The Allianz Leagues wrapped up on Sunday (almost) as Mayo and Limerick lifted their first Allianz League trophies in 18 and 22 years respectively in Croke Park.
For some teams, it was a league campaign to remember, for others it was one to forget.
With that in mind, we have decided to select our GAA Stock Watch based on the entirety of the Allianz Leagues campaign.
So without further ado here is our ‘Stock Watch‘ following the Allianz Leagues.
Whose Stocks Rose?
The Mayo man has taken to the role of captaincy like a duck to water. He was one of the county’s only bright sparks throughout a tumultuous 2018 that saw them eliminated early from the championship.
O’Connor was key to Ballintubber’s success in the club campaign and has carried that form into the 2019 inter-county season. His performance on Sunday (particularly in the final 20 minutes) was what ultimately clinched the game for Mayo and he will be key to them this season as they go in search of Sam Maguire.
The Patrickswell’s man was quite possibly the best player across the Allianz Hurling League this season and capped off a great campaign with a fine goal on Sunday as Limerick collected the Division 1 crown.
Racked up 2-45 across the campaign despite missing two full games and is at the minute the form hurler in the country.
While Leitrim didn’t win the Division 4 title, the tried their best and were the story of the Allianz Leagues.
Hyland can be commended for the job he has done so far with this bunch and it will be interesting to see how much more progress they can make in 2019.
The Tir Conaill men showed their mental fortitude to bounce back from consecutive defeats midway through their Division 2 campaign. The losses to Tipperary and Fermanagh threatened to derail the side as they looked to bounce straight back into the top-flight.
However, Declan Bonner’s men recovered massively to end the league on a high and collect the Division 2 title and reaffirm their top-flight status.
Definitely a top-eight team, it was a must that Donegal get promoted and they did.
Despite losing the league final, Peter Keane can be very happy with Kerry’s campaign. They proved that while David Clifford is the country’s next big star, they can indeed win without him and Sean O’Shea kicked on further from 2018 to really announce himself onto the big stage.
Dara Moynihan, Gavin O’Brien are another couple of young stars who broke through and you can bet your bottom dollar that you haven’t heard the last of this lot in 2019.
Whose Stocks Crashed?
Louth were looking good earlier in the league. They were scoring goals for fun in a really tight Division 3 and looked to be headed for a promotion.
Beating Down on the final day should have filled them with confidence heading into the weekend’s game with Westmeath but ultimately they drew and will play in Division 3 next season.
Down contested an All-Ireland final in 2010. Down aren’t a Division 3 team. Down should have got promoted. Down didn’t get promoted.
Paddy Tally came into the job with a lot of hype considering his role with both Tyrone and St. Mary’s Belfast, however, the Mournemen fell at the final hurdle against Louth and face another season in Division 3 next year.
The Carlow rising has gone off the rails. Relegation to Division 4 after at one point leading the charge. It will come as a bitter blow to a county who wanted to really kick on in 2019.
While defeat to Cork in their ‘relegation playoff’ didn’t exactly confine them to relegation and in many respects leaves them facing an easier group next season, it was a tough league campaign for the side who went into it as champions.
Brian Cody’s side will need to regroup heading into the championship.
Three defeats for Dublin. It hadn’t happened before in Jim Gavin’s tenure and has revitalised hope around the country that somebody else can win the All-Ireland this year. Whether that is the case or not, only time will tell.
The less said, the better.