a brilliant puck-out service as Cork claimed the Munster hurling title but was beaten four times in the All-Ireland semi-final against Waterford, albeit against a defence that suffered from the dismissal of Damien Cahalane. Nash did, however, save spectacularly in the first half from Pauric Mahony.

O'Keeffe made two magnificent saves for Waterford in their Munster semi-final defeat to Cork, denying Alan Cadogan and then Seamus Harnedy in one of the goalkeeping performances of the season.

O'Keeffe is joined on the team by colleagues Michael 'Brick' Walsh, Noel Connors, Jamie Barron and Kevin Moran. Barron is picking up his second successive All-Star, having made the 2016 team.

He had an exceptional year, posting 3-10 from midfield, where he is again joined by David Burke, the first time ever that the same midfield pairing has made back-to-back teams.

Galway captain Burke had a difficult day against Tipperary but bounced right back with a most influential All-Ireland final when he landed four points from play.

Burke has now made the last three All-Star teams and was also on the 2012 team bringing his total to four.

Barron hit his highest notes against Kilkenny and Cork, when he scored 2-1 with his blistering pace also a factor for so much of the All-Ireland final until he was substituted, having picked up an illness in the build-up.

'Brick' Walsh is also winning his fourth award, 10 years after his first in 2007 when he captained Waterford to a league final win over Kilkenny. Walsh won his other awards in 2009 and 2010.

Kevin Moran is also included, having got the goals against Wexford and Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-final and semi-final respectively. That helped him to 2-13 throughout a championship that he had a significant influence over.

On the inside line, there were no surprises with Galway's Conor Cooney and Conor Whelan taking first awards and Patrick Horgan rewarded with his second All-Star, having won his previous award in 2013. He nailed down his award with a big All-Ireland semi-final performance when he scored 0-12, five from play. Cooney scored seven points in the Leinster final against Wexford and contributed 1-16 from play throughout the campaign.

Source: independent.ie

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