The 2018 Bord Gáis Energy U21 Hurling Team of the Year has been revealed with beaten All-Ireland finalists Cork leading the way with the highest number of representatives on this year’s team selection.
The Rebel County were comfortable winners against Tipperary in this year’s Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Munster Championship Final, but were eventually beaten when the two counties met again in the All-Ireland decider last August.
The winners, Tipperary are represented by five players on the 2018 Team of the Year, while Galway and Wexford, both of whom contested the All-Ireland semi-finals, have two a-piece to complete the line-up.
Commenting on the awards, TG4’s Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, panel judge for Team of the Year said: “It’s never an easy decision for the judges to select a shortlist of nominees for the Team of the Year, let alone whittle that down to an eventual winners’ selection, particularly following such an enthralling campaign as we had in 2018 with star performers emerging from almost every county.”
“The Cork/Tipp story was undoubtedly one of the major talking points of the season when they played out the first ever U-21 All-Ireland Final contested by two counties from the same province, having previously met in the Munster decider. Tipp might well have taken the ultimate prize but the Team of the Year selection shows how strong Cork have been this season which offers a lot of hope for the Rebels looking ahead to the future.”
Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy Catherine O’Kelly said: “The Bord Gáis Energy Team of the Year awards acknowledge the hard work and sacrifices the players make throughout the season to represent their counties. The awards also celebrate the Championship with the players’ families and friends who themselves make immense sacrifices in support of the players and their respective team-mates. On behalf of Bord Gáis Energy, I’d like to congratulate all the winners and I have no doubt that there are future household names among the group who will have extremely bright futures in the game.
“We’re delighted to have seen the U-21 Championship grow from strength to strength over the years and to have been able to put our customers at the core of the action through the Bord Gáis Energy Rewards Club. We look forward to seeing what the Championship holds when we make the change to U-20 from next year.”
The 2018 Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Player of the Year and ‘B’ Championship Player of the Year award winners will be announced at the Gala ceremony which takes place at Dublin’s City Hall on Friday, October 19th.
The Team of the Year and Player of the Year winners are picked by a panel of judges chaired by Bord Gáis Energy Sports Ambassador Ger Cunningham alongside Bord Gáis Energy #HurlingToTheCore Ambassador Joe Canning, Waterford legend Ken McGrath and TG4’s Micheál Ó Domhnaill.
Among last year’s Team of the Year award-winners were Limerick’s Kyle Hayes, Aaron Gillane, Cian Lynch and Sean Finn, all of whom went on to star for Limerick’s Senior Hurlers this year as they ended a 45-year wait to win the Liam MacCarthy cup.
2018 Bord Gáis Energy Team of the Year
1. Ger Collins (Cork)
2. Killian O’Dwyer (Tipperary)
3. Brian McGrath (Tipperary)
4. Niall O’Leary (Cork)
5. Fintan Burke (Galway)
6. Robert Byrne (Tipperary)
7. Billy Hennessy (Cork)
8. Mark Coleman (Cork)
9. Ger Browne (Tipperary)
10. Robbie O’Flynn (Cork)
11. Rory O’Connor (Wexford)
12. Cianan Fahy (Galway)
13. Jake Morris (Tipperary)
14. Tim O’Mahony (Cork)
15. Seamus Casey (Wexford)
2018 Bord Gáis Energy Player of the Year Nominees
Ger Browne (Tipperary)
Fintan Burke (Galway)
Mark Coleman (Cork)
Jake Morris (Tipperary)