Last week, we compiled a list of the best 10 football forwards in the country. Today, it’s time for the hurling.
10. Colin Fennelly
Sometimes the underrated star of the Kilkenny machine, Fennelly is a top class operator. A trait of Brian Cody’s teams over the last 17 years is that game-winners can pop up anywhere. Colin Fennelly could have a big say in the destination of the Liam McCarthy Cup this year.
9. Conor McGrath
The Banner are down and out, and this may have been due to Conor McGrath’s injury. When introduced in the second half against Galway, he raised the side as they battled back. If Clare are to bounce back next year, they will need McGrath fully fit.
8. Conor McDonald
Wexford had a promising Championship this summer, and this was in no small part thanks to Conor McDonald. The 20 year-old fired over 13 points to down Cork in the qualifiers, and at such a young age he is only going to get better.
7. John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer
‘Bubbles’ was absent for the Munster final as he was serving a suspension from his red card against Limerick, but he is a slick operator on his day. Tipp will need forwards other than Séamus Callanan to step up against Galway, and O’Dwyer could be the man to do so.
6. Cathal Mannion
In this writer’s mind, Mannion is one of the premier forwards in the country. His pace has caused several defences massive problems. He scored five from play against Kilkenny in the Leinster final, and has plenty more left in the tank.
5. Richie Hogan
Anybody who doubts the influence of Hogan was put back in their place after the Leinster final. Things were not going right for the Cats, before Cody sprung the Danesfort man from the bench. The 2014 Hurler of the Year sent the Tribesmen packing.
4. Tony Kelly
Back to the drawing board for Clare, but time and time again this year, Kelly showed his class. The 2013 Hurler of the Year is as skilful a player as there is in the country at present.
3. TJ Reid
Reid is simply lethal. We’re trying to figure out how he is only third on this list, but tough calls were made. He is the main man in the Kilkenny attack.
2. Seamus Callanan
Is he unmarkable at present? The giant Drom-Inch man burned a path through the Munster Championship, leaving Cork, Limerick and Waterford in his wake. Galway will need to plan accordingly next week.
1. Joe Canning
There ain’t no show like a Joe show!