HS football team of the week

August 12, 2019

Kerry's David Clifford and manager Peter Keane celebrate. ©INPHO/James Crombie.

The two All-Ireland SFC semi-finals threw up some exceptional individual performances. Here’s our team of the week:


1. Shane Ryan (Kerry)

Had the distinction of being the only one of the four goalkeepers not to concede a goal. To be fair, he didn’t have much to do and was allowed to take short kick-outs by Tyrone.

2. Rory Brennan (Tyrone)

Dominated his duel with Killian Spillane before picking up Dara Moynihan. Was fortunate to receive just a yellow card for a high challenge on Kerry ‘keeper Shane Ryan.

3. Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin)

Read the game excellently and gave little away against Diarmuid O’Connor, James Carr and Andy Moran, who he marked at different stages. Distribution was also good.

4. Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry)

Completely negated the threat of Peter Harte with a superb man-marking job. Was also unlucky to see a shot come off the post at the other end.

5. Colm Boyle (Mayo)

The Davitts clubman was arguably Mayo’s leading performer against Dublin before his by now customary substitution 12 minutes from the end. He forced a number of turnovers in the first half and scored an excellent point into the Canal End.

6. James McCarthy (Dublin)

McCarthy was one of Dublin’s best players when they were on the back-foot in the opening half. He was solid throughout.

7. Paddy Durcan (Mayo)

Castlebar’s finest looks a shoo-in for an All Star after holding Ryan McHugh, Shane Walsh and now Jack McCaffrey scoreless this summer. He kicked two excellent points in the first half and battled hard when the tide turned after the break.

8. Brian Fenton (Dublin)

Kieran Donaghy described him as a ‘freak of nature’ after another masterful display in the Dublin engine room. Fenton caught some great ball and scored 1-1 to take his championship total to 3-8. Only Con O’Callaghan and Paul Mannion have scored more from play for the All-Ireland champions.

9. David Moran (Kerry)

Was a central figure in Kerry’s second half transformation against Tyrone after initially struggling against the energetic Michael Cassidy.

10. Paul Mannion (Dublin)

A strong contender for Man of the Match following his five-point haul against Mayo. Scored two quick-fired points in the first half when Dublin were struggling before adding three further quality scores in the second period.

11. Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin)

After a tough first half against Colm Boyle, Kilkenny flourished following the change of ends and had a hand in many of Dublin’s scores and best moves.

12. Stephen O’Brien (Kerry)

It would be a travesty if he was to miss the All-Ireland final after an outstanding display yesterday. O’Brien put himself into Footballer of the Year contention with 1-2 in an all-action performance. His late black card, which threatens to rule him out of the final, was the only blot on the copybook.

13. David Clifford (Kerry)

Put his recent injury problems behind him by kicking five points, some of which were out of the top drawer. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his first Sam Maguire Cup decider.

14. Cathal McShane (Tyrone)

Sealed his All Star with another stellar showing which yielded seven points, including four from play. McShane set up two other scores and, not for the first time this year, was Tyrone’s best player.

15. Con O’Callaghan (Dublin)

Having played second fiddle to Lee Keegan in the first half, the former Young Footballer of the Year cut loose in the second with two splendidly-taken goals. He just gets better and better.

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