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All-Star Hurling Team Of The Year If It Was Picked Today

The restructuring of the provincial championships has led to some incredible games and even better performances and the 2018 team of the year will be one of the most competitive yet. We had a go at picking the team based on current form and it has led to some massive casualties. 

1 Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny)

No explanation needed. Murphy has been in sensational form again this summer and is a class above every other goalkeeper in the country. You could make a highlights reel from his performance against Limerick alone. His puck-outs and frees are always top class as well.

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2 Colm Spillane (Cork)

Spillane has been the unsung hero of the Cork team this year. In a defence that has been sketchy at times, he has been the constant rock. He remains calm and collected and can read the play brilliantly, allowing him to get in front of his marker and recycle the ball.

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3 Daithi Burke (Galway)

A very tough choice between Burke and Padraig Walsh but the Galway man just shades it. He is the most consistent defender in the country and his ability under the high ball is second-to-none. Makes life very easy for James Skehill. His battle v John Conlon in the semi-final will  be mouthwatering.

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4 John Hanbury (Galway)

John Hanbury has been a revelation at corner-back over the past two seasons and has been in sparkling form so far this summer. He possesses incredible skill and shows such determination when he is defending making his a nightmare for any corner-forward.

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5 Pádraic Mannion (Galway)

It’s no surprise that three defenders in this team wear the maroon and white, such has been their form this season and Mannion has been the best of them all. He’s fast, skilful and physical. The Ahascragh man has also added a scoring dimension to his game this year.

Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 3/7/2016 Kilkenny vs Galway Galway's Padraic Mannion celebrates winning a free Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

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6 Cillian Buckley (Kilkenny)

Buckley came under pressure from Declan Hannon for this spot and the Limerick captain may overtake him but for now, the 25-year-old is well deserving of his place. He is one of the more experienced players on the team and showed his worth in their comeback against Galway earlier this month.

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7 Mark Coleman (Cork)

It’s hard to believe Mark Coleman is still playing U21, such has been his contribution to the Cork senior set-up. You need only look at his sublime sideline cut in the Munster final to get a sense of his skill level. He always ends up on the scoreboard while he just mops up ball when he is on form.

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8 Darragh Fitzgibbon (Cork)

Another Cork youngster on sparkling form this year, Darragh Fitzgibbon is becoming a real leader in the team. When Cork needed a boost in the Munster final, he was the one to spark it. He can score from distance but is also incredibly selfless in his play. Is so clever on the ball.

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9 Cian Lynch (Limerick)

Was pushed very close by James Maher but Lynch edges onto the team. In previous years we’ve seen Lynch as the one to steal the headlines with his scores but operating from midfield has seen him in more of an assisting role and Limerick are all the better for it. A very mature and honest player.

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10 TJ Reid (Kilkenny)

Kilkenny’s star man and their saviour on more than one occasion. Reid is a player that just oozes class and efficiency while he is so reliable from placed balls. He is an artist on the ball and his knowledge of the game is immense. Has been relied upon more for his leadership this season.

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11 Joe Canning (Galway)

While he hasn’t been the most consistent player this year, Canning has been awesome when he has been on form. If ever a reminder was needed of how good he is, he showed it in the Leinster final replay against Kilkenny. Last year’s Hurler of the Year is on the shortlist again in 2018, according to some.

Dublin , Ireland - 3 September 2017; Galway's Joe Canning watches on as captain David Burke lifts the Liam MacCarthy cup following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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12 Tom Morrissey (Limerick)

Another player that tends to fly under the radar at times but Morrissey deserves huge credit for his contribution to Limerick this year. He works incredibly hard, makes good decisions on the ball and has the scoring ability to top it off. All of which were on show for his incredible, late point v Kilkenny.

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13 Conor Whelan (Galway)

Probably the most hotly contested line but Conor Whelan is a no-brainer. He has proven himself to be a reliable, skilful and elegant hurler since bursting onto the scene a number of years ago and he has only gotten better from game-to-game this year for Galway. Another name being mentioned for HOTY.

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14 John Conlon (Clare)

There aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe John Conlon’s form this season. He has been nothing short of immense. His physicality and ball-winning ability has been a welcome addition to the Clare forward line while he is now just scoring goals and points for fun.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1B 14/2/2016 Clare vs Offaly Clare's John Conlon Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

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15 Patrick Horgan (Cork)

Cork’s superstar and the man that constantly leads by example. Patrick Horgan has always been one of their best players but he has someone raised the bar again this season. The Glen Rovers man is consistently reliable from places balls but has scored some outrageous points from play this summer.

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Do you agree with our team? Let us know in the Facebook comments.

 

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter