Limerick dominate U21 Hurling Team of the Year

October 02, 2017

The Limerick players celebrate with the All-Ireland U21HC trophy.
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

All-Ireland champions Limerick have eight players on the 2017 Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Hurling Team of the Year, with Aaron Gillane claiming the prestigious Player of the Year award.

The team was presented with their awards at a special ceremony in Croke Park tonight.

The eight Limerick representatives are joined on the team by three players each from Kilkenny and Galway, with one Cork player completing the line-up.

Gillane won the Player of the Year award after fending off stiff competition from his team-mates Kyle Hayes, Peter Casey and Seán Finn and Kilkenny's Conor Delaney. He follows in the footsteps of Stephen Bennett from Waterford who was crowned Player of the Year in 2016.

There was good news too for Kerry's Shane Conway. The forward picked up the Player of the Year award for the 'B' Championship, following a stellar display in the final against Wicklow at Semple Stadium.

Commenting on the awards, TG4's Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, panel judge for Team of the Year said; "It's always difficult firstly to narrow things down for Team of the Year, and secondly to single out one individual as Bord Gáis Energy Player of the Year given the standard of performances we saw this year.  The four nominees for the 'A' award all deserved serious consideration and it was a very tough choice.

"Collectively, we felt that Aaron's consistent performances this year, embellished by some moments of sheer skill, meant he just pipped his fellow nominees to the post.

"Shane was Kerry's star performer in the 'B' final.  He was one of the key reasons that they overcame Wicklow with a goal and six points under his belt.  He's thoroughly deserving of the award.

Speaking at the awards, Managing Director at Bord Gáis Energy, Dave Kirwan said: "The Bord Gáis Energy Team of the Year awards are an integral part of the U-21 hurling calendar.  They allow us, as sponsor, to recognise the sacrifices these players make throughout the season to excel for their respective counties.

"The awards also allow us celebrate the Championship with the players' families and friends who also give a lot to allow the players perform on the pitch.

"Congratulations to all the players who made this year's Team of the Year.  Congratulations too to our overall Player of the Year winners, Aaron and Shane."

The Team of the Year and Player of the Year winners were picked by a panel of judges including Ger Cunningham, Galway hurler Joe Canning, Waterford great Ken McGrath and TG4's Micheál Ó Domhnaill.

Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Player of the Year

Aaron Gillane (Limerick)

Bord Gáis Energy U-21 'B' Player of the Year

Shane Conway (Kerry)

2017 Bord Gáis Energy Team of the Year

1. Darren Brennan (Kilkenny)

2. Sean Finn (Limerick)

3. Conor Delaney (Kilkenny)

4. Sean Loftus (Galway)

5. Ronan Lynch (Limerick)

6. Kyle Hayes (Limerick)

7. Jason Cleere (Kilkenny)

8. Colin Ryan (Limerick)

9. Robbie Hanley (Limerick)

10. Aaron Gillane (Limerick)

11. Declan Dalton (Cork)

12. Cian Lynch (Limerick)

13. Conor Whelan (Galway)

14. Peter Casey (Limerick)

15. Thomas Monaghan (Galway)

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