The Fitzgibbon Cup is done and dusted but who impressed enough to warrant some Championship game time come the summer.
The Tipperary man was a key member of winning team UL’s side, contributing to scores whether playing at centre back or in the forwards. The Silvermines man is pretty useful from the placed ball too and got scored some terrific sidelines in the drawn game with WIT and in the semi-final against LIT. Already a member of the Premier squad, Forde has staked his claim for more game time in a Tipperary shirt come Championship after some impressive displays in the League so far for Éamon O’Shea’s side.
Like Forde, Jason Flynn has also impressed in the League so far this season for Galway, guiding the Tribesmen to victory against Clare in the absence of talisman Joe Canning, while also scoring 11 points in Galway’s win over Kilkenny last weekend. The Thomas Larkin’s man was GMIT’s star player in the Fitzgibbon this year, scoring 1-3 in his side’s loss to UL, and in spite of his team finishing bottom of Group B, Flynn will be a major part of Galway manager Anthony Cunningham’s plans this Championship.
The Ballysaggart man became more and more of an influence to the UL side as their campaign went on, scoring a crucial goal against LIT in the semi-final and another against WIT in the drawn game. Both Stephen Bennett and his brother Shane have featured in the forwards for the Déise this season and now that the Fitzgibbon is over, both players will be pushing for a starting place on the Waterford side as they seek automatic promotion back up to Division 1A.
The Clare man was the main force in attack for NUIG in their Fitzgibbon campaign, scoring 12 points in his sides’ defeat of UCC as they qualified for the Quarter-Finals ahead of the Scholars. Like every other player on this list, Duggan is accurate from both the placed ball and from play and after some impressive performances in the League against Galway and Cork, the Banner will be looking to him as they seek to preserve their Division 1A status against Dublin in Cusack Park this weekend. Expect Duggan to be featuring somewhere in the half-forward line for the Banner come the Championship.
The UCC man has featured for Jimmy Barry Murphy’s Cork side a couple of times this season and was prolific against Dublin at the weekend, scoring 4 points from play as Cork racked up 0-34 against the Dubs. O’Shea featured mainly in midfield for the Scholars as they fell just short of qualifying for the Quarter-Finals this season, and along with fellow UCC player Alan Cadogan, will add some more talent to the Munster Champions forward line.
The Dromin-Athlacca man has featured a number of times for TJ Ryan’s Limerick side already in 2014 and 2015, but after impressive displays in the half-forward line alongside Declan Hannon for Mary Immaculate College and for the Treaty in the League this season, Reidy could well force his way onto the Limerick side for the Championship. The Mary I man was almost unerring from the placed ball as his side controversially missed out on a place in the Quarter-Finals at the expense of Carlow IT. Regardless of this however, Reidy will provide Limerick’s free-taker Shane Dowling with competition on the side this season.