Kilkenny secured yet another Leinster hurling title. Despite trailing Galway at half time in the Leinster final, it would have to be said that they secured the title with relative ease in the end. Now that the championship is over we will compile a Top 5 for each provincial championship.
So here goes out Top Five hurlers in the Leinster Hurling Championship for 2016.
- Padraic Walsh – Kilkenny
Walsh was exceptional in the Cats two outings in Leinster. His aerial ability is top class, particularly for a man who is relatively small in stature. He is one third of the Kilkenny half-back line that is improving with every game. The midfield is not protecting them as much as before and they are the platform for a lot of Kilkenny attacks.
- Conor Fogarty – Kilkenny
The Man of the Match award for Fogarty in the Leinster hurling final seemed to be justified recognition at last. He has been very unlucky to miss out on all-star awards over the last two years where is performances have been noticed but not overly rewarded. Having started off as a reserve corner-back, he has become one of the best midfielders in the country.
- Jonjo Farrell – Kilkenny
Two outings have resulted in 2-9 from play for the newest name in the Kilkenny line up. He has participated in multiple league games without overly impressing, but he has taken to championship hurling like a duck to water. It must be good coaching that has taught Farrell to be the man to be on the end of chances, and Kilkenny would gladly see him maintain his goal a game ratio.
- Paul Murphy – Kilkenny
Murphy has continued to be at his phenomenal best this year. It seems strange that a hurler of his ability is wasted at corner-back but it still his best position and the place where he best contributes to the Cats side. His ability to read a game and cover Joey Holden is incredible. It’s incredible how he can do so and still get the better of his own opponent. He is a major Hurler of the Year contender.
- Cillian Buckley – Kilkenny
It would take something big to beat the performances of Paul Murphy this year but Cillian Buckley has taken his game to another level so far this year. He has been brilliant. His athleticism is what really stands out but now his aerial ability has improved along with his contributions in attack and defence have seen him as a complete performer during the Leinster Hurling Championship.
Some might find it harsh that no Galway player made it into the Top Five. But it was very hard to look passed any of the five players mentioned above. Stay tuned for our lists following the conclusion of the remaining provincial championships over the coming weeks.