This weekend saw the two hurling quarter finals down for decision in Thurles, along with two football quarterfinals in Tullamore. With wins for Limerick, Tipperary, Galway and Cork, the drama, scoring, and quality of both Championships was in full flow. John Ivory ranks the Top 5 performers.
5. Shane Walsh – Galway
Galway’s goal filled win over Tipperary was a forwards feast and Walsh was the pick of the bunch. He has stepped into the shoes of marquee forward for the tribesmen and showed the touches and finishing to enhance this reputation. His assurance from frees, and from play, was central to Galway’s win and they now look forward to a clash with Kerry.
4. Paul Browne – Limerick
This spot could just as well go to James Ryan his midfield partner, but Browne deserves the recognition. Many games are decided on who gets the upper hand in midfield, and Browne was outstanding against Chin and Redmond. He foraged tirelessly and fed ball into his forwards. In addition to this he slotted 1-1 from play.
3. John O’Dwyer – Tipperary
When Tipperary have not been at their best this year, O’Dwyer has been consistently good and his form continued into yesterday’s quarter-final victory over Dublin. To be fair all of Tipperary’s forwards played well and deserve a mention, but O’Dwyer’s goals were the main difference. He was also lively from open play and finished up with 2-2.
2. Paul Kerrigan – Cork
From the word go you could see Kerrigan was on form against Sligo. His turn of pace caused Sligo major problems all evening. He was in fine form with the boot, swinging over 0-4 from play. In addition to this, his excellent passes and overall team play saw him set up scores for teammates again and again, ensuring Corks progression.
1. Shane Dowling – Limerick
Dowling tormented the Wexford defence all day in Thurles. He was in his usual scoring form and his goals just before half time were hammer blows to the Wexford cause. His free taking was assured and he took his goal opportunities well when they came. It was a day when the whole Limerick forward department was on song, with Graeme Mulcahy and Declan Hannon helping out but Dowling was the pick of the bunch.
John Ivory, Pundit Arena.