The AIB Club Football and Hurling Championships came to their respective climax on Saint Patrick’s Day. Cuala overcame Clare champions Ballyea and became the first Dublin team to lift the Tommy Moore Cup while Dr. Croke’s ended a 15-year wait to get their hands on the Andy Merrigan Cup. Ultimately, this meant there was to be no fairytale ending to Slaughtneil’s amazing year.
Picking a team of players in each code across the thousands of clubs who participated in the club championships could not have been easy.
Finally, though, the judges for the official AIB GAA Club Championship teams of the year did whittle their selection down to 15 hurlers and 15 footballers for special acknowledgment.
The football team was announced on AIB’s website this morning and is as follows:
1. Michael Savage – St Vincents
2. Brendan Rodgers – Slaughtneil
3. Kieran Fitzgerald – Corofin
4. Fionn Fitzgerald – Dr Crokes
5. Lee Keegan – Westport
6. Chrissy McKaigue – Slaughtneil
7. Frances McEldowney – Slaughtneil
8. Johnny Buckley – Dr Crokes
9. Patsy Bradley – Slaughtneil
10. Brian Looney – Dr. Crokes
11. Colm Cooper – Dr Crokes
12. Graham Reilly – St. Colmcilles
13. Darran O’Sullivan – Glenbeigh Glencarr
14. Daithi Casey – Dr Crokes
15. Oisín McLoughlin – Westport
The senior championship finalists are well represented, taking nine berths between them. Intermediate champions Westport also secure two well earned entries.
Also, in a week that saw the man simply know as ‘The Gooch’ confirm he has hung up the green and gold jersey for the last time, he is selected at centre forward. He’s joined in the forward’s by county man Darran O’Sullivan after his side’s junior championship victory.
The hurling team was also announced earlier today:
1. Patrick Skehill – St Thomas’
2. Cian O’Callaghan – Cuala
3. Jack Brown – Ballyea
4. Oisín Gough – Cuala
5. Sean Moran – Cuala
6. Karl McKaigue – Slaughtneil
7. John Tennyson – Carrickshock
8. Darragh O’Connell – Cuala
9. Tony Kelly – Ballyea
10. Niall Deasy – Ballyea
11. David Treacy – Cuala
12. Richie Power – Carrickshock
13. Nicky Kelly – Mayfield
14. Con O’Callaghan – Cuala
15. Cormac O’Doherty – Slaughtneil
Slaughtneil’s scarcely believable year is represented by the fact that there’s a McKaigue at centre-back in both codes. Champions Cuala are represented by six players including the O’Callaghan brothers. Beaten finalists Ballyea have three.
Goalkeeper Patrick Skehill of beaten semi-finalists St. Thomas’ also gets a nod. Junior champions Mayfield are also represented by star forward Nicky Kelly. Finally, intermediate champions Carrickshock have two players on the list.
Eoin Neylon, Pundit Arena